In a world of autonomous vehicles and extreme personalisation through artificial intelligence, in this article we reflect on five promising emerging industries and the leading companies that bring them to life.
1. Virtual Reality
Virtual reality, or ‘VR’ for short, is a computer simulated environment that is presented to the user through a headset that entirely encompasses the user’s field of view. With this new immersive technology, developers are able to create 3D experiences unlike ever before.
The most well-known company to have embarked on this journey is Oculus. Acquired by Facebook for a reported $2bn, Oculus has shifted the needle of what is possible with modern day technology.
However, the disruptive potential of VR is far beyond what the general consumer thinks possible. It is very likely that Facebook will be able to secure immediate events such as live concerts that it can monetise through the Oculus platform. In industry, Facebook may be able to agree large commercial contracts with manufacturing firms in order to help consolidate and make their work force far more efficient.
It is these industrial applications that will in fact make devices such as the Oculus more affordable for the general public. As larger companies purchase significant pairs of VR headsets, the cost of production falls significantly. This also helps open up the VR solution to creative and young developers who are likely to create solutions that lead to revolutions.
2. Wearable Technology
When thinking about wearable technology in 2019, most of us think of the traditional and regular smartwatch. However, the true future in wearable technology is much closer to the heart – quite literally!
Perhaps the most interesting iteration of wearable technology is the implementation of biometrics to t-shirts and contactless payment to jackets. This is becoming known as ‘smart fabrics’.
Google’s Project Jacquard is the company’s latest attempt to create a garment that is sensitive to the user’s smartphone. This includes touch and gesture sensitive areas to respond to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
Another incredible implementation of this brand new technology comes from a company known as Ambiotex. For those who live in the gym, this may become the go-to choice for many users. The compression-style wearability combined with real-time time data for your workout, promises to make this an all time favourite.
Our favourite wearable technology to date is the Intel backed ‘Focal’ smart glasses made by North. By combining cutting edge technology with augmented reality, North are able to deliver non-intrusive notifications to your field of view without lifting a finger. This enables many new use cases such as directions, reminders and general notifications such as for messages and approved apps.
3. Vape Juice
Estimated to save over 1 billion lives and to be worth over $65 billion by 2025, the vaping industry has certainly morphed into an industry of its own.
With JUUL recently valued at $39 billion, the above estimates seem extremely conservative. However in the UK there is an increasing consumer trend towards ordering online.
A UK company that is pioneering in this space is the U.K.’s leading marketplace for vape juice IndeJuice. By offering unlimited free delivery with no minimum order on e-Juice and e-Liquid, IndeJuice has been able to bypass the usual channels of distribution to create incredible savings for customers.
With over two years of market experience including the innovative Nicotine Shot Calculator, this company is widely being regarded as the most innovative in its space. It brings the marketplace model to a brand-new industry that was plagued with inefficiencies.
With this new model, IndeJuice is able to adapt to regulatory change faster than any of its competitors. This enables it to expand at an incredible rate with no signs of slowing down.
By purchasing directly from manufacturers, customers are able to feel safe and secure when ordering online whilst also saving a significant amount when compared to the current methods by which they are able to purchase vape juice.
4. Dark Kitchens
Reported to have spent $100m on so called ‘dark kitchens’, Travis Kalanick, the founder of Uber has recently brought to light the nature and simplicity of this new and emerging market.
In essence, dark kitchens are commercial kitchens that are operated with the sole purpose of making food for apps such as Deliveroo, Uber Eats and DoorDash. By having no need for a customer facing environment, these new kitchens have the opportunity to let the product do all the talking.
This also means that these new businesses are also totally reliant on third party apps. Whilst many think that this may be placing too much reliance on third-party applications, we can see how investors are willing to bank on what they perceive to be the future of take-out food with no expensive overhead costs.
As well as not having to outlay large amounts of cash in order to have a customer facing environment, dark kitchens can also set up shop further away from the inner city and still be able to extend their delivery radius. Having the ability to reach more customers also gives these new business is the ability to gain more reviews and consequently be rated higher than competing takeaways essentially leapfrogging the need to sustain a customer facing business.
5. Smart Homes
From powering your TV to powering your lights, smart homes truly represent a future that many of us did not think we would see in a lifetime.
Perhaps the most successful small home product thus far has been the smart speaker revolution. From Amazon’s Alexa to the Google Home and even Apple‘s home pod, we have all now most likely had some form of interaction with these cloud-based personalities.
There is also an increasing list of hardware devices that are able to interact with these artificially intelligent beings. The most common household item they is able to interact with these devices is a lightbulb made by Philips. However more a more devices arrive by the day in an effort to make your home smarter.
As it is now clear that this industry is ever growing and is unlikely to slow down, more and more companies are spending time and money investing in the smart home. The great thing for us as consumers, is that the more companies spend on these devices the more cost effective the end result will be for us. This is because such intense competition will create economies of scale as well as drive the average price lower as demand continues to increase.