• Alec Sorensen

Emerging Technology Trends: 2018



Distinguishing meaningful innovation from hype and speculation is increasingly difficult, as the market continues to organize around buzzwords like AI, blockchain, or VR that companies use in marketing materials to drive sales and investment.

Not only can IP data shed light on the fundamental technologies that underpin these buzzwords, but it also leads all other financial data by 9 - 12 months, providing critical insight into where the market is headed. The chart above shows the highest growth technologies from 2018. Here are some of the highlights:


  • Neural networks grew at a 39% from Q1 to Q4 , driven primarily by the need for increasingly advanced machine learning models


  • Additive manufacturing grew despite decreased hype, driven by internal investment from large industrial companies increasing vertical integration.


  • Rechargeable fuel cells were a major winner from the proliferation of electric scooters and increased investment in utility-scale electricity storage


  • While 5G did not make the list, companies invested heavily in technologies to manage increasingly crowded wireless networks


Why You Should Care


Marketing materials and investor hype tell you very little about actual technology development. When evaluating internal and external technology investments, it is critical to focus the underlying technology. Failing to do so can lead to millions in investment wasted on a technology or company that does little to address your original pain point. By using IP data, you can predict emerging technology trends and identify the fundamental technologies behind the buzzwords.

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