Trend Search

Trends Search v1.2

This is a beta product that we built for our own internal purposes at FTI. It includes all of our signals and trends research to date, as well as all of the research published in our annual Future Today Institute 2020 Tech Trends Report.

Trend Search v1.2 is a no-frills database. You can perform searches on the left or browse trends below. In this version, we include dropdown menus only. In upcoming versions, you will be able to search using natural language queries.

What’s important in this version is the the structured data and search functionality. v1.2 includes search functions for technology, trends (as well as adjacent and related trends) and industry sector. We will be updating regularly.

We could have waited to build more features, visuals and frills before releasing it to the public. Given the crushing amount of uncertainty so many organizations are dealing with in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, we thought it would be useful to our FTI clients and community. We invite you to use the trends database to support your planning.

Version updates will be posted regularly. Features and new functions will be added throughout the year.


Countries including China and Sweden are researching how to develop their own decentralized currencies.
Financial service and payment providers are tapping into social interactions to facilitate financial transactions.
Financial data systems are becoming more standardized and interoperable, facilitating access to banking infrastructure and analytics for third parties.
The algorithms powering quant funds, like the humans who develop them, are vulnerable to inherent biases.
Financial inclusion is more than a positive social impact story, it’s a forward-looking customer acquisition strategy.
In the near-future, the value of our everyday financial transactions will be eclipsed by the value of our data itself.
With distributed computing technology, people can donate idle processor time in support of certain causes.
Blockchains can be used as a universal index of content authorship and edits.
Decentralized platforms for content will give more control to the people who originally created it.
Blockchain networks like Ethereum offer new ways to track ownership and licensing for content through smart contracts.
Asset tokenization allows businesses to reduce the friction associated with buying and selling securities to a greater network of investors.
2019 marked the 30th anniversary of the world wide web. Decentralization and collaboration are driving its next iteration.
Identity management systems have seen a gradual evolution from government issued IDs to email providers and social media accounts.
Blockchain is being used to facilitate a new kind of digital citizenship in some countries.
In this section we have outlined key themes within blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.
Municipal managers are investing in new technologies and better policies to protect against attacks.
Big tech companies are standing up departments dedicated to geopolitics.
Interoperability and data portability could eventually lead to new business opportunities and a bigger device ecosystem.
This is an election year, and security experts are warning that our election systems could be vulnerable.
Cities are poised for transformational updates to their technological systems and related infrastructure.
Cybersovereignty refers to a government exerting its control over how the internet is run, who gets access to it, and what can be done with all of the data generated.
Parts of the federal government rely on comically old technology that is vulnerable and very difficult to maintain.
Throughout history, multilateral efforts have resulted in nations working together toward a shared purpose.
A digital dividend would give citizens a cut of the profits derived from their personal data.
Without careful thought and planning today, we could wind up robbed of a valuable currency we helped create.
One of the biggest threats to the continued expansion of our economies is confidence.
Regulators in many countries are planning to take action to limit the reach and powers of the world's largest, most dominant technology companies.
Hospitals are now evolving into centers for innovation in technology as well as healthcare.
Dictating patient notes is a core task in a clinical practice. Artificial intelligence promises faster transcriptions, as well as real-time diagnostic analysis.
Individuals are generating a trove of data that could contribute to their healthcare provider’s patient assessments and subsequent strategies.
The future of healthcare could soon look very different than it does today as Google, Amazon, Apple, IBM, and Microsoft disrupt health and medicine.
Technology companies are getting into the agriculture business.
Artificial intelligence and deep learning now help food manufacturers and farmers determine nutritional deficiency and detect disease.
Using sensors, algorithms, and optimization analytics, farmers can now quantify the progress of every crop.
Climate change is forcing people from their homes and communities, which can undermine a region's economic stability.
Extreme weather events became a more frequent and pronounced worldwide phenomenon in 2017.
Rising sea levels could reshape countries and trigger mass-scale human migration.
We are in a new geological epoch defined by the permanent impact that humans have had on Earth.
Building a better battery has been an elusive challenge for decades—but we could make new headway in the coming years.
A national direct-current macro grid could drastically lower emissions in an affordable way without compromising our access to electricity.
Auto manufacturers are investing $225 billion to electrify their fleets in the next few years.
Renewable energy is collected from sources that can be replenished on a reasonable timescale.
Sustainable technologies are built to reduce the human species' short- and long-term impact on the environment.
Some governments around the world are now relaxing or eliminating rules and regulations designed to mitigate human-caused environmental damage.
Increased demands for power will pose new challenges over the next two decades.
Additive manufacturing allows us to create objects one layer at a time, and we can now do this using different materials.
Climate change could result in new regulations that limit how the cold chain works.
A company’s supply chain and logistics system can greatly impact the environment, human rights, and anti-corruption policies.
5G networks and new autonomous robots and vehicles will help optimize warehouse management.
Smart dust, also known as “microelectromechanical systems” or MEMS, represent a new kind of atomic-level materials engineering.
Some believe that we have moral obligations to our machines, and that, like people, robots should have rights too.
Robots could bring an end to forced labor and lead a new era of ethical manufacturing.
Personal robots and robot butlers, capable of carrying out multiple tasks in domestic and everyday environments, have entered the market.
Quadrupedal robots have four articulated legs and can move around difficult terrain, making them useful tools for inspections and security applications.
A new generation of robots can now self-assemble, merge, split and repair themselves.
Collaborative robots—or cobots—work alongside humans or together with other machines.
Cloud robotics and automation is a field in which physical robots share data and code and perform computations remotely via networks, rather than within their containers alone.
The industrial internet of things (or IIoT) refers to all of the hardware that’s collecting, sharing and using data within industrial settings.
The latest (or fifth) generation of mobile networks, 5G is an upgrade from today’s 4G (or LTE) networks and will offer higher speeds, low or even no latency in data transfer, and the ability for billions of devices to connect to each other.
Digital tools now give government agencies the ability to edit, distort, or outright censor content made by citizens.
Content moderation and policing efforts are being met with resistance from free speech advocates from across the political spectrum.
Publishers and platforms will increasingly need to consider how different expectations of free speech inform their operations.
Newsletters, podcasts and niche networks can captivate and connect with small, loyal audiences.
“Journalism as a Service” lets news organizations sell on-demand access to the components of their reporting, rather than just the finished product.
News organizations must do better at explaining how algorithms and big data shape our world.
Is our content optimized for voice search? And, looking further into the future, how should we index our content for future forms of interaction?
Imagine robots that are pliable and soft to the touch, more like certain biological forms, and can operate in unpredictable environments.
We will soon tell computer systems what tasks we need completed, and they will automatically fabricate new robots for the job.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) enables businesses to automate certain tasks and processes within offices, allowing employees to spend time on higher-value work.
Most robots are designed to work independently or on a factory line, not as part of a team, leaving massive untapped opportunities for the emerging field of swarm robotics.
Everyone has a different idea of how our global information superhighway ought to be regulated, and by whom.
The spread of misinformation will continue until platforms and news organizations adopt norms and standards for accountability and trust.
Limited-run podcasts, newsletters and event series identify engaged readers and help test new ideas.
Whether you call it a subscription, a membership or a donation, we’re living in the age of audience revenue.
Consolidation continues as regulations shift in the U.S. and margins shrink for traditional media companies.
Connected toys and games require data to work properly, and privacy experts are concerned about how children’s data are being collected, used and safeguarded.
Parents, increasingly concerned that their children aren’t getting enough exercise, are looking to toys and games that nudge kids into more active lifestyles.
The most popular video games today have one thing in common: They never end.
eSports is the rapidly growing industry of competitive digital gaming.
Bots are becoming more human and difficult to detect
As hate speech, fake news, and rampant harassment escalate, online platforms and social media sites are increasingly investing in moderation of their platforms.
The platforms that shaped the last decade came out of Silicon Valley; that won’t necessarily be true in the future.
Shame isn’t a new political tactic, but social media has created a supercharged cycle of outrage, boycott and backlash with its own name: “cancel culture.”
Push notifications can be a powerful tool to deliver time-sensitive information, updates, reminders and messages directly to our phones, wearables or connected devices—and they seize our attention in a way that passive or in-app notifications can’t.
Trigger warnings now appear in email subject lines, on social media posts and even in conversation.
Digital Frailty is when digital assets are impermanent or easily compromised by technical glitches.
The attention economy, which spawned listicles and tweet roundups, isn’t as easily measured as previously thought.
Local, state, and national governments are creating a complex patchwork of regulation that assigns internet users (and their data) different rights in different places.
Connected toys collect and use data for interactive experiences.
Elite athletes are using more and more sophisticated tech tools to improve training and performance.
Censorship and free speech play instrumental roles in terms of design, development, and the legal protections afforded to creators and users of technology.
If platform switching is more common than previously thought, it raises the stakes for incumbents trying to defend their market position.
Digital influencers will wield far more influence over consumers than big, recognizable brands by using decentralized platforms.
Investing in cryptocurrencies isn’t for the faint of heart.
Crypto-mining malware pirates processing power on a computer, smartphone, or other connected device to mine cryptocurrencies.
Big banks now use artificial intelligence to automate credit risk modeling.
Some scientists think our next best option is a 1000-year space mission to save future generations from extinction. Their
In January 2019, China became the first country to land a robotic mission on the moon’s far side.
The U.S. announced the launch of a new Space Force in 2019.
Some satellites require fuel, and, as it turns out, fuel is very heavy.