Research firm Gartner released its annual report this week on hype in technology, sharing which technologies are up-and-coming, which are at peak hype, and which have moved well into mainstream territory.

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that machine learning is riding the highest crest of the “peak of inflated expectations” wave. You might be surprised, though, by the technologies coming up behind it.

For those who associate the term “hype” with failure, realize that that’s what this report is bringing into focus. Instead, it highlights “the set of technologies that is showing promise in delivering a high degree of competitive advantage over the next five to 10 years,” Mike J. Walker, research director at Gartner, said in a statement.

The phases of the hype cycle, as outlined in a graph created by Gartner, are as follows: Innovation Trigger, Peak of Inflated Expectations, Trough of Disillusionment, Slope of Enlightenment, and finally, Plateau of Productivity.
Basically: 


There’s a breakthrough, a flurry of press coverage touting successes, a bunch of failures that ultimately contribute to disillusionment, then people start to understand the technology more, and it goes mainstream. 


Some examples of the timeline from the report: Augmented reality is currently in the Trough of Disillusionment, and virtual reality is on its way up the Slope of Enlightenment. 


But no matter where they are on the cycle, these technologies all are important to keep on your radar, whether your business currently intersects with them or not.

Now for some technologies you might never have heard of that Gartner predicts are going to be pretty big:


1. Smart Dust

This refers to little things called “motes,” which Gartner defines in a research note for the report as “tiny wireless micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), robots, or other devices that can detect everything from light, temperature, and pressure to vibration, magnetism, and chemical composition.” CNN put it this way in 2010: Smart dust aims to monitor everything.

2. 4-D Printing

You’ve heard of 3-D printing, the quick fabrication of three-dimensional products with a machine that essentially “prints” the products. The fourth dimension in this next-gen fabrication process is the encoding in the end product of “a dynamic capability–either function, confirmation, or properties–that can change via the application of chemical, electronic, particulate, or nanomaterials,” according to Gartner. Examples the firm offers: “printed pipe valves that can expand or contract and printed cubes that unfold.”


3. 802.11ax

What is this? It looks like a random series of numbers and letters. Will people be referring to this verbally, talking about the promise of eight-oh-two-point-eleven-ay-ex? Not unless they’re already talking about eight-oh-two-point-eleven-ay-see (802.11ac), to which 802.11ax is the successor. What we’re talking about here is technology aimed at improving performance of Wi-Fi-enabled devices and supporting a larger number of them. Development of this technology is still in early stages according to Gartner, but expect it to be important as the number of connected “Internet of Things” devices continues to grow.

These are just three items on Gartner’s list of technologies moving through the hype cycle, and the 34 technologies on the list may not include ones the firm included in past years.

Here are all the technologies in the report:

  • Smart Dust
  • 4-D Printing
  • General-Purpose Machine Intelligence
  • 802.11ax
  • Context Brokering
  • Neuromorphic Hardware
  • Data Broker PaaS (dbrPaaS)
  • Quantum Computing
  • Human Augmentation
  • Personal Analytics
  • Smart Workspace
  • Volumetric Displays
  • Conversational User Interfaces
  • Brain-Computer Interface
  • Virtual Personal Assistants
  • Smart Data Discovery
  • Affective Computing
  • Commercial UAVs (Drones)
  • IoT Platform
  • Gesture Control Devices
  • Micro Data Centers
  • Smart Robots
  • Blockchain
  • Connected Home
  • Cognitive Expert Advisors
  • Machine Learning
  • Software-Defined Security
  • Autonomous Vehicles
  • Nanotube Electronics
  • Software-Defined Anything (SDx)
  • Natural-Language Question Answering
  • Enterprise Taxonomy and Ontology Management
  • Augmented Reality
  • Virtual Reality

Today the first of a new generation of AEO programmes was launched at GITEX 2016 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The deputy Ruler of Dubai launches AEO UAE

H.E. Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum launched the AEO UAE programme with his hand on an interactive AEO globe. 

The event was very popular and a huge crowd followed the proceedings. 

With Dubai Customs AEO Team

This is the most advanced and modern AEO programme in the world meeting international standards and best practices while introducing a new AEO paradigm. 

AEO UAE has a new set of innovative benefits, but also new features like AEO for transhipments and AEO performance indicators (KPI) för speed, predictability and cost. 

H.E. Ahmed Mahboob, Director of Dubai Customs and H.E. Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem Chairman and CEO Dubai Ports World.

This is a project that we are very proud of and the cooperation with Dubai Customs and UAE Federal Customs Authority has been outstanding.


GITEX 2016 is a huge technology event that attracts people from all around the world. 

Here I am testing an interactive application together with our man in Dubai, Christer Andersson. 

AEO UAE was the event of the day in spite of competition from artificial intelligence software, self-driving card, föoexiblenrobots and a the next generation of dromes. 

Ms. Eman Al-Suwaidy, excellent project owner of AEO UAE in Dubai.

The first AEO certificates will be presented at a ceremony on October 30 and the programme opens for new applications on November 1st. 

The specially made interactive AEO Globe developed by Customs was a great success. 

I am again at an airport. On my way towards the next project. 

It is not my favourite way to spend a Saturday morning, but sometimes necessary. 

It is big world and there are a lot of things to do out there if you want to contribute to make this world a slightly better place for us all. 

I do. 

It is what drives me to work so har and travel so much as I do. 

I have done my share of airmiles the last twenty years or so. I have seen the world, at least 164 countries. The good thing about travelling is that you always, always learn new things. 

And one thing that Inhave learned over the years is that people are the same everywhere and they all have something to share. 

If we open our hearts we learn from each other.

It is never fun to be away from home. Especially a Friday night. But sometimes you have to do it if you want to change the world. 

After a day of good meetings I am now relaxing, having dinner, planning tomorrow. 

Tomorrow I go to another country on another continent. 

It is great though to have dinner outside at 9pm in the middle of October.


There are many amazing places in the world. I have seen many of them. But a Friday night there is no place more amazing than home. Goodnight. 

The United Nations (UN) has appointed a new Secretary General.

It will be Portugal’s former Prime Minister Antonio Guterres, who takes over the role from January 1, according to the AP.


Guterres replaces South Korean Ban Ki-Moon, who has been in office for two five-year periods.

This is an excellent decision. 

It is also very good that the institution only grants officials two terms nowadays. Two terms should be a maximum in all international institutions.

Robert Zimmerman a.k.aBob Dylan was named the surprise winner of the Nobel prize for literature in Stockholm today “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.

Speaking to reporters after the announcement, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, Sara Danius, said she hoped the Academy would not be criticised for its choice.

The times they are a’changing

“The times they are a’changing, perhaps,” she said, comparing the songs of the American songwriter, who had yet to be informed of his win, to the works of Homer and Sappho.