back to article Gartner's Great Vanishing: Some of 2017's emerging techs just disappeared

There's been a tragedy on the fields of emerging technology and nobody seems to have noticed. Once-promising trends that were toiling for recognition a year ago have simply vanished. Where have they gone? Let us explain. Every year Gartner publishes its annual "Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle". For two decades this has …

  1. BugabooSue

    I wish Gartner would Vanish!

    Even if they do provide me with much humour at just how many times they get their predictions wrong.

    Talking about historical events should be OK. Right?

    1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Re: I wish Gartner would Vanish!

      My naive understanding is that InvestmentDecision = !GartnerPrediction was a fairly sound model.

      It's not intended to be taken literally, it's pretty much investment satire. :)

      1. BillG Silver badge

        Re: I wish Gartner would Vanish!

        Edge Computing is alive and well.

        Anyone remember Dataquest Dataguess? They reached peak entertainment value in the mid-90's when a map of the USA in one of their reports put Detroit squarely in Tennessee.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: I wish Gartner would Vanish!

          Edge Computing is alive and well.

          So is Machine Learning, for one. Presumably things can disappear from the Emerging Tech report because they have, in fact, emerged, and are now lounging about comfortably in deck chairs, having decided to skip the other stages.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: I wish Gartner would Vanish!

            To be fair, both edge computing and machine learning haven't exactly been emergent technology since the 1960s. I think they've earned their retirement deck chairs.

    2. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: I wish Gartner would Vanish!

      That would be self-destructing prognosticator technology. It'll probably show up next year or the year after as a yellow triangle in the extreme lower left of the chart.

  2. Locky Silver badge

    BS Bingo

    Too many CIO's have their snouts in the Trough of Disillusionment I fear.

    Most of these projects have been sent to the Abattoir of Ambiguity to be turned into the Bacon of BOFH

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: BS Bingo

      It's all just a night down the pub

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    climb the "Peak of Inflated Expectations" before falling into the Slough of Despond, or as Gartner calls it, the "Trough of Disillusionment". There, after shaking off the Mud of Mockery or the Dust of Derision

    I'm sorry, I haven't a clue.

  4. John Styles

    Shouldn't that be Grindr hacking not grinder hacking?

    1. jake Silver badge

      For those who don't know ...

      ... "grinder" is a subset of "hacker" (the original meaning of hacker, not the corrupt, perverted version much (ab)used by the mass media). Look it up if you're curious.

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    advancing nearer reality – but still "more than 10 years away"

    Stuff can be 10 years away for decades.

    And what happened to "serverless"? Gone TITSUP? [Tottering into total silence under pressure]

    1. jake Silver badge

      What happened to "serverless"?

      Simples ... people have figured out that they really mean "cloud", which really means "centralized computing" which really means "service bureau", which really means "all your compute belong to us". The term has evaporated as non-essential, outside marketing and sales departments. Folks with a clue use it as a flag to indicate the perpetually clueless.

      Remember kiddies, The Network Is Not The Computer.

      1. BillG Silver badge

        Re: What happened to "serverless"?

        Remember "Thin Clients"? It was all the rage with college grads who bragged it would be the best thing since sliced bread.

        Unfortunately us old farts had to remind them that it was another name for "mainframe".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What happened to "serverless"?

          Or another name for "single point of failure"....e.g. Citrix.

  6. DavCrav Silver badge

    I think more appropriate is the Plane of Bullshit. On the x-axis is the amount of hype, and on the y-axis is the amount of actual real stuff being done with it. As time moves on, each concept plots a trajectory on the Plane of Bullshit. Each concept traces out a different route, but there will be some clustering, common paths that ideas take. One such path is the Pure Bullshit, or All Talk No Trousers. This is a horizontal path starting bottom left, move to bottom right, then back again.

    Gartner's idea has some merit, but it's a 3-d graph, not a 2d one.

    1. SVV Silver badge

      No, it's a 4D graph, you print it off on your 4D printer. Because that is now a thing.

      1. Lith

        Of course is it.

        The 4 dimensions are as follows:

        1 up/down

        2 left/right

        3 forwards/backwards

        4 moonwalk

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          No the 4 dimensions are actually:

          1. Sunshine

          2. Moonlight

          3. Good Times

          4. Boogie

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      That's actually the magic quadrant. If you fold up the magic quadrant you get one of these.

      And that's what Gartner uses to plot emerging trends.

  7. DJV Silver badge


    "The Hype Cycle has been criticised for bearing only a tenuous relationship with reality"

    Gartner have never ever troubled themselves with reality.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. vtcodger Silver badge

    4D Printing

    Might not it be a good idea to get 2D printing to actually work reliably before upping the ante?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 4D Printing

      4D printing, obviously, creates 3D objects which are animated. That would be quite impressive.

      Unless they mean it like "4D cinema", in which case, it squirts water in your face and blows air up your trousers.

      1. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: 4D Printing

        That's disappointing. I was hoping that dimension 4 was time and that 4D printers printed materials before one needed them instead of hours, days, weeks or months after they are required.

      2. eldakka Silver badge

        Re: 4D Printing

        Unless they mean it like "4D cinema", in which case, it squirts water in your face and blows air up your trousers.

        Well it's certainly blowing smoke up our arses.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: 4D Printing

      I'm sure 4D printing is a thing the BOfH came up with to befuddle his buffoon of a boss before buggering off for beers and bhajis.

      So I think Gartner have been pranked by a 1st April press release. But of course they'll never admit the mistake - it'll just diappear again either next year, or the one after.

      Although I'm prepared to believe that current printers have achieved self-awareness and control of time. But clearly not in order to help humanity. They're probably being controlled by a capricious GCU in orbit around one of the gas giants. Just waiting to see if we get the hint.

      1. Joe W

        Re: 4D Printing

        @!(Spartacus) ;-p

        nice use of alliteration - let me guess: "natural to a poet" ;)

    3. Notas Badoff

      Re: 4D Printing

      World's first-ever 4D printing for ceramics

      The 4th dimension is indeed time, or rather, time and heat or time and stretching. Print, then cause the final shape to (cough) unfold.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: 4D Printing

        Think a life raft that stores as a plank to save space and expands into a boat when in contact with salt water. When in contact with fresh water, it turns into a swimming pool. When in contact with raw sewage, it expands into a Capitol building.

      2. Joe W

        Re: 4D Printing

        @Notas Badoff: That is actually cool stuff!

        (but I was also really confused about the 4d aspect of printing - I would not call this 4d, unless parts of it fold away into another dimension that cannot be seen and we just see a 3d projection of a true 4d object.

        I think time should not count, just look at the metric. Time is really the odd one out.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: 4D Printing

          Then perhaps it should be clarified that all dimensions need to be SPATIAL dimensions (this locks out time, a TEMPORAL dimension). Meaning it's not a 4-spatial-dimension printer unless it can produce a hypercube or tesseract.

  9. steviebuk Silver badge

    I could be wrong but...

    ...weren't Gartner the ones that said Equifax were amazing.

    I wouldn't listen to a bullshit word they had to say.

  10. colinb

    Just means

    Even Gartner can't be bothered to check what they said last year.

    I quite like the fact they exist, everytime someone in a meeting mentions the Gartner Quadrant, Circle or Insight they lose a point in the 'Do they have a clue or not' game.

    but nevermind that, where's LESTER on this chart? the Vat of Joy?

  11. Chris Miller

    Where did all those Emergent Trends go? Have they passed through the Plateau, or just passed on?

    I reckon they've just Sublimed.

  12. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    Gartner continue to prove themselves...

    ... derision proof.

  13. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Hype for PHBs

    All this is useful for is to get the eyeballs of the local PHB who will then announce to his overworked staff this year's new hot priority; a priority that will fail miserably as there is business justification for it.

  14. steelpillow Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Slide of oblivion

    It's actually a quite sensible idea to graph all this year's ridiculous buzzwords so ignorant execs and investors can see where the gravy lies.

    But that also needs a second path out of the trough for all those buzzwords that underwent a reality check and got tipped down the slide of oblivion.

  15. fidodogbreath Silver badge


    The Hype Cycle Gartner has been criticised for bearing only a tenuous relationship with reality.


  16. jake Silver badge

    "They can't regress and then re-emerge"

    Except anything to do with so-called "AI", of course.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gideon Gartner (founder) excelled at the french horn apparently, if he had also been a urologist it would have summed his company up wonderfully, full of piss and wind.

  18. TechYogJosh

    All hate comments mean Gartner matters

    Looks like people got a free day to vent their ire against Gartner. Like it or not, people do care about what Gartner says, at least people who matter. Folks, possibly like in these comments, who are busy in nut bolts of IT, and are largely irrelevant in bigger scheme of things, may crib about Gartner, criticize them, ridicule them, the truth is you write so much about someone only when that someone matters. So believe or not, your saying so many things about Gartner implies you also know they matter.

  19. Multivac

    Gartner buzz word bingo

    The only way to get through your CIO's quarterly lecture!

  20. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    "are expected to reach the plateau in the next two to five years"

    The way things are going, this must be the fschking Plateau of Leng.

    Anyone have a Yellow Sign?

    Twitter or Facebook Blue can do too. Maybe. It depends on the mood of the Ancients.

  21. herman Silver badge


    Obviously the trough of disillusionment has a big drain that ideas go down in.

  22. mevets

    Have I been asleep that long?

    How did Gartner acquire a sense of humour? I hope The Reg helped them to learn something of the art of humility; now if only Wired could get its head out of its backside...

  23. tiggity Silver badge


    I would expect them to disappear from emergent tech .. they are mainstream items now, my rule of thumb is when Lidl / Aldi have them on their weekly specials then they are 100% mainstream (e.g. night vision kit years ago)

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