This post contains the top 10 emerging technology trends for 2021 in Africa. Thanks to the challenges of 2020, digital innovation and transformation have kicked into overdrive.
Technology is always changing. Emerging Technology Trends holds an enormous amount of power, whether it is distribution applications that take off due to a global pandemic or video games that integrate virtual reality (VR).
Last year saw sectors like EdTech and biotech rise to prominence, while e-commerce benefited from the spike in online shopping due to the pandemic.
Here is a list of the top 10 emerging technology trends on the list watching for growth and impact in 2021.
Mobile community operators will step up their 5G base station build-out
The 5G Implementation Guidelines: SA Option 2, launched by the GSMA in June 2020, delves into excellent technical particulars relating to 5G deployment, each for mobile network operators and from a worldwide perspective. Operators are anticipated to implement 5G standalone architectures (SA) on a big scale in 2021.
In addition to delivering connections with excessive pace and excessive bandwidth, 5G SA architectures will enable operators to customize their networks in keeping with personal functions and adapt to workloads that require ultra-low latency.
However, at the same time as 5G rollout is underway, Japan-based NTT DoCoMo and Korea-based SK Telecom are already specializing in 6G deployment since 6G permits for numerous rising functions in XR (together with VR, AR, MR, and 8K and above resolutions), lifelike holographic communications, WFH, distant entry, telemedicine, and distance training.
Immersive Workspaces are a topic very much related to Spatial Computing. They are collaborative work environments that provide a real-world presence for geographically separated teams leveraging visual, audio, haptic, and other sensory elements.
Some VR experiences aim to replace an office and workplace with a full virtual replica while other solutions for AR/MR scenarios are augmenting the current workplace with virtual items to enhance productivity.
There are a lot of opportunities in this space during times of restricted travel. Use cases can be immersive virtual meetings but also remote assistance, training, and general team collaborative scenarios.
AgriTech growth trends in Africa
We have already seen three agric-related funding announcements in the first month of the year. The exciting part is that Gro Intelligence, Aerobotics, and Pula represent different subsets of AgriTech.
Indeed, the AgriTech wave has been rising over the past year. Kenya-based startups Apollo Agriculture and Sun Culture were in the spotlight last year for solutions targeted at growing yields and profits for farmers. Releaf, a Nigerian startup bidding to organize the palm oil value chain, reportedly made $1m in revenue between 2019 and 2020.
These recent activities indicate that global and local investor interest is zooming into companies solving farm and food challenges. It gives us the confidence to expect more funding action and innovative product launches over the course of 2021.
Ambient Virtual Meetings
Ambient Virtual Meetings (AVM) are real-time collaboration tools that support interactions between team members to approximate a real-world office experience more closely. Market research company Gartner is expecting quite an uptake for such AVM solutions also due to COVID-19.
AVM implementations can be in a form of always-on meeting rooms where team members can jump in and out, or via instant video connectivity to colleagues based on their present state. This is similar to an always-on webcam but with certain constraints to avoid privacy issues.
Also, virtual meetings can feel more connected by visualizing all video participants together, like in a virtual auditorium, instead of a grid with small video boxes. For example, Microsoft Teams introduced this concept with the Together Mode meeting feature and is seeing some good results.
EdTech Growth Trends in Africa
Last year, due to the pandemic, a lot of Edtech startups got more attention and were forced to ramp up their products and services to accommodate the growing demands of virtual schooling.
While Edtech got most of the attention, it’s worth noting that just 19 million out of over 450 million children in African used these Edtech offerings. A sign that we’ve barely scratched the surface of the problem.
As these EdTech companies continue to grow to reach the untapped market, it’s important to note that the future of Edtech will be complementing teachers, not replacing them.
Mini LED and QD-OLED will become viable alternatives to white OLED
Competition between show applied sciences is anticipated to warmth up within the high-end TV market in 2021. In explicit, Mini LED backlighting allows LCD TVs to have more nuanced management over their backlight zones and subsequently more profound show distinction in contrast with present mainstream TVs.
Spearheaded by market chief Samsung, LCD TVs with Mini LED backlighting are aggressive with their white OLED counterparts, providing comparable specs and performances. Furthermore, given their superior cost-effectiveness, Mini LED is anticipated to emerge as a robust different to white OLED as show know-how.
On the opposite hand, Samsung Display (SDC) is betting on its new QD OLED know-how as some extent of technological differentiation from its opponents, as SDC is ending its LCD manufacturing operations. SDC will look to set the brand new gold customary in TV specs with its QD OLED know-how, which is superior to white OLED when it comes to color saturation. DevelopmentForce expects the high-end TV market to exhibit a cutthroat new aggressive panorama in 2H21.
Advanced packaging will go full steam forward in HPC and AiP
The growth of advanced packaging technology has not slowed down these 12 months regardless of the impression of the COVID-19 pandemic. As numerous producers launch HPC chips and AiP (antenna in a bundle) modules, semiconductor firms similar to TSMC, Intel, ASE, and Amkor are desperate to participate in the burgeoning superior packaging trade as effectively.
Regarding HPC chip packaging, as a consequence of these chips’ elevated demand on I/O lead density, the demand on interposers utilized in chip packaging has elevated correspondingly as effectively. TSMC and Intel have launched their new chip packaging architectures, branded 3D material, and Hybrid Bonding, respectively.
In 2021, the two foundries will probably be seeking to profit from high-end 2.5D and 3D chip packaging demand. With regards to AiP module packaging, after Qualcomm launched its first TQM merchandise in 2018, MediaTek and Apple subsequently collaborated with associated OSAT firms, together with ASE and Amkor.
Other emerging technology trends for 2021 in Africa include:
- Quantum Computing
- Active matrix Micro LED TVs will make their highly anticipated debut within the client electronics market.
- Chipmakers will pursue shares within the AIoT market by an accelerated expansionary strategy.