With most companies focusing on 3D printing applications in the business world, others are looking ahead even further to 4D printing, where materials are coded with a dynamic capability. Using this new shape-shifting material, a sports apparel company could design an adaptive running shoe with a sole that adjusts to wet pavement versus dry pavement to improve grip. Using the same idea, medical companies could design self-assembling stents to reduce surgery times and improve patient outcome. The building industry could design walls that adjust thickness during the winter to increase insulation.
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The latest Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies illustrates how quickly technology innovations have the potential to redefine buyer, supplier and customer relationships for any business. Gartner added 16 new technologies to the Hype Cycle this year, including blockchain, machine learning, general purpose machine intelligence, smart workspace in addition to many others. Gartner identifies transparently immersive experiences, the perceptual smart machine age, and the platform revolution as three overarching trends that have the most potential to reshape business models, and provide enterprises with access to emerging markets and ecosystems. The Hype Cycle is based on an assessment of the market hype, maturity, business benefit and future direction of more than 2,000 technologies, grouped into 11 topic areas.