While our predictions may often fall short, it’s always interesting to think of how technology will develop over the next few years. We may greatly over- or underestimate when and how the next technological leap will occur; however, a more accurate barometer of where tech is and where it is heading can be observed by looking at the Big Four in technology.

When people think of the biggest companies in the world in the tech sector, of course they think of Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon. But, to what extent will these companies continue to shape how we view technology and what comes next in our continuing tech revolution?

The Big Four dominate tech

When we think of emerging technology that will dominate in the future, we often think of smart devices, of virtual reality, and live streaming. But rarely do we consider that, in fact, the technology of tomorrow is controlled in part by the Big Four. Indeed, Amazon acquired live-streaming giant Twitch in 2014 for $970 million, Facebook acquired VR developers Oculus Rift in 2014 for $2 billion, and Google acquired smart device developers Nest Labs in 2014 for $3.2 billion. While this may seem reductionist in terms of such a select few having such control over where technology is heading, it actually opens it up for a wider range of people to have their say. While the Big Four tech companies are able to acquire companies and run them, it also opens the opportunities for regular people to have control over their direction. Indeed, anyone can make use of platforms and apps to use a contract for difference (CFD) to speculate on financial markets for which you won’t own the underlying assets. Using CFDs to trade on the Big Four can indicate which direction tech may be taking in the future and can also inform on which companies might be the market leaders.  

Where will the Big Four take us?

By studying the Big Four’s acquisitions, we can see which areas of technology may be developed upon in the future. Machine learning and AI technology clearly dominate, and most experts predict that as our abilities with machine learning grow, we will be able to see a huge impact, from ride sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft to Google Maps amalgamating anonymous information to monitor the flow of traffic to the machine learning that goes on in your email inbox to filter out the spam. Almost all of the Big Four have had a hand in machine learning and are looking to develop their reach here. The most expansive was the purchase by Google of DeepMind Technologies. But, the second biggest tech advancement is also connected to machine learning and AI: search. Voice search often bumps it to the top of emerging tech lists and is even threatening the huge SEO industry by changing how algorithms should work with the rise of Google Home, Alexa and Siri. Monitoring what the Big Four do can inform us of what technology to invest in and develop.

The Big Four are a useful benchmark in technology. Acquisitions some years ago have informed where technology will be heading in the near future, so they are useful to watch in order to see what the next big development will be. This is useful for those who want to get involved with technology as it grows and be best primed to take advantage of where it takes us.

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