The ongoing development of technology directly influences everything we do and transforms every sphere of our life. Some tried-and-true trends are out, other old-timers are broadening horizons of their impact, innovations make our lives better.
We expect so many trends in the coming year that it’s just impossible to list them all. I offer you to look at the most promising innovations. What will impact the human-machine interaction? Let’s make predictions for 2018 based on the analyzed data.
The most influential technology trends in 2018:
1. Internet of things
Hi-tech integrated into everyday life, from the exclusive wealth of science into a daily routine. The Internet of things (IoT) is no exception. The IoT refers to billions of physical devices around the world that are now connected to the internet, collecting and sharing data. In other words, the web is now a platform for devices to interact remotely.
The IoT devices allow to protect the environment, save energy, improve agricultural productivity, make transportation faster and safer, improve public safety. In short, they simplify routine tasks.
However, with the development of technologies, businesses began to actively use the IoT too. Almost two-thirds of companies believe the IoT is important to their current business, and over 90% believe the IoT will be important to the future of their business. Let’s take a look at some IoT trends in business for the coming year:
- Growing popularity of voice services (Siri, Cortana). Some companies strive to develop it. Too many of these technologies still can’t go beyond single-threaded conversations and into multi-threaded conversations with even basic context. Meanwhile, complexity and quality of voice services will be improved significantly. Enterprises that leave voice services without attention, may become the outsiders of the market.
- Competition among IoT platforms increases. According to North America:” The IoT opportunity has attracted numerous duplicative and overlapping wireless solutions such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 5G, NB-IoT, LoRa and Sigfox. Standards consolidation lies ahead, but confusion and fragmentation will dominate in the near term. Enterprises use the location of data as a competitive advantage — and as a result, a hybrid approach to cloud and data center management is taking hold. More and more companies will employ both on-premises data centers and off-premises cloud services to manage their IT infrastructure”.
- IoT-networks are publicly available. Low implementation costs, rapid prototyping, global coverage help to quickly spread the public IoT platforms.
- Blockchain-based IoT adoption rises to 5%. The blockchain is not yet ready for large-scale deployments requiring reliability, stability and seamless integration with existing technology infrastructure. This technology is transparent, permanent, and shared. All three key aspects are very important to companies such as FedEx. Ever since the company joined the Blockchain in Transport Alliance, things have moved along swiftly. The main goal is to create blockchain standards for the tech and transportation industry as a whole. Moreover, educational efforts for the freight industry are underway as well.
2. Artificial intelligence (AI)
For most people, artificial intelligence (AI) may seem like something from science fiction. To your surprise, we deal with AI every day. We use applications of аrtificial intelligence in a variety of industries. What will AI bring to us?
- More customized user experience. Businesses and brands use AI to customize the user experience while analyzing data and browsing history. There will no longer be a need to ask for a name, email and contact information. This info will soon be available through the use of AI.
- Revolution in engineering modeling and design. In 2018, deep learning of technologies can lead to the revolution in engineering modeling and design. “Over the next 3-5 years, the development of products may speed up. We will receive an absolutely new paradigm of high-speed innovations in the production of products, their quality, and cost.” – Mark Edgar, senior information scientist, GE Research.
- AI-chatbots. According to Darmesh Shah, co-founder of HubSpot, more and more companies move toward AI-chatbots and other virtual assistants to solve the daily task flow. Bots allow companies to provide answers to the most common client questions. Natural language processing and machine learning will gradually become available even to small organizations. In 2018, developers will focus on improving the susceptibility of bots, which would allow the bots to carry out more tasks. Using chatbots for providing a 24/7 customer support, businesses can also include these data into their CRM to gather more valuable customer insights.
- Influence on social media. The great impact of AI can involve social media. We will see the increase in personalized content in real time. It can create expanded sales possibilities, mainly because AI uses effective behavioral targeting methodologies.
- Increase of digital commerce and online marketing. With the new Google Assistant, online shopping becomes more convenient. It would be easier to tell your AI assistant to order something to your place. This means that companies will need to invest in optimizing their online product to compete with e-commerce competitors.
- Robotics. We can assume that in future robots will be trained in new programs in virtual reality. The company of Elon Musk, which deals with artificial intelligence, has already implemented an algorithm for training robots.
3. Augmented and virtual reality
Virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) are among the top tech trends of 2018. We used to think of VR as the entertainment. Only video games and movies with virtual reality come to mind. However, we also use VR and AR in the following fields:
- Medicine. The Dutch company VisitU using VR helps the children who are in the hospital to keep in touch with their parents. And MindMotionPro helps to restore movement skills after a stroke. In the future, it will be possible to diagnose patients at the distance.
- Cinema and video. A video with a 360° view amazes everyone, who deals with it for the first time. А viewer completely dives into the video sequence and gets an unforgettable impression, as if the spectator participates in the cinema.
- Shopping online. Now, this trend is an idea come true for every buyer. With virtual reality stores, people will be able to walk around the hall, choose goods, try on clothes without going out. It is possible that virtual shops will partially replace real ones.
- Education. A great advantage in education is the possibility to visually show examples from geography, biology, history with the help of virtual reality. If people have such visual information, they will study more effectively. One of the most exciting aspects of VR is its ability to unite people regardless of their location. All of the experiences, tutorial videos and learning apps would work just as well whether the teacher and student are in the same room.
- Models and objects. Virtual reality allows testing products without creating a physical model, changing its parameters and properties on the fly. It may speed up the technical progress and significantly help to save on resources.
- Social networks. In the future, we will have the opportunity to meet friends in Paris, on the slopes of the Alps or in space with the help of a full-fledged virtual world.
WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) is an open standard for multimedia communication in real time, which works directly in a web browser without installing additional programs or extensions.
WebRTC is supported in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera. It serves to reduce the risks for privacy when the local servers and multimedia streams are available. Moreover, WebRTC allows businesses to improve the quality of online meetings, video conferencing and similar services.
In the past, high-quality video conferencing with video systems and mobile users used to require help from your IT team or required you to have technical knowledge. With WebRTC (joining from your browser), it gives mobile users an easier experience without sacrificing quality video and it “just works”.
According to ABI Research analyst, major trends will start to form within the enterprise market with WebRTC. Businesses will implement the new technology to aid productivity, reduce communication barriers and improve team communication within the workplace.
The way people live and work is changing at a breakneck speed. Clearly, the year 2018 will bring great innovations. A cloud network will only expand and the technologies like AI, WebRTC, IoT, VR and AR will progress in development and use as well. They are already used in various fields (medicine, business, education, social media, cinema).
In my opinion, the most promising of these technologies is IoT. This trend will help businesses dive deeper into customer relationships, expand operational excellence, and create competitive advantage in their industries.
At the same time, VR and AR will have a significant impact on a wide variety of industries. Both technologies are able to change the way enterprises handle business, increase internal productivity and reduce overall expenses.
What breakthrough would you like to use in your own business? Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments below! 🙂