THERE is always something new and exciting when it comes to technology – be it a smart assistant that gets you through the day or an electric car that helps conserve the environment.
Many technologies helped shape 2017 and we expect technology to play an even bigger role in 2018 so here are 10 trends to look out for this year.
Augment your life
Pokemon Go launched a billion dollar demand for augmented reality (AR) entertainment worldwide, and more industries are taking notice of it as it could be a source of additional revenue. The introduction of affordable AR glasses as well as heads up display (HUD) – a transparent display so users don’t have to look away from their viewpoints – will enhance the way people shop, work and entertain in 2018.
Help is at hand
AI assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa aren’t exactly new, but they are bound to get more popular this year. We have the technology in most, if not all, smartphones and voice assistants are expected to make their way to a wider range of home and consumer gadgets, creating smarter homes in the process.
Most smartphones launched in 2017 have the ability to record videos in 4K so 2018 could be the year Ultra High Definition takes off.
Expect to see 4K tech in handheld action cameras, drones, 360° video recorders and even dashcams.
Also, more streaming services are expected to offer movies and TV shows in 4K.
Rise of AI
The uptake of AI will see a rapid increase in 2018, thanks to platforms like IBM’s Watson which provides AI and machine learning to a wider audience.
Many startups are already applying AI technology, and if you have a business with processes or systems that could be automated, AI is the way to go.
Fate of Bitcoin
The cyrptocurrency Bitcoin turned many people into millionaires after breaking the US$10,000 (RM40,660) mark last year. It is highly likely that Bitcoin and other cyrptocurrencies will be in the limelight in 2018.
However, with South Korea banning cryptocurrencies and India readying to impose income tax on Bitcoins, its future remains uncertain.
Betting on blockchain
A study by global design and strategy firm Frog Design shows that blockchain will become a new platform for civic engagement. The study shows that blockchain changes how votes are collected and minimises the risk of fraud or manipulation, and could possibly help more voices get heard in government matters and policy decisions.
The public sector will also benefit from blockchain applications including the management of taxes and registrations. Many new businesses are turning to blockchain for transparency and accountability, but more traditional industries are expected to follow suit.
According to the Energy Report by BP, the number of electric cars will increase from 1.2 million in 2015 to 100 million in 2035.
Britain and France are reportedly banning sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040, with reports of China following suit, and this will decrease or even eliminate long-term investment in petrol cars.
Many more industries will take into account that all humans are not made the same. There will be an increase in creating designs and technology that will suit people of different abilities. Recently, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who has a son with cerebral palsy, said that his company is committed to design products to be more accessible to all people, and it won’t be long before other industries do the same.
Say hello to podcasts
Perhaps it doesn’t sound as cool as video or music streaming but podcasting is slowly becoming the preferred form of media consumption. There is a steady increase of listeners over the years and Edison Research states that one in four adults listen to at least one podcast a month.
Revival of 3D printers
It has been a slow couple of years for 3D printing technology, but with the introduction of newer and faster 3D printers, it could just pick up the pace in 2018.
The scanners used to capture the 3D imagery for the printers are now more portable and affordable.
The technology is also used in healthcare and manufacturing, and will soon be introduced in more industries.
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