15 Technology Trends You Can Expect to See Dominate 2018
Helpful robots! Cars that drive themselves! Yes, the high-tech lifestyle we were promised in "The Jetsons" is finally here. Are you ready?
The future is now!
The machines are taking over. But don't panic—they want to help! The year 2018 promises to introduce technology that truly touches and improves all aspects of our lives, from organizing weddings to delivering pizza to reordering printer toner. These are some of the high-tech gadgets and services that will dominate technology news this coming year. Welcome to the future! Find out what will be the most important job skill in the future.
Machines will do the boring stuff for you
"As smart home and office spaces continue to grow, predictive analytics and automation are starting to be incorporated into our everyday lives, saving time and effort on mundane tasks. For example, services like Brother Refresh will identify when your printer is running low on ink and automatically order more before you run out. Imagine a water cooler that knows you'll be out of water in three days and puts in an order that arrives just as you get the last drop."—Rafi Haqqani, Marketing Director at Brother International Corporation
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Augmented reality will move your couch
"One of the most exciting trends in tech today is Augmented Reality, also known as AR. Imagine shopping online for a couch; with AR you can 'place' the couch in your space and interact with it. Move it, arrange other pieces around it, or test fabric options in real time. AR will transform the way we learn, work and play."—Dan Monaghan, vice president of marketing at Vectorworks, Inc.
Planning is a thing of the past
"In case anyone has missed it, the new tech trend is 'I-need-it-now.' Can you imagine going back to calling for a taxi an hour in advance now that you have experienced the convenience of Uber and Lyft? That 'I-need-it-now' trend is going to hit other industries—even getting a manicure. Today, if you want a manicure, pedicure, haircut or massage, you usually have to book in advance, or take your chances and show up at a salon. Like Uber, the GoSpa app arranges massage, nail, hair appointments right when you want them. Apps like GoSpa play to this 'I-need-it-now' trend that fits the needs of people who want what they want when they want it. They don't want to wait or to make plans in advance."— Audrey Kingshott, VP Customer Service at Hugomatica.com.
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Machines will learn what you like
"Artificial Intelligence and machine learning will be the biggest trends in 2018, meaning systems that can understand, learn, predict, and potentially function autonomously. The implementation of AI will be universal, for it produces more intelligent products and services. Consumers will be able to appreciate more intelligent mobile devices, cars, and other peripherals that offer personalized experiences based on each user's preferences."—Tarif Sayed, former head of VR and Creative Technologies for Nokia
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You'll be chatting with your toaster oven
"In the next couple of years, we will slowly see a surge in consumer-friendly, easy-to-use connected devices. People have warmed up to the convenience of Siri, Alexa, and Google Home, and consumers will continue to seek out connected and smart devices that are fun, new, and convenient, whether that's a toaster, blinds, a mirror, or otherwise. Many of the products that are already on the market will become more advanced, easier to use, and more generally employed by the mass population."—Harrison Brady, communications specialist at Frontier Communications
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Weddings are heading to the cloud
"Nowadays, we're seeing the modernization of the 'wedding planning binder,' as couples are looking to plan via cloud-based platforms. They want to collaborate with vendors via their computers and phones instead of in-person, they want to pay their vendors using their credit cards with the push of a button—racking up those travel rewards points!—and they're even searching for and saving inspiration years before they get engaged via social media, Pinterest, and editorial publishing sites."—Katherine Oyer from Aisle Planner
Amazon will show no signs of slowing down
"By the end of 2018, Amazon will have expanded their business exponentially. Not only will they continue growing through acquisitions like Whole Foods, but they will also begin opening up warehouses to the public for automated shopping. These won't be like a normal grocery chain, but rather kiosks in a well-designed lobby with a wall separating the machines and shelves on the other side that fetch your goods. No-click purchases will be the standard, alleviating all of the hassle and frustrations of one-click buying. Your iOS or Android device will automatically determine which credit or debit method to use based on points, rewards, balance and other smart rules."—Bardia Dejban, CTO of Volusion
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App attacks will get cured
"One trend that we are seeing with our users is that consumers are getting 'app overload' with too many apps. Consumers are now looking for major themes in their life like investments, travel, health, auto, home, etc. and wants platforms that combine multiple single app functionalities into one. Think of it as a 'suite of apps' that has a central focus on a large aspect of a consumer's life. We have seen this with our own HomeZada platform, as it is a digital home management platform to manage various aspects of your home: remodeling projects, managing your home maintenance calendar, keeping a home inventory for insurance, and consolidating the various aspects of your home finances into one platform."—John Bodrozic, Co-Founder of HomeZada
3D printers will be on every desk
"Within the last few years, 3D printers have gone from overpriced and unreliable to affordable and easy for the average consumer to use. The community and demand for 3D printing have grown tremendously, and soon 3D printers will be as commonplace as desktop inkjet printers. As 3D printing technology continues to advance, crafting ideas and designs into real life objects will become easier and easier. We're on the brink of seeing this technology continue to penetrate the consumer segment even more."—Bernard Luthi, CEO of Monoprice
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You'll have fitness expert workouts in your home
"The integration of smart fitness with workouts at home is a growing trend. Think cycling—you can set up your bike on a trainer, click on your tablet, and do a cycling class or simulate a race with friends or strangers from all over the world. The trend is extending to running on treadmills and other sports as well. All you need is the right smart hardware and a subscription to one of the workout content providers. It is really a game changer in terms of providing interesting and challenging workouts at home. An exciting trend we are seeing for 2018 is that the price point on smart home fitness tech appears to be dropping, making it more accessible to more people."—Paul Johnson, Founder of Complete Tri
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Your computer will tell you if you blew that deal
"It's been proven that face-to-face interactions improve relationships—both in business and personal life. In 2018 and beyond, we'll start to see artificial intelligence play a larger role in the process of relationship building among colleagues, customers, and partners. Facial recognition technology will be built into remote collaboration tools to read visual cues. Why does this matter? It will enable a meeting host to pivot their conversation if needed, and inform more effective post-meeting follow-up. For instance, a salesperson will know the likelihood that they closed a deal or an advertising executive will be informed that the idea they are presenting to clients is falling flat."—Jim Somers, VP of Marketing for Collaboration at LogMeIn
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You'll get into eSports—literally
"The gaming industry has paved the way for immersive entertainment. This has led to a monumental rise in the popularity of eSports. By 2019, viewership of eSports, among those who watch one or more times a month, is expected to grow from 90 million to 180 million viewers with revenue expected to surpass the billion mark. In comparison, on average, only 20 million viewers tuned in for the 2016 NBA Finals. The next evolution of eSports will be immersive. VR eSports leagues exist and will only get more popular as the hardware paves the way for new entrants."—Tom Edwards, Chief Digital Officer at Epsilon
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Cryptocurrency will cash in
"In 2017, the cryptocurrency market cap has grown from $18 billion to $200 billion, cementing its place in the global economy. And this is only the beginning. Many of the big institutional funds have yet to join the market. The general public is mostly unaware of how to utilize cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin. This is the start of a whole new era. Blockchain technology will have an impact as influential as the era of the Internet, if not more, which will fuel cryptocurrencies as a whole into 2018 and beyond."— Simon Yu, CEO of StormX
Cameras will make you smile
"Cameras are evolving rapidly from simple point-and-shoot devices to intelligent vision systems that integrate advanced computer vision, machine learning, and artificial intelligence technologies to not only provide great video but also information about objects and people within the video. This will help make the videos and pictures better automatically—with better exposure or better framing of video and pictures—and will generate information that enables self-driving cars and drones to navigate better and more safely."—Aurangzeb Khan, Founder and CEO of Altia Systems
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Your pizza will be delivered in a car that drove itself
According to The Verge, "Ford and Domino's Pizza are teaming up to test self-driving pizza delivery cars in Michigan as part of an effort to better understand how customers respond to and interact with autonomous vehicles." Ford, like many other car makers, is investing heavily in research and development for self-driving cars and hopes to bring them to market by 2021.
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