Top Technology Trends For 2018
The past year was huge for technology. Lifestyle technology saw a broad adoption with smart homes being the major revolution in 2017. This was largely Amazon’s doing. With Alexa wiping the floor with its competitors this year, Google, Apple and Microsoft are left fighting over a smaller market share.
Some level of automation was visible last year, but it was not to the scale expected and was mostly restricted to chatbots.
After a banner year in 2016, augmented reality and virtual reality were both in rage with the wildfire spread of Pokemon Go, which had sent millions of people worldwide to actual locations on digital scavenger hunts to capture the digital characters. This sort of fell off the radar last year.
Here are the top technology trends that are going to make big and change the way forward in 2018:
AI (Artificial Intelligence)
The discovery of a solar system similar to that of ours by NASA, a sowing app to help farmers during the kharif season, HDFC’s chatbot Eva, that answers customer queries, all demonstrate the strength and progress that the world of artificial intelligence has seen. AI is basically designed to replicate human intelligence in machines thus enabling machines to think and behave like humans.
There are many factors that can be attributed to the progress in artificial intelligence. The first being the rapid advancement in machine and deep-learning algorithms and the second comes from the increased availability of humongous amounts of data on which these algorithms can be edified. Enhancement in computing power resulting from better computer and graphic processing units also aided this process.
AI has evolved so quickly that its products are gradually invading our homes and workplaces.
The blockchain is the decentralized heart of cryptocurrency and a distributed ledger of records which allow verification of records, removing the want of a middleman. While it was majorly used in 2017, to verify the transactions made using cryptocurrency, its use in finance is only being realized of late. Transaction records also known as ‘blocks’ are cryptographically protected and distributed to all parties. This does away with the need for human involvement in the process of verification and makes the system more impervious to spoofing. It increases transparency thereby eliminating fraud duplication of data and results in scalability and reduced costs. This innovation is predicted to be a game-changer and anticipated to last even if cryptocurrency like bitcoin ceases.
Mixed Reality (MR)
Companies like Microsoft and US-based start-up Magic Leap are increasingly advocating fusing technologies of augmented and virtual reality to produce a blended concept called mixed reality.
While VR is purely related to computers and the online world and AR uses real world elements on which virtual ones are built, akin to layers of information MR combines the best of both of these.
Microsoft has developed a device called HoloLens, which uses Windows Mixed Reality, and has sensors that allow the user to use their gaze to control the cursor to select holograms. This device also makes it possible to directly speak to the virtual assistant, Cortana.
Other big companies that use mixed reality technologies include Facebook, Google, Samsung, Intel and HTC.
There are countless applications for this technology in industries like aerospace and defense for training programmes. Even schools could utilize it as an effective teaching tool, as it uses 3-D images to make the learning experience interactive and engaging.
We’re rather excited about all the new tech this year! Keep an eye out for them!