May 31, 2019

Top Technology Trends Uncovered at Webit.Festival 2019 [Videos]


I recently attended Webit.Festival 2019 – one of the largest innovation and tech flagship forums in Europe. I met many industry and innovation experts who shared insights upon the latest technology trends that drive the digital revolution forward. According to the official statistics the summit was attended by more than 15 000 people from 120 countries around the world. It hosted 450 speakers, creating over 120 hours of content.

In this article, I am revealing these technology trends and Webit speakers that, in my opinion, are worth remembering and sharing with other technology enthusiasts.

1) The Future of Healthcare: Prevention and Personalized Experience

It was one of the most inspiring talks about the future of Healthcare I’ve ever seen. Daniel Kraft is a Stanford and Harvard trained physician-scientist, inventor, entrepreneur, and innovator. He is an Executive Director of Exponential Medicine, a program that explores convergent, rapidly developing technologies and their potential in biomedicine and healthcare. Find out a plenty of technology trends and devices that are shaping the future of medicine in the video below:

The transformation from sick care to proactive and preventive healthcare is already happening. In the next few years, about 3 billion more people will gain Internet access. It will significantly contribute to the exponential boom of the amount of the data that has been shared globally. Prescriptive analytics make it possible to leverage these data sources and drive behavioral change in the healthcare industry.

With the exponential evolution of technology and IoT the mobile phones will become FDA-approved medical devices. We’ll be able to practice healthcare anytime, anywhere even for much lower cost with much better impact.

Numerous healthcare devices and sensors will enable us to monitor and track our daily activity and pick up early sings of diseases. Innovative devices such as SCiO can quantify the intake of food and supplementation. It means that people will be able to take advices from their own digital nutritionists.

“We don’t want to digitize our current system. We need to reimagine it in whole dramatic ways. What is most important is not the technology. It’s the mindset.

It’s not about human vs. robot. It’s not about doctors vs. artificial intelligence. I think it’s going to be the artificial intelligence won’t replace a doctor but a doctor using AI will replace those who don’t.”

Dr. Daniel Kraft | Singularity University

Technologies like virtual reality, artificial intelligence, synthetic medicine, and 3d printing will help us overcome common challenges in the healthcare industry. Rising costs, aging population, limited access to healthcare in some regions, the shortage of doctors and nurses and many more will be handled more easily.

Virtual reality in healthcare has already been used to redefine the physical therapy and help patient have fun and relieve stress during their stay at the hospital.

3d printing is another technology trend moving exponentially. Soon people will be able to print prosthetics, hearing AIDs, organs, braces and many more. Imagine a personalized polypill that is based on your genetics?

One of the major healthcare trends that transforms the whole industry is personalization of the healthcare experience. One might say personal care or personal health care. By monitoring our genome, blood sugar levels and other vital signs, we will be able to personalize our diets efficiently, predict what drugs work best for us, and understand diseases at the genetic level. For example, predictive analytics has been leveraged by DeepMind Health to predict the risk of certain disease developing in our bodies. Below is an example of accelerated detection and direct notification vs. delayed detection of high risk blood test.

A timeline illustration of the difference between accelerated detection and direct notification and delayed detection of high risk blood test in Healthcare.


2) Blockchain is Dead. Long Live the Blockchain.

Blockchain technology has been one of the hottest topics for the past few years now. Decentralized internet, cryptocurrency, smart contracts, distributed cloud storage, these are some of many domains of application the blockchain technology has been related to. Therefore, there is a big diversity of opinion upon it. I believe the panel session below will light up your perception of blockchain technology as a game-changer in the digital revolution.

“Blockchain gives you the ability to establish almost mechanical trust without needing to trust individuals and this reimagining of how we can go about living lives engaging in transactions and building things we can’t even imagine now.”

Marc Taverner | Global Ambassador & Market Development | Bitfury

“The barrier to Blockchain adoption at Enterprise is not technical. It is purely human trying to understand a new paradigm of how to work with the decentralized technology and with it being centralized “How to work with your competitors to raise overall standards within an industry.”

Jon Walsh | Blockchain Partner

3) One for All and All for the FinTech Industry

One of the main reasons to attend Webit.Festival 2019 was to find the answer of some questions related to the FinTech industry. I was wondering how much all the players in the financial industry collaborate with each other, despite their competition, in order to turn the traditional financial services into a reliable customer experience nowadays.

I was pleased by the one of the FinTech session panels which not only gave me the answer to this question, but also to those below.

  • Who are the main players in the FinTech revolution?
  • How can advanced FinTech solutions solve financial problems in bankless regions like Africa and Latin America?
  • Why an expensive payment method like PayPal has been preferred by many merchants?

Curious to know the answers? Then you need to watch this discussion about the latest FinTech trends.

“Fraud is a big issue. We work for an airline in Africa. 50% of their online sales were fraud. So every second ticket that customers were buying was fraudulent.”

Samee Zafar | Director | Edgar, Dunn & Company


“Our own strategy is to transform every device into a payment device. We are not fully there yet, but we are on the way to get there.

When it comes to eCommerce, which is the fastest growing part of the retail today, there is a host of new technologies which are going to make that not only quicker in terms of your checkout process, but also more seamless for the consumer in a more secure way. So when it comes to seamless payments, if they are seamless but the consumer does not get a perception of security, then they are seamless for nothing.”

Gabriel Ghita | Business Development Manager CEE Mastercard

4) Quantum Computing to Boost Artificial Intelligence

One Webit.Festival 2019 talk that impressed me a lot was “Introduction to Quantum Computing” by Bo Ewald, President of D-Wave Systems. The company is the first one to provide real-time quantum cloud services and the first commercial supplier of quantum computers.

I do believe that quantum computers will be able to perform certain tasks much more efficiently than classical computers in the near future. Their capabilities can help us fight the climate change, cure diseases, optimize traffic in the large cities, improve global financial markets and many, many more. Quantum computing will definitely boost artificial intelligence to extremely intellectual levels.

Here is a small piece of Bo’s mind:

“With Quantum devices we’re going to be able to create better timing, and then we’re going to be able to very accurately know what our positions is anywhere in the galaxy. So over time we won’t have to use the GPS satellites to know where we are and what time it is. Basically, what we have to do with digital computing and quantum computing is marry a technology with a system architecture.

On the communication side, quantum communication will also enable us to send communications without it being able to be read by others. The quantum sensing may take the longest period of time, but we believe that with quantum technologies we’ll be able to design better radars, sensors for airports, scanners, devices to enable us to look at biological samples.”

Bo Ewald | President | D-Wave Systems

Watch the entire video to get familiar with Mr. Ewald’s latest findings.

5) Artificial Intelligence as a Driver of the Next Industrial Revolution

To me personally, Webit.Festival 2019 was a great opportunity to keep up with the latest trends in artificial intelligence. For instance, I was surprised to find out that artificial intelligence analyzes gravitational lenses 10 million times faster than humans or that AI can do the equivalent of what humans can do in one third of a second versus six months.

Watch the whole keynote by Keith Strier, Key Partner at EY, to find out more examples and latest perceptions of AI.

I was also impressed by the fact that Canada was the first country in the world to implement an AI strategy on a country level by developing one of the largest AI ecosystems worldwide. According to the study conducted by Tim Dutton, as of December 2018, 17 more countries have officially announced their national AI strategies. Read more about all Artificial Intelligence strategies here.

“AI is a form of automation. In fact, artificial intelligence is the automation of automation. But not all forms of automation have AI. Artificial Intelligence is a code, but also a capability. It is an opportunity to gain a strategic advantage.

AI is not really IT. It is not implemented, it is applied. IT is predictable, with protocols and standards.

Kung Fu refers to the ability to master a skill. It is the ability to apply yourself and become the best at anything. What AI is enabling us to do is do develop Kung Fu like skills on anything. But instead of taking a lifetime or eight years to get your black belt, these systems will master these skills in days, hours.”

Keith Strier | Key Partner | EY

A timeline illustration of artificial intelligence country strategies adopted by 2018.

Source: An overview of National AI strategies, Tim Dutton,

6) Drone Revolution: From Traditional Geospatial Data Mapping to Automatically Generated 3D models

Another technology trend that was exposed at Webit.Festival 2019 was the drone revolution. I watched a demo of a spectacular invention called eBee.

It is a professional mapping drone produced by senseFly, a swiss-based company. The drone autonomously takes multiple images of the same area, but from different angles. Then a mapper software correlates the images that has been taken by the drone to construct the final 3D model.

Such technology brings value in many aspects for many industries. Here are just a couple of benefits:

  • Prevent disasters – by predicting volcano eruptions or the route of a potential flood
  • Mining industry – explore how and where to mine next
  • Surveying industry – Plan the construction of highways and high-speed railroads
  • Agriculture industry – it helps agriculture companies know whether their plants are growing well and spray less chemicals

“The drone helps engineers achieve absolute accuracy of down to 3 centimeters.

It could take only 10 to 15 minutes to map a small village.

Our drones have revolutionized the way GIS and mapping works, because everything has become much safer and much more efficient.”

Jean-Thomas Celette | Managing Director | senseFly

7) Industry 4.0 is an Opportunity to Redefine Possibilities

It was yet another exciting talk by Jessica Jones. She is a Welsh multi-award-winning Engineer and Astrophysicist, currently responsible for developing the next generation of manufacturing platform at the Sony UK Technology Centre.

“Industry 4.0 requires people with broader skills and reforms that see employers come together to redefine the future of work. Those employers are supposed to create standards that employees should be train to in order to improve the overall organizational capability and become more responsive to change.

Automation will replace tasks in our day-to-day jobs. A research suggests the automation in manufacturing will have a net positive increase on employment. It will create more jobs than it replaces. It’s just the types of jobs it creates will be different to those before. They will be different in many ways. They will typically provide higher value, require higher skill set and therefore will be highly paid.

We shouldn’t be afraid of technology. Technology is an enabler and the fantastic thing about it is it’s allowing people to be more human. It’s giving people the opportunity to do things that humans are supposed to do, not the boring repetitive stuff.”

Jessica Jones | Engineering and Operations | Sony UK

8) Cyber Security

Cyber security was a main focus in a lot of talks at Webit.Fesitval 2019. In fact, it takes the second most common topic after artificial intelligence. From all these I would highlight the cyber security keynote by Fernando Martinho, Co-Founder & CTO of Naoris, and the one about the Charter of Trust by Natalia Oropeza, Chief Cyber Security Officer of Siemens. Enjoy them.

How Cyber Security and Blockchain complete each other?

Typically, blockchain can be tailored to accommodate various types of data, and many industries are exploring blockchain solutions to enhance efficiency, streamline cumbersome or fragmented business processes, and develop trust between counter parties based on the integrity of the technology.

However, there are a lot of divergent views when it comes to the relationship between blockchain and cyber security. Some blockchain experts claim that thanks to the decentralized nature of blockchain technology, hackers no longer have a single point of entry, nor can they access entire repositories of data, while others find and explore blockchain weaknesses.

That is why I believe it will be interesting for you to watch Fernando Martinho’s presentation at Webit.Festival 2019. As a Co-Founder and CTO of Naoris, he claims that it is the world’s first holistic blockchain-based cyber security ecosystem.

“An audit in Pentagon weapons in October 2018 found that password is “password” in a lot of systems and that is a major risk for any security.

A lot of people think blockchain solves your problem in terms of cyber security. But, no, there are a lot of endpoint vulnerabilities, public and private cyber security issues, as well as weak and flawed algorithms.”

Fernando Martinho | Naoris | Co-Founder & CTO

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is expanding the Charter of Trust’s reach into Asia

On February 19, 2019, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) signed a letter of intent to join the Charter of Trust for cyber security in Tokyo, expanding the Charter’s reach into Asia. The company is expected become a member by the end of September 2019. MHI will be the first Asian company to join the global cyber security initiative.

The Charter of Trust was created at the Munich Security Conference 2018 when Siemens and eight partners signed the first joint charter for better cyber security. Since then, the Charter of Trust has grown to 16 members. In includes companies like IBM, Deutsche Telekom, Airbus, Daimler, Allianz, Cisco, Daimler, Dell Technologies, Atos, and more.

The Charter contains ten principles to strengthen cyber security and make the digital world more secure and also sets three important goals:

  • Protect the data of individuals and companies
  • prevent damage to people, companies, and infrastructures
  • create a reliable foundation for instilling trust in a networked, digital world.

9) Payments at the Intersection of Change

Bill Gajda is the Global Head of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, responsible for VISA’s Innovation programs and activities in Europe and CEMEA. He talked about VISA’s journey through innovation and the unprecedented amount of the change in the payments and the commerce industry.

“The ubiquity of mobile devices, tablets, smart devices, Amazon echoes, AR, VR and Blockchain have put more control and more expectations in consumers hands than ever before. We’ve got to completely change the way we think about payments. I mean at its core regardless of all these changes security is at the center.

The good news is every mode of payment is more secure than the last one. Chip was better than mag stripe. Contactless is better than chip. What we are doing now using mobile location, device ID and biometrics is better than the first technologies on phone and so can security continue to get better as we innovate with payments.”

Bill Gajda | Global Head of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships | VISA

My Experience at Webit.Festival 2019 in a Nutshell

Webit.Festival 2019 was an awesome experience. I had the chance to meet industry experts, technology enthusiasts, innovators, and dreamers, whose eyes were full of passion about innovation and digital transformation.

My curiosity about the latest technology trends that drive humanity forward was satisfied and I am more than happy to share the most exciting moments with you. I believe it was helpful and remember that when it comes to innovation and digital transformation, you can always reach out to me by dropping a message in the contact form below.

P.S. Webit talks and demos worth watching that didn’t make my top list:


Veselin Kirev | Digital Marketing Manager | ScaleFocus