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Forecast 2019


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“A glimpse into the future” represents much more than a trend report. It is intended to be a clear vision of our guidelines for 2019. More than strategy, it is aligned with what we believe to be the main focuses of 2019 in the technological area that will let us anticipate problems, redefine ideas, predict events and identify opportunities.

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Forecast 2019

  2. 2. A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTUREFORECAST 2019 2 3 from the headquarters of
  5. 5. A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTUREFORECAST 2019 8 9 FOREWORD Ana Tavares Lattibeaudiere - Head of North America at GSMA I met the Ubiwhere team in 2018 while I was vis- iting my family in Portugal. I walked away from our meeting feeling both inspired and proud. Inspired by the infinite possibilities we discussed and proud of the talent emerging from Portugal. We are very fortunate to be a part of an industry that personifies innovation. Innovation inspires – a theme you will find throughout this Forecast Report. With the anticipated arrival of 5G, there is no denying we are on the brink of a major trans- formation on the lives of millions of people in the world. We are entering the age of “Intelligent Connectivity,” the combination of 5G, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. I am most excited to see the powerful impact IoT will have on cities. By 2025, 25 billion IoT devices will be deployed globally (GSMA Intelligence, 2018), bringing ubiquitous connectivity and ena- bling impactful innovations in how cities operate. With increasing global adoption, the benefits Smart City technologies are having on the environment, traffic, public safety, citizens and businesses are evident. Smart Cities are driving generational changes in how cities are efficiently managed while simultaneously creating platforms for new services and positively affecting our climate and our people. But the future promises even more. At the fore- front of Smart City Innovation in 2019, 5G net- works will enable network advancements in scale, reliability, speed and intelligence designed specifically for IoT devices and networks. These advancements, when combined with innovations such as Software-Defined Networks (SDNs), Edge Computing and Machine Learning/ AI, lay the foundation for the age of “Intelligent Connectivity” and position the Mobile Industry as an accelerator and key driver of the future of Smart Cities. We don’t have a clear roadmap of what we will ac- complish; we cannot even begin to imagine what
  6. 6. A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTUREFORECAST 2019 10 11 will be created next, and after that, and so on. I can’t think of anything more inspiring than that. I, and the world, look forward to what is to come. Ana Tavares Lattibeaudiere Ana Tavares Lattibeaudiere is the Head of North America for the GSMA. The GSMA represents the interests of 750 mobile operators worldwide, uniting them with over 350 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem., including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and inter- net companies, as well as organizations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces the industry-leading MWC events held annually in Barcelona, Los Angeles and Shanghai, as well as the Mobile 360 Series of regional conferences. MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDERS 2018 was a sweeping year. We presented a new image and refreshed website to the World with the same love and dedication that defines us. We opened our home’s doors to new businesses, new employees and new challenges. We executed hundreds of projects and created dozens of new partnerships. Our focus, as always, was on the people who are by our side every single day. And this is the reason why we have the strength to con- tinue growing and thriving at all levels. More than simply developing innovative solutions, we want to be involved in the entire technological ecosystem allowing us to remain one step ahead. Our desire is to keep creating solutions which will have a meaningful impact people’s quality of life for gen- erations to come. We want to make a difference every day. And we can only achieve this if we con- tinue to focus on key areas such as Smart Cities, Telecommunications and New Technologies.
  7. 7. A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTUREFORECAST 2019 12 13 More than a trend report for the upcoming year, we want this Forecast to be a set of macro perspec- tives of what transpired last year in the market and what we are expecting for this year. This document also showcases our team’s commitment. They are a group of more than 40 individuals which come in every day with a burning desire of doing more and better. This document belongs to them. We cannot predict what 2019 holds in store for us, but we believe it will be a year full of wonderful challeng- es and surprises. We wish you to keep up with us. All the best for 2019, Ubiwhere’s Founders (Rui A. Costa & Nuno Ribeiro) INTRODUCTION The constant evolution and demand of the mar- ket lead us to the emerging need to redefine our strategic focus. Over the past few years, due to the digitization process, there has been a need to shift paradigms. The future is to implement a culture of digital transformation which is broader, affecting processes, and is increasingly oriented towards people. IT requires us to think more and more about IoT, Machine Learning and User Experience. To think ahead. This document is intended to be a clear vision of our guidelines for 2019. More than strategy, this document is aligned with what we believe to be the main focuses of 2019 in the technological area. With it, we will be able to anticipate problems, redefine ideas, predict events and identify oppor- tunities. It is to be expected there may be a need for course correction over time as trends change
  8. 8. A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTUREFORECAST 2019 14 15 and evolve, however our focus will always remain people. It is for them that we work every day. In the first part of this Forecast we take stock of major events in 2018. From the battle of Fintech to Apple’s relationship with consumers. After this initial reflection, we present our vision for 2019. The main technological trends which will certainly inspire other companies and help them redefine their own future. We do not want to influence, we want merely to inspire. 2018 BALANCE As 2018 draws to an end, we reflect upon some of its most prominent technological outcomes, in or- der to look ahead into 2019 and beyond, peeking into what the future will bring. While 2017 was the year we thought poised to see a second internet age emerge out of blockchain technology, 2018 brought about instead the sec- ond trough of disillusionment for crypto & block- chain, with prices dropping, Initial Coin Offerings heavily scrutinized as financial instruments and the collapse of many projects that were nothing but hype in 2017. Despite the negativity, many new companies continue to bet heavily on this space and build on blockchain technology in an attempt to solve some of its fundamental weaknesses. We believe these bets will pay off in the next 5 years, and the truly useful, scalable and market-driv- en teams will find their footing and bring about
  9. 9. A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTUREFORECAST 2019 16 17 much-needed change to places where the tradi- tional internet model has become too inefficient or unhealthily monopolized. It was also the year where the battle for Fintech went one step further. Digital financial services like Revolut, N26 or Monzo applied for full-fledged banking licenses, digital investment instruments received some much-needed upgrades and some of the largest banks fought back by upgrading their offers. Venmo, Square, Robinhood, Stripe, Carta and many others continue to remove friction when dealing with regulatory and financial barriers, en- abling new ventures to emerge and consumers to fully benefit from financial markets. We’ll see this continue to progress throughout the next 5 years, as some of these new and upcoming companies become essential to our daily lives, while the more progressive banks and financial institutions begin to blur the lines with improved service offerings. Ultimately, citizens will benefit the most. On the software infrastructure side, we contin- ue to see new developments taking the pain out of managing large-scale operations. Serverless is on the rise, with tech pundits predicting it will continuously enable very small companies (head- count-wise) to capture more and more of the mar- kets they operate in. Will we see the first one-per- son company rise to more than $1B valuation within the next 5 years? Very likely so. This move to the cloud has also proven to be the perfect environment for the second coming of Microsoft, who has once again emerged as the most valua- ble company in the world by growing services like Azure and its cloud enterprise offering. GDPR and regulation were also hot topics this year. The public’s eyeballs were on tech giants’ re- sponse to these regulatory challenges and we saw Facebook, Google and others respond swiftly and publicly to regulatory oversight. The general feel- ing is that these challenges will continue to grow as digital service regulation becomes increasingly complicated. It will be interesting to see where and how it affects new entrants to consumer mar- kets and whether it promotes innovation by allow- ing companies built with privacy concerns from the ground up to emerge as victors, or stifles it.
  10. 10. A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTUREFORECAST 2019 18 19 Speaking of data, Apple took another step in im- proving the benefits data monitored by its devices provide to users. The new Apple watch debuted a feature which monitors your heart rate and advis- es you when to seek medical care. The quantified self trend has been steadily growing. As leaders in the space start taking it more seriously with cutting edge tech, we’ll see the benefits pan out and people’s relationships with their bodies shift. With new tech comes questionable practice, and CRISPR, a new, promising gene-editing technolo- gy, apparently went live in China without a care in the world for best practice and science’s checks and balances. Technology moves us forward, how we respond to it dictates how it will affect us. Finally, sustainable mobility has shown tremen- dous progress. Electric scooters’ extraordinary rise and Tesla’s Model 3 production reaching scale, have proven that it is in fact possible, and we’ll continue to see electric mobility reaching the hands of citizens worldwide as we change how we move and how we power our transportation. Lyft and Uber have also announced their IPOs, and the market for mobility will continue to change what companies’ roles are in how we move and how we think about vehicle ownership and access. Volvo’s Care program, with a monthly all-inclusive sub- scription, is just the beginning. We’ve also continued to experiment with smart cities, and we’ll have lots of lessons learned from Sidewalk Labs’ cooperation with Toronto and their pre-agreements with others, as entire sections of cities are built from the ground up with technology in mind and spaces are designed to be smart. Time will tell whether this is how we build new urban spaces. In the meantime, the best way to predict the future is to invent it, and, at Ubiwhere, we’ll continue to do so.
  11. 11. A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTUREFORECAST 2019 20 21 DISRUPTING & RESHAPING 2019 The move into a new year forces us to set new goals, to review the strategy and to chart a path for the coming years, in the short and long term. This analysis has to go hand in hand with the external environment, from the direction to the future of technology to what people are looking for in their lives. Of course, since we work in techno- logical development, we strive to be one, two or three steps ahead. And it is with this accelerated pace that we have identified the trends we are presenting in this document to serve as inspiration for the future of other organizations, and at the end of the day, to let you know how Ubiwhere is shaping the future.
  12. 12. A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTUREFORECAST 2019 22 23 on-demand. Machine learning primitives will become widely available at very low latencies and accessible to swarms of vehicles, industrial sys- tems, our portable devices, intelligent assistants, logistic facilities and every connected device, driving economies of scale through optimization at the edge. The first tests with 5G technology have al- ready started and telecom operators will launch 5G-enabled services in many cities worldwide across 2019. Simultaneously, technology provid- ers have begun to produce the next generation of hardware that will enable new revenue streams and business models for traditional operators and MVNOs, based on new software capabilities, with dynamic resource allocation, edge-computing capabilities built in, to enable data-intensive use cases from 5G bandwidth, and new devices are built with the new state of the world in mind. 1  SOFTWARE EATS NETWORKING It can often feel like we’re done connecting peo- ple. However, over the next 5 years, we’ll still need to connect the remaining 4 billion of the world’s population. With them, 30 billion more devices will come online. To manage this ever growing influx of new devices, we’ll need to scale our human-heavy processes. Software-Defined Networking, Network Function Virtualization, and Infrastructure as a Service will allow us to use the same principles that apply today, to a world where we’ll need to make sense of extreme interconnectedness and where people and devices will compete for band- width, resources, and available intelligence. The large-scale data pipelines that are now in a few servers, will move to the edge and be available
  13. 13. A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTUREFORECAST 2019 24 25 the opportunities of an almost fully digital econo- my. Uncovering key insights will enable us to make progress that has historically been held back by locked up data and an inability to align market and government incentives. The gradual uptake of automation in these sectors, the growing use of predictive systems and large-scale sensing, will lower costs and expose current inefficiencies, leaving market agents no choice but to cooperate effectively. Governance will be key to avoid in- cumbent monopolies, in very much the same way intangibles and capital deployment have allowed them to emerge in today’s digital markets. We are already seeing these changes take place with companies like OpenDoor in real estate, LambdaSchool in education or Flexport in freight transportation creating entirely new business models and incentive systems for industries that have typ- ically been extremely hard on new entrants. This is just the beginning, as more data-enabled companies move into the value chain and offer products and services that drive tremendous productivity gains in areas where stagnant processes and an inability to create scalable software has impeded faster growth. 2  SOFTWARE (ALSO) EATS LOW PRODUCTIVITY Today, while we’ve brought a number of key indus- trial and business sectors online, GDP growth and intangible assets show us that we’ve left very large swathes of the economy untouched. Construction, Education, Law, Healthcare and Manufacturing, a large % of countries’ total production, still strug- gles to see the same effects in scale driven by the application of software and digital assets. New business and public-private partnership models emerge as the role of the state gets redefined by its ability to work within the constraints and with
  14. 14. A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTUREFORECAST 2019 26 27 3  DATA AS CURRENCY Cryptoassets and crypto projects have started paving the path to a new infrastructure. While it is very unlikely that we’ll see crypto scaling reaching mass adoption in the next 5 years due to funda- mental roadblocks, we will undoubtedly discover its first applications in instances where we need disintermediated interactions. Programmable contracts and hard-coded SLAs, recognized by common law and enforced in traditional institu- tions, will remove the need for some of today’s intermediaries to exist and lower the costs of a transaction between parties. Smart contracts and unalterable, easily auditable ledgers will allow data and digital assets to take the place of insti- tutions and for access to the value of this data to happen seamlessly, based on multi-party authori- zation mechanisms. One example could be that of the access/ on-demand economy, where parties can access goods and services in a seamless way. For example, in transportation, producers can ensure their goods reach customers through logistics providers with point-to-point smart con- tracts removing the need for third-party platforms. Similarly, private companies can provide services to public institutions through decentralized market- places, in which execution will be tracked and mon- itored through the blockchain. Individuals will also be able to provide and remove access to their data on demand, particularly in their relationships with healthcare or insurance providers. This will make data a particularly scarce currency, allowing institu- tions, rather than aggregators, to retain a lot of the control they have relinquished in today’s economy. Ubiwhere was a finalist in 2018’s Innovation Prize of the Portuguese Mint and Official Print- ing Office (INCM). The main objective of the project is to provide users of public and shared
  15. 15. A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTUREFORECAST 2019 28 29 4  DIGITAL IDOLS eSports, digital celebrities, virtual communities, and personalized digital assistants will become second nature to the generation that was “born online”. This revolution has already begun and, although it will not be televised, it will certainly be live-streamed, with eyes and ears glued to smart- phones everywhere. The 2017 League of Legends championship, held in Beijing, had an audience roughly equivalent to the Superbowl. Total rev- enue from the eSports industry is expected to total upwards of $900M, an increase of 82% from 2017’s extremely impressive numbers. Meanwhile, digital gaming communities continue to grow, as Fortnite reached 200M users in just over a year, with revenue per user sitting at an impressive $96, roughly twice that of Google + Facebook + Twitter + Snapchat (combined!) and is increasingly a place transportation with an intelligent reward sys- tem, capable of creating a digital wallet and generating virtual coins when purchasing tick- ets at transport entities associated with the project. In addition, the technology platform re- sulting from this idea will integrate the ticketing modules of transport operators (with a concept of safe and decentralized transactions - block- chain), providing an online marketplace, where the virtual currencies generated may be used for the acquisition of products and services of the project’s partners.
  16. 16. A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTUREFORECAST 2019 30 31 5  LARGE-SCALE SENSING TURNS INTO PREDICTION Large swathes of data composed of millions of sensors, as well as miniaturization, coupled with narrow AI, leads us to uncover insights and un- lock economies of scale in quality of life, industry, workplace productivity, healthcare, agriculture and logistics that were never before possible. The explosion of sensing capabilities cheaply available will create highly specific datasets (and corre- sponding labeling) we didn’t think possible. These sensors will collect real-time intelligence from devices and locations where it has historically (alongside many other games) where adults come together online. Virtual celebrities like Hatsune Miku, Gorillaz and other digital alter egos emerg- ing out of these innovative worlds, inspired by ours but superpowered by technology, will continue to grow in popularity and become real-life assistants and companions to many of us. Not only will they change entertainment, but they will permeate into every part of our lives, like Ada, the AI healthcare assistant that helps patients get access to medical assistance on demand.
  17. 17. A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTUREFORECAST 2019 32 33 been kept siloed or where it has been entirely unavailable. Labeling, categorizing and interpret- ing this data at scale will enable AI to extract insights which allow us to more accurately predict behavior and automate processes which previous- ly seemed beyond our reach. Predictive mainte- nance, routing, natural disaster, threat modeling, health conditions, greenhouse and natural crop growth conditions, self-healing systems and better manufacturing pipelines will all start to emerge as humans, assisted by deep learning, parameterize systems that were opaque before, but are now available for technology to crack open. Human operators will now be able to address risk factors before their consequences become irreparable and machine-led systems will solve and optimize minor issues with no intervention. This deeply rooted belief is at the heart of many of Ubiwhere’s designs for Smart Cities like Cit- ibrain’s vertical solutions, the Urban Platform, where cities will be able to act on their consol- idated and previously unmanageable datasets, or even new spin-offs such as Thumbeo or Unicle, in which the ability to gather intelligence at scale predicates the dramatic improvements one can make to mobility management, for cor- porate fleets, citizens, car makers, and infra- structure providers.
  18. 18. A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTUREFORECAST 2019 34 35 6  SHARED AUTONOMY Roy Amara, former Stanford alum and president of the Institute of the Future coined the expression that better defines technology forecasting when he said: “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run”. This is certainly true of vehicle autonomy, particularly as more and more companies pour into this space and get vehi- cles out on the street. While we don’t think we’ll have full, consumer-grade autonomy next year (sorry, Waymo!), we do think these investments and signs of progress will compound and verti- cal-specific use cases for autonomy will emerge ahead of full consumerization. Regulators and public authorities will have a big role to play to allow autonomous vehicles to take priority, gain the right of way, and offer novel shared transpor- tation options. Outside urban scenarios, fixed- route transportation will be quickly surpassed by autonomous electric vehicles, radically changing logistics and public transportation. These will offer dramatic improvements to both our mid and long- range traffic patterns first, by unlocking the first large-scale heavy fleet coordination, then mobile productivity and finally, our consumer-centric use cases. As parts of our road network become accessible to new entrants, we’ll see regulators of- fering advantages to both industry sectors (whose productivity gains will happen overnight), as well as to transportation providers who will reduce the load that regular cars impose on our cities. At Ubiwhere, we are building the infrastructure and the services that will allow this to happen. Our Smart Lamppost solution is our bet on the future of infrastructure with computing and co- ordination happening in real-time, with extreme- ly low latencies and taking advantage of cut- ting-edge networking technologies. We’ve also
  19. 19. A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTUREFORECAST 2019 36 37 spun off Unicle, our V2X technology product that offers vehicle-makers, infrastructure provid- ers and the service industry the ability to build technology for the next generation of people who will be online while on the move with better than ever quality of service and experience. 7  UNBUNDLED MOBILITY (AND AGGREGATION) When we look at cities, we’ll see urban mobility, in particular, becoming completely unbundled. Micro-mobility will solve our problems in city centers and mid-range mobility will find its feet with new form factors allowing commuters to efficiently get to where they need to go. In 2018 we’ve seen the explosion of micro-mobility provid- ers in cities. Dockless bike and scooter sharing has taken over most of our cities, created new urban planning problems we do not yet fully know how to solve, and forced municipalities to fight back and reclaim sidewalk space. Citizens, however, contin- ue to adopt these services. The future is yet to be
  20. 20. A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTUREFORECAST 2019 38 39 defined and both the markets and our institutions will move to adjust and adapt to it. As more mobil- ity options become available that disincentive and cannibalize the use of cars, bringing cars to the city centers will become more expensive. Citizens will initially bear the cost of fragmentation, but as the market evolves, and A to B transportation becomes commoditized, aggregation becomes in- evitable as the job and mobility distribution moves to large players who have the tech stack and the business model to make this happen seamlessly. This will turn vehicle providers into pure brand plays, differentiated by functionality. Uber has already committed to moving into this platform space and has acquired micro-mobility providers such as JUMP, in order to make this happen. As large mobility companies both forcedly and willingly play nice with our public institutions, we’ll see true multi-modality emerge, with cost-effec- tiveness and comfort going through the roof. More competition for a role in our commutes and our daily errands will create better options for citi- zens. Regulatory oversight and a bird’s eye view on urban needs will make sure they are accessible to all, reach underserved communities, solve social problems and that cooperation emerges between market agents. At Ubiwhere, our mobility and urban platforms are built to solve two primary needs in this space: 1) new entrants can build solutions in weeks rather than years and 2) ensuring they share adequate levels of data and are compli- ant with local needs and rules. In turn, public decision-makers can have total clarity into their urban spaces and guarantee coordination be- tween mobility providers with full visibility into traffic, parking, air quality and a number of oth- er dimensions of public life that go beyond pure economics and optimize for improving people’s quality of life.
  21. 21. A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE 40 41 ABOUT UBIWHERE Founded in 2007, Ubiwhere is focused on Research, Development and Innovation of soft- ware-based solutions in the areas of Smart Cities, Telecom and Future Internet, and New Technologies. As an innovative and technological company, the skills of our team are one of our differentiating factors. Our team (about 50 em- ployees, more than 90% with a Master degree), is one of the pillars of the company’s success and is prepared to face the biggest challenges in the market. Ubiwhere cooperates with leading technology companies which value our partnership and rec- ognise Ubiwhere’s large-scale contribution to their creative and innovative projects. We’re committed to ensuring the best practices at quality manage- ment level holding certifications such as ISO9001 and CMMI-Dev Level 3.
  22. 22. A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTUREFORECAST 2019 42 43 We have the innate desire of changing the World, the reason why we create, design and develop solutions which aim at improving everyone’s lives. Ubiwhere headquarters WHAT’S NEXT While the long arc of technology history will contin- ue to awe us with its mysteries, its complexity and interconnectedness will always make it very hard for anyone to predict what the future holds. We believe that focusing on the hardest, most impact- ful problems is still the right choice. The solutions we build will continue to shape people’s lives as we move forward: clean air, sustainable mobility, livable spaces, privacy, connectivity, productivity - solving real problems is the only way to ensure we will continue to be a part of the future. At Ubiwhere, we are investing in best-in-class emergent technology: you will find us using ma- chine-learning, building smart contracts and digital currencies, prototyping vehicular commu- nication systems and next-generation networks, or tinkering with the future of consumer-grade sensing devices. Products such as Citibrain,
  23. 23. FORECAST 2019 Unicle, rProbe or Smart Lamppost are just a few of the many extraordinary examples of the technolo- gy we are fortunate enough to have created which are now a meaningful part of the lives and of the future of citizens around the globe. While we don’t know exactly what the next steps will be, we do know, assuredly, that good things will come from our daily effort and dedication. Terms such as autonomy, urban mobility or 5G will become part of our daily vocabulary, yet the focus will continue to be on the research and develop- ment of technology for people, which will effec- tively improve their quality of life.