Which new technologies should we look out for in 2018 ?

If there is anything that the world runs on, it has to be technology. We wake up to the familiar—and dreaded—ring of the microchip-fitted alarm clock. We work out using smart, calorie counting gym equipment. We communicate using ever-evolving smartphones and computers.Technology has changed — and is still evolving —the way we lead our lives.

Enormous growth in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), among others,show the ongoing potential that technology has to expand and change our lives.Combined with the hard work of engineers and scientists, the technology industry is poised for even further advancement. It can be difficult to stay ahead of the tech curve, let’s see what new technologies we should look out for in 2018.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (AR)will go mainstream. These technologies undoubtedly appeal to the masses as they take the user closer to an enriched reality. Be it gaming or entertainment, virtual and augmented reality are set to achieve true scale to attract many more customers. The example of Pokemon GO in 2016 was just the first of many implementations of AR to have caught the attention of the world. It is very likely that many of the world’s largest brands will invest in AR to enhance their users’ experiences inside and outside their stores.

Internet of Things (IoT)is the in-thing. Throughout each day, we interface and interact via the internet. From smartphones, to wifi-enabled printers and Bluetooth-powered speakers, we are hooked to the web—thanks to miniaturization and ubiquitous sensors. With the presence of such geospatial data from the gadgets we use, technology companies are empowered to optimize and automate systems to eliminate human inefficiencies.BI Intelligence’s report on IoT states that nearly $6 trillion will be spent on IoT solutions in the next five years.

Blockchain is big deal. Blockchain is a way to securely manage user access and information using decentralized databases. The technology is built on the idea of decentralization that fundamentally distributes power and risk evenly across a network. Some startups in this domain are finding innovative ways to optimize industries by replacing intermediary brokers or agents with smart contracts that automatically verify actions without compromising data security. Other companies are driving block-chain adoption by empowering everyday consumers to purchase products and services from the world’s largest online retailers using crypto currencies (Bitcoin, anyone?).

E-commerce can sustain competition and user interest. 2018 may well be the year e-commerce overtakes retail. According to Forrester, 83% of U.S. adults purchased something on Amazon over the last 12 months. Convenience and expanded options make this an attractive channel for users. There are already technological innovations on mobile applications and delivery channels, and cross-channel integration makes e-commerce easy for consumers. With the evolution of programming languages and increasing customer demands, companies are going out of their way to leverage technology and profit from the e-commerce space.

These are just some of the technologies that will gather greater attention in 2018. The most interesting thing to see in 2018 will be what brand-new tech emerges and even further changes the technology landscape and ecosystem. Which technologies are you most excited about in the next year?

Author: Jeff Cousens