The past 12 months have seen plenty of breakthrough experiences which changed the way organizations interact with their customers and employees. With 2020 on the horizon, the pace of change shows no signs of slowing down either – check out our 20 breakthrough experiences to look out for as we enter the new decade

So that was 2019. More brands – including Dominos and 7-Eleven – joined Amazon in opening cashless stores; across the world, employers gave their teams time off to attend climate rallies (believe it or not, some employers even offer to pay bail for any employees arrested); and we saw a number of major new technology launches from the likes of Apple, Samsung, Google, and Microsoft.

On to 2020. Here’s some of our predictions for breakthrough experiences over the next 12 months:

1. Netflix + Amazon — will the disruptors be disrupted?

When you talk about video streaming, two names come to mind — Netflix and Amazon. But competition in the video on-demand sector will reach new levels next year with Disney and Apple joining the party in late 2019. With Disney’s almost unrivaled catalogue of content, Apple’s trillions, and both companies’ strong brand image, how the original disruptors respond will be fascinating to watch as we go into 2020.

2. The most innovative, inspiring, and inclusive Olympics yet

The world’s best athletes will meet in Tokyo for the 32nd Olympic Games in late-July. Alongside the sporting prowess, broadcasters will ensure fans can watch and catch-up on content from the Games at the times and places that suit them best. It means you’ll be able to catch up on the day’s action wherever you are in the world – whether you’re watching on your mobile during the commute home, or on TV in the middle of the night.

3. X4 Summit – a breakthrough event

Call us biased, but X4 Summit in Salt Lake City is an event like no other. With experience increasingly defining the world around us, leading experience management professionals from across the globe will gather to share learnings and real examples of their breakthroughs. And what other conference can boast a keynote line-up including Brene Brown and Ellen – with more to come.

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And that’s just the start for X4 Summit in 2020. It’ll be followed by events in London, Paris, Munich, Sydney, Singapore, and Tokyo – by the end of the year more than 25,000 attendees will attend an X4, making it the largest XM event in history. Check out the highlights from last year’s events.

4. Will folding phones finally hit the mainstream?

Mobiles with foldable screens will enter the mainstream in 2020, having been talked about now for a number of years. Samsung launched its device earlier this year, with others like Motorola and Huawei set to follow soon. The larger screens offered by these devices will change the type of content people consume through them, and allow them to use multiple apps simultaneously, opening up new opportunities for developers to bring innovative mobile experiences to the masses.

5. Solving the world’s biggest challenges through Quantum Computing

There continues to be a number of major breakthroughs in Quantum Computing, which enables researchers to carry out calculations at speeds incredibly faster than today’s offerings – it’s literally cutting processing times from years to days. The research being completed could transform every aspect of the world around us – from the way we consume energy, to banking, security, and communication.

6. A new era of connectivity with 5G

We’ll see 5G networks become more widespread over the next 12 months, accelerating the rate at which we consume content over mobile networks, as well as the type of content we download. It represents a major opportunity for telcos and brands to deliver more tailored, richer, and meaningful engagements with their customers.

7. Life on Mars – can we please finally give David Bowie an answer?

In July 2020 NASA will launch its 2020 Mars Rover to the Red Planet to investigate whether humans could ever live on the planet. While the benefits might not be immediately available to us, the research being carried out could help answer one of the world’s biggest questions.

8. Digital healthcare

Digital technology has revolutionized healthcare in recent years, and there’s no sign of it slowing in 2020. One particular area to keep an eye on is wearables, with employers looking for ways to integrate data from the devices to design and deliver better and tailored experiences for their workforce. Insurers could also benefit from the data, by offering personalized services based on our individual preferences and lifestyles. The likes of Apple and Google have invested heavily in wearables over the past 12 months, so we’re sure to see this space continue to grow and grow.

9. Can Google disrupt the gaming industry?

Google is about to gatecrash the gaming industry with Google Stadia – a gaming platform that does not require a dedicated console, integrates with YouTube so that users can choose to sit back and watch or participate, and which offers 4K screen resolution. It’s the latest breakthrough in gaming, and the newest challenger to industry veterans Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. Google might not have a headstart for long however, because Sony and Microsoft will respond with ultra-fast consoles in late 2020.

10. Queue no more – the food delivery experience is everywhere!

Food delivery might not be anything new, but when Starbucks partners with Uber Eats it is hard to ignore. It’s an example of brands looking to deliver the convenience consumers crave, and how traditional players aren’t afraid to redesign their customer experience. Waiting in line for your coffee might soon be a thing of the past — but don’t worry, they’ll still put your name on your cup!

11. A new addition to the gig economy in ride-sharing?

Disruption awaits the car rental industry in 2020, with ride-sharing companies like Ola looking to enter the market. These new entrants are promising to bring more flexibility and convenience to customers, such as through personalized rental terms, that puts them in the driving seat.

12. Fintechs continue to disrupt banking

2020 might be a good year to review your banking options. We’ve seen an influx of new fintech start-ups in recent years all looking to offer a service tailored to your individual needs – and now the traditional banks are catching up. There are offerings specializing in mortgage lending through to easy invoicing and rapid verification. When it comes to banking, it’s definitely not one size fits all anymore.

13. There’s a ‘superapp’ for that

Superapps, like WeChat and Gojek, have transformed the mobile experience across Asia. And in 2020 this trend is expected to catch on in Latin America. This is a huge opportunity for brands in the region to reach new audiences. While superapps haven’t completely taken off in Europe and North America, get ready for new in-app offerings from companies like Facebook and Google that bring more functionality so you never have to leave the app.

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14. Social media – it’s business time

Businesses will be increasingly using their social media channels as a new platform to sell next year. Whether its Facebook Marketplace or Instagram Checkout, the way we buy online is about to become easier than ever before – creating a whole new opportunity for retailers and brands to capitalize on.

15. The world is getting smaller

Following hot on the wings of the world’s longest flight – when Qantas flew direct from Sydney to New York – airlines have announced a raft of new long haul routes that make it easier to travel than ever before.

16. Fortnite – A game changer

Fortnite transformed the gaming industry with one of the most engaging and creative experiences ever seen by gamers when it launched – a feat it repeated recently when launching Chapter 2. It’s a great example of how to design and deliver an authentic and meaningful experience – keep a close eye on how the platform continues to leverage new technologies to evolve next year.

17. Will Apple launch its AR headset?

No list of breakthroughs would be complete without Apple. In 2020 the company is expected to launch its AR Headset. It would fit the Apple playbook perfectly – rarely do they rush to market, but usually look to build on and perfect a new technology before betting their brand on it. If it happens, it could transform the way we consume information and engage with the various devices we use throughout the day.

18. UEFA 2020 — can an international tournament span 12 countries?

This edition of Europe’s premier men’s international soccer tournament will be unique. It’s the first of its kind to be held across 12 different locations in the continent rather than being hosted in a single country. For brands, it’s a rare opportunity to reach a huge international audience across multiple locations and platforms – and for the 12 countries involved, it’s a stage on which to deliver memorable visitor experiences to a wider audience than ever as they welcome tens of thousands of fans.

19. 2020 – The year congestion eased in LA?

Los Angeles regularly tops the list of the world’s most grid-locked cities. So the news that the city is opening a new Metro Line connecting Crenshaw and LAX is big news. It’s going to benefit all that use it with faster and more enjoyable travel times. This is proof that a breakthrough experience can be as simple as solving a common challenge faced across the world.

20. Engineering breakthroughs 1,000m in the sky

Construction on the world’s tallest tower – Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, which will reach an impressive 1,000m – is set for completion next year. Whether you’re a resident, guest, or worker in the tower it’s going to deliver breathtaking views, and is a perfect example of breakthrough human engineering. ”


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