What Are the Biggest Tech Stories/Trends of 2018 So Far?
We are already in the second quarter of the year and by next month, we will be half way into the year.
2017 was termed ‘The Year of Intelligence’ and it brought with it a lot of progress and change, from over hyped Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to algorithms that created secret languages. One thing that is very certain is that we are on course to enter the 4th Industrial Revolution in 2018.
It is glaringly obvious that technological developments are accelerating, as the technology and information at our disposal today makes us capable of achieving so many great things.
Here are some of the biggest tech stories and/or trends so far in 2018
Smart Assistants Battling it Out
Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa were everywhere at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) this January. They were integrated into everything from wireless headphones to water faucets. During the Consumer Electronic Show, Google announced that the Google Assistant would be included in new line of smart screens. The displays would be powered by Google, but they would be manufactured by a third party. Google says that the Google Assistant is on over 400 million devices which include smartphones, Amazon did not disclose a similar number for Alexa.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Permeation
Not only is Artificial Intelligence largely manifesting through machine learning algorithms, it is also improving as funding sees it being incorporated into a more diverse range of applications. Rather than focusing on a goal like mastering a game or communicating with humans, Artificial Intelligence is making an appearance on every new platform, application and device. It is shaping up that by the end of the year, Artificial Intelligence will become even more of a mainstay in all forms of technology.
Over the past few years we have seen the production and launch of many different kinds of devices including the smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and a whole lot of other smart appliances. We have also come to rely on individual apps in our daily lives including apps for navigation, weather forecasting, shares index etc. Consumers are more and more craving centralisation, a convenient way to manage everything from as few devices as can be possible. Smart speakers are becoming quite popular and it would be interesting to see what other smart device debuts before the end of the year.
Though it very rarely ever happens that tech timelines play out the way they are planned, there is the possibility of a 5G network in place with 5G phones too. The 5G internet, according to experts, has the capacity to be 10 times faster than 4G, making up much more efficient than most home internet services. 5G has the potential to revolutionise how consumers use internet and software developers think, when it comes to app creation and live-streaming contents. And as such, 2018 is shaping up to be a massive year for developers and consumers as they gear up for a massively improved and new generation of the internet.
Every company everywhere in the world has realised the awesome power and the usefulness of consumer data and in 2018 data collection is still receiving an even higher priority. With consumers talking to their phones, their speaker, their TVs, their refrigerators throughout the day and relying heavily on digital services to better carry out their functions, companies would soon be granted access to practical and unlimited amount of data. This can also imply that there would be reduced privacy (scary thought), more personalised ads and better positive outcomes such as a much more improved predictive algorithm in health-care.
Voice: the fourth sales channel
The Consumer Technology Association research showed that one in four shoppers used voice assistants while shopping. And here is an area where developers and marketers can use the rise in smart speakers to their advantage. Voice assistant and technology are becoming a larger art of a brands identity and there is a growing opportunity for those who have not yet begun to leverage on it.