New technologies are catalysts for change, offering extraordinary new businesses capabilities. Distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence, extended reality and quantum computing—or what Accenture calls DARQ—will be the next set of new technologies to spark a step change, letting businesses reimagine entire industries. This blog introduces DARQ Power, which is one of the five trends explored in Accenture Technology Vision 2019.
I love going to the movies! I especially love imagining what movies will be like in the post-digital era. In the reimagined future of the entertainment industry, people will actively participate inside multi-player, interactive movies.
Through DARQ technologies, we will be immersed inside fictional worlds through virtual reality (VR) and “act” alongside human-like artificial intelligence (AI) avatars, who will anticipate and respond to the participant’s choices, and help us learn about the actors or the movie itself.
What’s more, payment and digital rights management to distribute and access movies in the future will be an invisible process through distributed ledger technology. Payment for a specific movie may also be based on emotion recognition technology captured in the theater using cameras—the more people laugh or cry, for example, the more they will pay.
Powered by DARQ technologies
As described in the DARQ Power trend in the Accenture Technology Vision 2019, our annual tech trend report, companies in various industries are beginning to explore and take steps toward building highly customized experiences like the movie example above using four emerging technologies—distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence, extended reality and quantum computing—or DARQ.
As each of these technologies reaches maturity, businesses will use them individually—or better yet in combination—to identify and deliver "individualized, in-the-moment” experiences in the post-digital era. This will not only create new value, but also become the norm that shapes people’s very lives!
DNA of DARQ
Distributed ledgers (a category of technologies that includes blockchain) will expand networks by eliminating the need for trusted third parties.
Artificial intelligence (AI) already plays a critical role in optimizing processes and influencing strategic decision-making with much more to come as companies actively apply AI across the business.
Extended Reality, an immersive technology that includes augmented reality and virtual reality, creates entirely new ways for people to experience and engage with the world around them.
Quantum computing represents a new processing paradigm with novel ways to approach and solve the hardest computational problems.
Leading companies are already gaining expertise with early-stage tests and pilots, forming key partnerships and building up DARQ capabilities.
Case in point, Volkswagen has used quantum computing to test traffic flow optimization, as well as to simulate the chemical structure of batteries, hoping to accelerate battery development.i,ii The company also teamed with Nvidia to add AI capabilities to future models.iii
In addition, Volkswagen is testing distributed ledgers with an eye to protecting cars from hackers, facilitating automatic payments at gas stations, creating tamper-proof odometers, and more.iv And the carmaker provides step-by-step augmented reality instructions to help service employees repair vehicles.v
As the DARQ technologies mature, this experience will provide the tools the company needs to weave together solutions creatively and strategically—to solve new kinds of problems or attack existing problems in new ways.
Next steps for DARQ
To lead in the post-digital era, I encourage you to begin exploring the possibilities of DARQ now. Invest strategically to build new capabilities and use your digital foundations to launch DARQ pilots. To get started, here are some things to consider:
Is your company’s digital foundation ready for DARQ? How will you access the relevant DARQ technologies? How are you adding DARQ skillsets to your current workforce? How can you use DARQ to shape the future of your industry?
To learn more about this IT trend:
Read the Accenture Technology Vision 2019 overview and trend highlights
Share your thoughts at #techvision2019
Contact us now to put these innovation-led ideas to work in your enterprise.
Advancing R&D across the board
In addition to Tech Vision, Accenture Labs is pushing farther and going bolder to build the future. This includes pursuing applied R&D in all four of the DARQ technology areas and helping Accenture deliver cutting-edge innovations to clients. Examples include:
Distributed ledger technology—Enabling connected ecosystems through blockchain integration: Accenture introduced an integration solution that establishes a trusted "interoperability” node between multiple competing distributed ledger technology (DLT) platforms. This node is given the appropriate identity and access control capabilities to all in-scope DLT systems without introducing operational messaging between DLT platforms. This makes it easier for companies to pick one system now, knowing they will have the ability to interoperate with other DLT systems as needed.
Artificial intelligence—Labs is building the path to artificial general intelligence (AGI) future: As described in this blog, Accenture Labs is laying the groundwork that will allow AGI to be successful at scale and developing applications that will provide some of the core capabilities to make AGI a reality, like reinforcement learning, transfer learning and common frameworks underpinned with knowledge graphs.
Extended reality—Accenture launched the mobile VR Merchandising with eye tracking project at CES 2019: The Accenture Extended Reality (XR) pilot solution, created in collaboration with our clients Qualcomm (a member of the XR ecosystem) and Kellogg’s, is designed to help retail and brand clients optimize product placement and assortment in-store and on-shelf with the added benefit of eye-tracking analytics to discern shoppers’ behavior around what they are looking at, for how long and why.
Quantum Computing—Accenture was awarded a US patent for a “multi-state quantum optimization engine” that integrates both classical and quantum computing devices, allowing organizations to run simulations at a massive scale to identify a broader range of solutions to business challenges and determine best possible outcomes. Clients can apply the engine to solving optimization tasks from a wide range of applications, such as machine learning, information security, pattern recognition, image analysis and bioinformatics.
To learn more about our applied R&D work, visit Accenture Labs.
iKorbelová, M. Volkswagen Tests Quantum Computing for Traffic Flow Optimization. (2017, March 21). Euro Logistics portal.
iiVolkswagen Tests Quantum Computing in Battery Research. (2018, June 7). Volkswagen AG website.
iiiEdelstein, S. (2018, January 8). Volkswagen and Nvidia Partner on AI. Digital Trends.
ivBlockchain Systems at Volkswagen AG. Volkswagen AG website.
vVirtual Technologies. Volkswagen AG website.