Recession, robots, and the operating systems they may be running. Predicting 2020 is really anyone’s guess at this point. Take a look around and you’ll find wild, winding stories we’re navigating throughout the world. Will BREXIT ever happen? Will there be an easing of tariffs leading to an eventual end to “trade wars”? Is the table set for recession? And who is setting that table, and will it be an automaton of some sort that is left to clean it up?

First, my prediction past that has been taking it’s time coming to fruition: the next cyclical, global recession. Some markets are already there, but many of the world’s strongest economies are still holding on, slowing, but still growing. The US Federal Reserve has been pressured to reduce rates this year, the ECB is already way low on that rate with a newly appointed president, and economies as large as China’s are shaky at best. Here in the States, we’re seeing pockets of recession already in logistics. As Trucking struggled and lost jobs earlier this year, warehouse staffing ahead of peak season seems to be off to a slow start. Couple that with retailers already setting up the shortened calendar between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and one must wonder if the supply chain industry knows something the consumer hasn’t yet realized…

Or maybe the warehouse hiring looks slow because the warehouse is changing and help is coming in the form of robots. If so, that may signal a more bullish (positive) view of the economic future. Even if so, cobots aren’t the only cool tech that companies are likely to invest in during 2020. Augmented Reality has been discussed for years, and it’s heating up. We’re going to see more of it, and when you think about it, it really makes sense. As an example, equipping warehouse workers with augmented reality tech helps them perform some tasks faster, but it also does a long way toward building the artificial intelligence information to drive the collaborative robots that will be navigating warehouses in years ahead.

Robots in a different form may start taking to the skies in the coming year. Earlier this year, UPS received certification for its drone delivery business. While it’s still a long road before we’re seeing drones swirling overhead, we’re likely to read about more pilot programs (see what I did there?).

Finally, 2020 is the last full calendar year for any legacy Windows mobile operating systems. We’ve been talking about it for years, but in January 2020 Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 reaches end of support, leaving the April 2021 date for Windows Embedded Compact 7 end of support as the last mile of this platform’s sunset. Windows 10 is seeing play in the supply chain – particularly in fixed-mounted terminals such as forklift and vehicle computers. With the legacy platform all but gone, 2020 may be the year the market shows where else Windows 10 plays in a dual superpower world alongside Android.

In closing this post, I take a moment to thank you all who read and follow me and all of our Ivanti blog authors. We aim to both educate and entertain. On a personal note, I wish you all a strong peak season, peaceful time and good health to you and your families. Be of good cheer!