Each year, we watch as technology makes major strides. We are quickly racing toward a world with self-driving cars, drone deliveries, and fully immersive virtual reality. Here are the top tech trends to look for in 2018.
Though Alexa and Siri might have a way to go to match the robots in Science Fiction movies, many top tech engineers are working toward smarter artificial intelligence mechanisms. What once felt very far away is inching closer as some artificial intelligence mechanisms have gotten much closer to passing the Turing test in the past year.
This year, many of the interactions humans had with artificial intelligence bots were on a more granular level, such as chat support lines. You may have been interacting with a bot this year and not even know it. For next year, trend reports predict that artificial intelligence will begin to complete more advanced tasks in spaces such as cyber security and business.
Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality
For the past 2 years, both augmented and virtual reality have been gaining in popularity. In 2016, PokemonGo took over as an extremely popular augmented reality app for several months. In 2017, games featuring virtual reality gained popularity. Oculus Rift and other gaming consoles provided fully immersive experiences. Check out our recent post to learn more about the advances in virtual reality made in 2017.
In 2018, virtual reality gaming systems may become more prevalent. The virtual reality trend may also extend past gaming and into the broader society. With applications in health, employee training and construction and public policy modeling, fully immersive virtual reality could be the next step in the way we interact with technology.
Though Apple’s iPhone and other smartphone and tablet devices have displayed Touch ID technology for a number of years, the technology is becoming more prevalent in locking mechanisms outside of your devices. The locker at the gym, for example, or the mailbox in your apartment could now be unlocked with a simple press of your thumbprint.
As these traditionally analog interactions become digital, they create an interesting dynamic between convenience and personal privacy. We expect this dynamic to continue to develop in 2018, whether through fingerprint technology, facial recognition, or some other way of creating interfaces between us and our technology.
Cities around the world are getting smarter. From Internet connected trash cans that alert city workers when they need to be emptied, to deliveries that can take place in a number of hours (instead of days), there are multiple ways our cities are better connecting with residents. In fact, IEEE.org reports that cities are now better connecting with residents through technology. Using techniques such as resident reporting of city issues (such as graffiti or traffic accidents), codesign with residents, and crowdsourcing city data, cities can make sure residents have a positive experience where they live.
The National League of Cities indicates a number of ways in which cities are using technology to stay smarter. These can include transportation systems with sensors to sense traffic flow, water and wastewater monitoring for pipe leaks and water pressure buildup, traffic lights that indicate to Public works, when their bulbs need to be changed, and vehicle fleet communication.
We can only speculate at the tech improvements that will be completed this year, but we’re looking forward to seeing how tech continues to change and influence our everyday lives. At HughesNet, we’re looking forward to the technological innovations that 2018 has to offer.