The biggest 4YFN event gathers hundreds of startups, established companies, and investors in Barcelona every year. It’s the startup part of the largest mobile event in the world, Mobile World Congress (MWC). 4YFN is a precious chance to get connected, exchange, and find new venues to work together in the name of innovation.
The 2020 edition regretfully had to be canceled due to the threat of the coronavirus. Nevertheless, the key themes of the event, as well as the companies in the spotlight of the 4YFN Awards, speak tons about the hottest tech trends. Besides being one of the prominent meeting points, 4YFN is a great opportunity to learn about the spirit of innovation – what is going to disrupt and change the way we live and work in the future.
The key themes of 4YFN/MWC20 Barcelona were Health Tech, Fintech, Intelligent Connectivity, Future of Culture, Future Tech, Industry X, and Tech4Good.
Let’s delve into the most vibrant software trends that were outlined before the event, as well as the semi-finalists that were contenders for the 4YFN 2020 Barcelona Awards.
The 4YFN focus on disruptive software trends
What were the most important disruptive trends that 4YFN noted this year? AI, no-code platforms, and 5G connectivity are just some of the top themes.
AI and computer vision
Undoubtedly, the effect of the rapid development of Artificial Intelligence is already being felt across industries. This is especially relevant for one of its top applications – computer vision. It drives the digital transformation processes in hundreds of thousands of companies across the world – from health tech and security to social media and arts.
AI and computer vision are helping businesses increase internal productivity and improve customer relations and engagement. In the meantime, tech giants are acquiring AI companies one after the other. According to a Gartner survey from 2019, this year leading organizations are about to see a twofold increase in AI projects.
Innovations in the finance sector are spreading quickly, and are thus one of 4YFN’s key themes. Alternatives to cash are already popular across the globe and they are changing how markets are functioning. Digital currencies are widely adopted and are creating new ways to operate with finances on a large scale.
Software solutions are also revolutionizing how people handle their finances – from daily expenses to financial plans. One-click payments and virtual assistants are just some of the functionalities that everyone can benefit from.
Low-code and no-code platforms
Creating apps is no longer a priority for software developers only. With the rise of low-code and no-code platforms, the pool of people who can build software solutions is growing exponentially. With no-code, we see the rise of the ‘citizen developer’ – a tech-savvy yet not technically educated professional who can create software with a few clicks.
Low-code and no-code platforms are providing an unseen level of freedom to realize software ideas. Besides giving space for creativity, they also bring ease of use, as well as great cost savings for businesses across industries and sizes. Companies can optimize their IT departments’ productivity and reduce investments in software development. At the same time, they can use functional apps and other software products created with less effort through the low-code and no-code platforms.
Next-level connectivity with 5G
Today’s tech landscape is suggesting a clear paradigm: that connectivity is a human right and not only a privilege saved for some. The rise of 5G will have a huge impact on the mobile industry. This, in turn, has the potential to affect all aspects of how we communicate and operate – in terms of faster connectivity for mobile devices, autonomous driving, and smart cities, among others.
5G networks are steadily being introduced, which has immediate positives for mobile operators in terms of bandwidth and capabilities. They’re also foreseen to have a solid use in the enterprise. The effect for end-users will also come, as 5G mobile devices are rolled out throughout 2020 and beyond.
Parallelly to the rise of the dispersed cloud, we also witness the growth of edge computing. Its principle is to keep data processing, collection, and delivery closer to where it is stored and consumed. This provides great benefits in terms of faster real-time processing without delays.
Thus, edge computing highlights some of the benefits of computing outside of the cloud. Experts see it as a potentially important factor in diverse industries, including manufacturing and retail.
Last but not least, hyper-automation is another major trend that’s bound to change how we work. According to Garner, it’s the combination of machine learning, packaged software, and automation tools with the purpose of executing work.
It all started with Robotic Process Automation (RPA), but hyper-automation goes further than that. It combines diverse other elements, such as business management software, so that the replication of human tasks and work processes become faster and easier. The hyper-automation trend takes work automation to the next stage.
The 12 semi-finalists at 4YFN/MWC20 Barcelona
We’re delighted to share that Open as App was nominated for the 4YFN Barcelona 2020 Awards. Below you can find the profiles of all 12 semi-finalists that competed for the prestigious innovation award. They were announced in December 2019.
Regretfully, no prizes were awarded this year, but the highlights of the awards would have been the following:
- Winner – 25,000€ prize from Mobile World Capital Barcelona Foundation + many other perks
- Finalists – Twilio SendGrid Accelerate Startup Program- Mentoring, Exclusive Content & 1 year of email worth up to $6,000 + more
- Semi-finalists – Twilio SendGrid Accelerate Startup Program- Mentoring, Exclusive Content & 1 year of email worth up to $4,000 + more
Aerial Technologies is a cloud-based home automation system that innovates the way we monitor our homes and safeguards our loved ones who need caring – and much more. Its applications are varied – from eldercare and remote patient monitoring to security, energy management, and home automation.
The solution of Aerial Technologies uses the power of AI and WiFi to revolutionize services. The technology of the Canadian company is based on motion intelligence. It reads the disturbances in the WiFi signal and thus perceives and classifies movement and presence in a certain space without the need for hardware, cameras or wearables. Aerial Technologies can use both cloud and edge architectures, providing greater flexibility.
Anzu.io is on to change how advertising is done in video gaming and esports. The in-game advertising platform transfers and embeds real-world brand ads into the gaming experience. It does so in a non-intrusive way so that it doesn’t disrupt users while they’re playing – something that has always been missing in in-game ads.
Anzu.io is based on programmatic and integrates the advertisements straight into the game. As there are more than 2.6 billion gamers around the world, the platform thus allows advertisers to reach huge, unexplored and hyper-targeted audiences. At the same time, game creators can get more value from their products, while gamers don’t lose the seamless user experience.
Cien.ai is a leading sales productivity app that uses innovative tech to improve the work of sales teams across the globe. It empowers sales representatives to fully achieve their quotas through its AI algorithms.
With the help of Cien.ai, sales teams can put a finger on the intangible factors – such as skills, behaviors and missed opportunities – that hamper quota fulfillment. The platform assesses where hidden revenue goes so that businesses can tap into it.
E-bot7 helps businesses reap the benefits of AI for customer communication. It has turned into the leading AI-powered communication platform, aiming to revamp how companies touch base with their clients.
With e-bot7, communication teams can drastically improve their efficiency. The platform uses pre-trained machine learning algorithms that automate the communication process with customers. This brings immediate effects in terms of cost savings and boosting sales. E-bot7 integrates with the company’s CRM system and helps it combine the use of bots with human agents.
Etoshi is here to tackle the fragmentation in the blockchain ecosystem. It’s a crypto platform that allows handling of trading, wallets, and taxes in a single place, instead of using different solutions. The Madrid-based Etoshi reduces the obstacles to cryptocurrency investments and exchange, bringing a novel, unifying solution to the digital currency field.
Users can trade on more than 25 exchanges and can use three hardware wallets. Etoshi also assists with tax handling, which can be a nightmare when cryptocurrencies are involved.
Exeon is a Swiss digital security company that develops diverse and innovative solutions to counteract cyber attacks, basing them on decades of scientific research. Its tool ExeonTrace uses Big Data and machine learning in order to guarantee companies’ cybersecurity.
Exeon employs cutting-edge security analytics in order to protect business data and networks. It visualizes the relevant network and then uses machine learning algorithms to quickly identify and address threats. The unique approach of ExeonTrace is that it uses the company’s IT hardware as sensors for threat detection.
The Munich-based Build38 is a prominent mobile application security provider. It’s the leader in terms of in-app shielding, monitoring and reaction to threats – and the first one to offer these three capabilities into one. Build38 is used in diverse industries employing apps across the globe, revolutionizing the way businesses ensure their mobile app security.
Its solution Trusted Application Kit (T.A.K) runs the in-app reaction system based on AI. Build38 thus allows companies to counteract attacks and threats with unseen speed – in real-time.
Limbix innovates the way mental health can be provided, bringing in the field the power of digital therapeutics. It employs Virtual Reality in order to help psychologists in their work with patients. Limbix also creates prescription digital therapeutics together with leading scientists in the field – from Stanford University, Harvard University, and Mayo Clinic, among others.
Through the method of exposure therapy, therapists can help patients work over traumatic experience by exposing them to the problematic scenes. Limbix VR Kit allows mental health providers to safely conduct this therapy via VR.
Open as App
Open as App is a revolutionary no-code platform for software building. It allows the creation of apps by people with no coding skills. Through this, Open as App contributes to the rise of the ‘citizen developer’ and the democratization of software creation.
With Open as App, anyone can set up an app from a spreadsheet or a database – no software development skills are required. The platform transforms the data that the user inputs into user-friendly apps, which have a multitude of applications in personal and business management. Open as App allows companies from all venues to make the best of their business data without the need to invest time and money in complicated software building.
The Japanese Paronym‘s TIG solution aims to bring the future of video today. It offers interactive technology that changes the way people can relate to and use videos.
TIG allows users to find videos without having to formulate their search into words. It also boasts video editing and tracking of objects within videos. Consumers can select, say, clothes from a video they’re watching – and obtain online information about these items. For marketers and businesses, TIG provides invaluable customer data about video usage and interaction.
PXL Vision creates cutting-edge tech solutions powered by AI, computer vision, VR and AR. Its focus is on digital identity verification and customer onboarding. PXL Vision is a spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. It enables the creation and validation of trusted digital identities. This is essential in the digital age, where identity security and theft issues are becoming ever more pressing.
With the help of AI and computer vision, PXL Vision automates and enhances identity verification, improving user experience as well as security. Its flagship product is Daego, Digital Alter Ego.
ZecOps is a cybersecurity automation company that uses a novel approach to tackling digital security. The platform learns from attackers’ mistakes in order to prevent their future hits. That’s how it tackles one of the major issues in the digital landscape today – digital records theft that leads to billions in losses.
ZecOps executes an in-depth analysis of attackers’ faux pas and informs the target organization about the threats. It extracts information about infected assets and the overall threat. By doing this, it then provides adequate end-to-end analysis and protection.