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.