2017 was a big year for every crypto lover and critic; we experienced a serious pump like never before when bitcoin got its all high of $20,000 in December. One can admit that 2017 was majorly on bitcoins and fast raising altcoins. However, the year 2018 came with a lot of “goodies” to talk about, and it is not just about cryptocurrencies.
We are catching up to the future, and the journey so far is pretty exciting no doubt. From the annual international trade show and other industry events following back to back, with Gitex, Mobile World Congress, ITExpo, as well as Techspo, already gave us clues of what 2018 means for the tech world.
Nonetheless, past trends there have been a couple of glitches in past years hit products such as streaming media, DVD player, and even iPhone. Although, 3D tried to make a comeback and it was accepted as the future of TVs and movies. Unfortunately, only a handful of viewers are using the glasses.
To be able to predict the future or know what will be the next big thing is in the tech industry is to look for innovative technology that actually solves problems. What is the use of creating an excellent tool that does not resolve or bridge the gap?
Furthermore, tech innovation can be in different forms, the list below addresses the demands of users and the needs of businesses, and how it makes life better.
You do not expect to read top trending technology articles and not read about cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency also referred to as virtual or digital money has been in the spotlight for a while now, especially at the end of 2017, thanks to the meteoric rise of bitcoin.
Nevertheless, cryptocurrency is not all about bitcoin; bitcoin is only of the top alternatives to conventional cash. Although the crypto world is yet to recover from the dip, but it is one of the top trending techs this year.
According to an associate professor in the computer science department at the University of Mary Land, Jim Purtilo, “We now have something like 1,200 different [digital currency] products out there, and more every day.”
He further added that “This tells me we’re in for a ‘trough of disillusionment,’ as more people look into this but without the perspective to figure out when they are getting value or even to tell when the products work,”
The blurry aspect of these technologies is not as untraceable as we may think, but that probably will not shake those intents on investing in the digital money.
Purtilo stated that, “there is amazing promise in algorithm; however, the crypto markets have several shakeouts to overcome before the promise is realized,” he added, “We’ll see some of that shakeout in the coming year before some smart innovator can blend ingredients for the right secret sauce that everyone likes.”
2. Artificial Intelligence
Contrary to popular belief or I dare say, Hollywood’s belief, it is laudable to think that machines will rise up against their creators-humans in 2018, we are halfway through with the year and still waiting to hear anything machine gone rogue.
However, it is possible for artificial intelligence will get smarter and probably take on new roles.
Just as Josh Crandall (Principal analyst at Netpop Research) rightly said, “there is no stopping machine learning and artificial intelligence” “Humans will feed the machines) he further said.
Furthermore, the era of AI and ML is not yet getting to a stop, as a matter of fact, it will dig deeper into our lives and impact several manual processes. Look around you; we are in the era of online marketing and digital media; therefore, the growth of Artificial Intelligence is inevitable.
However, extensive publicity may overshadow reality concerning the actual capabilities of computers, and many artificial intelligence advances may be evident only behind the scene. Purtilo suggested that artificial intelligence is going to outperform robotics in the public’s eyes when we discuss workforce and automation policies.
He further stated that it is a little artificial as a distinction since robotics has been seen as an artificial intelligence thing, but Artificial Intelligence’s increasing power will also broaden the discussion.
Purtilo also predicted that the year 2018, it will not be a mere entry-level worker in a fast food chain losing jobs to a burger-flipping robot, it will be financial services advisors and law clerks losing jobs to deep learning algorithms.
To get to that stage, it means companies may need to depend on customers to give the raw data points that will be required to enhance such systems.
Crandall also cited that “it will be a frustrating year as these assistive technologies that are not quite helpful yet offer recommendations and suggestions that do not provide the solutions we are looking for but do not fret, the technologies will continue to improve and become more personalized.”
Wearables are another fantastic trend that has been on edge, and 2018-2019 will be the year that wearables devices will go mainstream, although they may need more sophisticated designs for wearables to be fully accepted.
Charles King (PundIT’s principal analyst) said: “the present form factors are simply too limited to justify what continue to be premium prices for smartwatches and high-end fitness trackers.”
Furthermore, the development could need a shift away from the wired devices, such as Bluetooth-enables speakers and headphones or, earbuds for smartphones.
King suggested that it could also indicate the rise of other wireless peripherals that influence smartphone brains for enhanced functions and services.” Living in Digital Times producer Julie Sylvester said wearables are going to be more present and more invisible than ever in 2018.
She added that longer battery life, more comfortable to wear, more sustainability and more fashionable form factors are going to add to the broader adoption of wearables in 2018. We cannot dispute the fact that this trend will continue to evolve in 2018 and beyond.
The founder of Living in Digital Times Robin Raskin said “more and more workplaces will be either issuing wearables to their employees or making room for wearables” Raskin told TechNewsWorld that “they could be used for training, facility access, and even payment. Glasses may make a comeback in the workplace, for applications such as training.”
Furthermore, she expects “new wearables that involve other senses — haptics, environmentally responsive fabrics, brain stimulators,” and “We’re going to see lots more of those.” She added.
Raskin said “Imagine a tag that knows that it’s really not counterfeit, or that it’s left inventory, or that the owner should get a coupon for shoes to match,” We cannot speak of the future indeed without mentioning wearables- they have their part to play.
4. Facial Recognition
The best ID for the future. Facial recognition can be far more popular in this year; Apple had already dived into this branch of technology when they released iPhone X that allows customers to unlock the phone by staring at it. Just like fingerprints can be matched to a person, the characteristics of a person’s face are unique too.
According to futurist Michael Rogers, “Apple’s products have pushed wide public adoption of some technologies, from Wi-Fi to streaming music to virtual keyboards.” Nonetheless, Apple is not the only company exploring possibilities.
Michael Rogers told TechWorldNews, “ Facial recognition is already here, behind the scenes in an increasing number of commercial and public spaces. And “Soon it will show up everywhere from cash registers and ATMs to home security systems and smart signs that tailor content to the viewer”
He added. However, the ease or simplicity of being scanned to be recognized may come with a downside.
Michael further explained that “It will represent another significant loss of privacy — this time, public anonymity;” however, “It may be some consumer application that creates the most public concern.”
5. Mobile Phones
It is quite partial for mobile phones to be on this list because frankly, it is no news that mobile phones, in general, are always trending all year round. From the very first phone till now, mobile phones have been trending; with each tech giant releasing models after models trying to outwit the other.
You can agree that we can barely keep up with the latest models. Google’s Android operating system and Apple’s iPhone taking the “phone Lord” title from Palm and Blackberry and transforming the mobile market.
Smartphones have become the indispensable devices that are carried by many people in 2018; so far, this year has heralded smartphones that does even more.
According to Steve Blum (Principal analyst at Tellus Venture Associates, “Video will drive the market for mobile service and devices in 2018” he went further to say “consumer electronics is collapsing into a two-product industry- smartphones and big screen televisions, and the balance is tipping towards phones.”
Steve added that “The end of Net neutrality will accelerate the shift, as the big four U.S. mobile carriers use their control over network traffic and service pricing to sell more content and capture more viewing time.”
“That is ‘convergence,'” said Michael Purtilo. He based his prediction on the emergence of tools for lean manufacturing of progressive applications that are browser-based programs, which work smoothly across many platforms.
He believes that making one app for an iPhone, and a second for Android, a developer can create a single product for all and use inventive caching methods to make sure it works fast too. If this happens, it will keep the building cost low, while encouraging developers to invest their effort into creating products that combines the functionalities of different smaller apps.
He further asked that “Why have dozens of inconsistent applications on your device when one service with the same interface offers more value?” Michael added that users would converge on progressive apps because of the utility, and companies will have business incentives to be the ones offering customers those services.
In conclusion, from cryptocurrency, facial recognition, mobile phones to Artificial Intelligence, and wearables, 2018 is anything but boring. A lot of things will be introduced to the market before December. Keep an open mind; you would be surprised what the next big thing will be.