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21st December 2022

Tech Predictions for 2023 - Part One

Introduction – by Neil Carter

I’m sat here, working from home, thinking about the Christmas party with the rest of the Ignys team, and it got me thinking about the past year, both personally and professionally. Personally, its mainly about spending time with immediate and extended family, including of course the arrival of a new granddaughter. Professionally its more about starting to visit people and organisations both in the UK and abroad, and of course my Exciting new roll at Ignys.


As many that have worked with me in the past know I have a crystal ball on my desk that appears whenever someone asks me something or thinks I should have magically known something. I thought however it might be useful to polish it off and see if it could help me predict the exciting challenges  that are going to hit us. I also thought people might find it interesting if I documented them here.


GPS is dead – Long live GPS

Since it first becoming globally available in in 1994 GPS has become the most popular and recognisable GNSS platform in the world, so much so that we tend to use the word GPS as encompassing all GNSS technologies. However, despite this technology becoming part of the consumer mainstream and part of our everyday lives, incorporated into satnavs and smart phones, other than the logistics industry, the technology has largely not delivered in the ways people expected. Devices are too power hungry and are not accurate enough for many uses, depending as they do on the view of the sky at any particular point in time.

Fortunately, two other technologies are starting to become mainstream, and I believe they will come to fore this year. The first of which is RTK. Real-Time Kinematic is originated in the mid of the 1990s and is a differential GNSS technique that provides great positioning performances improvements, effectively giving centimetre  accuracy. This improved accuracy opens which is for the first time becoming available at a cost-effective price opens up a whole raft of use cases – particularly in safety such as demonstrated by Tended’s wearable geofencing solution for improving safety for Network rail.

Other advances focus on the power requirements  that traditional GPS chips require such as the developments by Semtech, with their LoRac Cloud and LoRa Edge technologies, offloading the power hungry   required by conventional GPS chips to the cloud allowing low power IoT asset tracking to be introduced. As this technology becomes more available, we are surely going to see it used in more and more products.

Beam me Up Scotty

Some of you may have noticed that Apple’s iPhone 14 range are the first smartphones (that we know of) capable of contacting the emergency services using satellites – in certain countries at least, once the gradual rollout is complete.

Similar capabilities may find their way into Android phones as chip company MediaTek has demonstrated similar technology in a lab. Satellite connectivity in smartphones is clearly in its infancy, given the immense challenges of connecting a pocket-sized device to an orbiting platform hundreds of kilometres away up in space. This technology however may be closer than you think. The movement of satellite broadcasting towards on demand services have left many  satellite providers a hole they need to fill.

For many organizations, simply tapping into public internet infrastructure or 5G technology offers a seamless solution. For other cases, satellite communication, enabled by LoRaWAN, serves as a better more cost effective solution. In agricultural environments, the cost to install wired or even wireless communication infrastructure can be prohibitively expensive and even wasteful, as there are only a small number of devices that need communication capabilities over a large geographical area. As IoT devices and use become more commonplace in agricultural environments, satellite communication offers an excellent solution.

Similarly, approximately two-thirds of the globe is covered by water, and terrestrial networking solutions are clearly infeasible. By relying on LoRaWAN and satellites, companies can track their ships and cargo at a relatively low cost, as the slow data speeds of LoRaWAN satellite communication aren’t a disadvantage when tracking slow-moving ships. In addition, this technology can be great for buoys and other stationary objects.

In 2023 expect top see lots of alliances being formed between terrestrial and non-terrestrial providers as well as well founded start ups such as Lucuna trying to get a head start in this new race to the final frontier.


ML lives on the edge

Many analysts predict that up to 25% of jobs across the entire global economy will be augmented by AI-driven software in 2023.  Traditionaly requiring large amounts of development effort and PhD like interlect, companies such as Edge Impulse are bringing ML into products on the edge at an alarming rate. This new breed of platform allow edge ML solutions to be developed rapidly and can combine data from a wide range of sensors and other data and deploy them easily to production devices. Built in support for this technology into IoT prototyping platforms such as the Nordic Thingy:53 is allowing faster and more agile solutions to be developed with ML on the edge.

Every day I see some new way to use this technology top simplify and improve on every day tasks and products and I don’t expect this to slow down any day soon.


The future is Green

In 2023 we need to make sure our technology is environmentally sustainable. With some of these data-driven and compute-hungry technologies, the environmental costs can sometimes be hidden away in cloud data centres that companies that are using the tech will never see or touch.

Customers and investors are increasingly looking for green credentials, and we will see more of this in 2023. Data centres and blockchain technology need to become greener, and companies need to ensure they don’t waste valuable resources storing data they don’t need and running algorithms that don’t add value. Similarly, hardware needs to be reusable and configurable. We will use ML to teach hardware what it is looking for and what it needs to do. Rather than building hardware that can perform one purpose.

As an industry we need to be looking at how best we can preserve and reuse resources. This is very much on the governments agenda as can be seen by the fact that from June 2022 all non-smart EV chargers are allowed to be installed.  I believe this will be very much at the front of people’s minds in 2023 and most technology projects will have to consider this.


It’s been a fantastic year for Ignys and we really can’t wait to see what 2023 brings.

Of course, it’s not over yet, so if you have the beginning of a great idea, are mid project and need some advice on how to move it forward or scale up – or maybe you’re stuck in development and need a fresh perspective. Whether it’s electronics, hardware, firmware and software design… drop us a message.