AI and machine learning will exploit new hardware and growing capabilities in visual data capture and analysis in the coming year.

SwissCognitiveThe year ahead will literally be marked with greater clarity than ever before, thanks to the accelerating convergence of hardware and systems that extend our visual capabilities with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

Thus, one of the most compelling trends for 2019 will be the rise of visually oriented AI as the latest driving force behind the real-time enterprise.

Here are just three ways in which the power of visually oriented AI will be seen across real-time enterprises:

AI-powered visual analytics. In 2018, we saw the introduction of products such as Netvue’s Belle, an AI-powered, camera-enabled doorbell that can recognize the identities of guests, and greet them accordingly. Look for more innovative applications along these lines that extend to the business sector — not only recognizing and greeting customers but also gauging their sentiment.

A recent Forbes Insights-Intel survey of 800 enterprises finds 80% of companies are piloting or implementing visual analytics, and another 14% already have sophisticated visual analytics implementations, ingesting visual data captured by IoT-enabled cameras and analyzing it to enable greater insights and determine courses of action. Along with customer sentiment, common use cases are security, industrial production quality, and traffic management.

AI-powered augmented reality. Augmented reality will increasingly take a prominent role in various jobs — from medical procedures to plumbing. In the year ahead, there will be AI-driven applications that will enhance AR to new levels. Garner’s Tom Bittman, for one, recently stated that AR is part of a “broader shift to always-on, interactive experiences that blend the physical, virtual and sensor-integrated realms.” AR, he says, “will play a key role in new overlays of news, communications, education, and training.” Look for increased leveraging of online videos (such as those through YouTube) to be “incorporated into wearable goggles or glasses, providing a visual guide as an individual works on a piece of equipment or technology.”

The combination of mixed-reality devices and AI represent the near future of digitally empowered work, I wrote in a survey report for Forbes Insights and Microsoft. Over the next three years, 59% of enterprises intend to outfit their first-line workers with wearable computers or devices. Another 53% say first-line workers will be employing RFID transmitters or sensors as part of their work, while 51% foresee a future with personal digital assistants.[…]

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