Top tech trends to watch for in 2018

January 29, 2018
4 mins

“We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost,” said Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop in his speech soon after Nokia’s announcement of being acquired by Microsoft in September 2013. The mobile giant that was once valued at $222 billion at its peak was acquired for just $7.2 billion by Microsoft that year. Failure to adapt to new trends in smartphone technology drove the legendary mobile company from market domination to sell-off.

The biggest lesson for from Nokia’s collapse in the mobile industry is to adapt to new tech trends before your consumers abandon you. Fast innovation is the key to keeping up with new technologies. By discerning the latest trends, companies can leverage the right technology and adapt in time to succeed. Here are the top tech trends that will define the IT landscape in 2018:

1) The incredible AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) is going to get better and smarter in 2018. Thanks to artificial intelligence, your everyday appliances from the security system to entertainment console will become more automated and smarter. Using software algorithms and sensors, artificial intelligence based devices will be able to do more complex actions and will play a significant role in several domains including healthcare, smart cars, and personal security. From making the financial sector more accurate and secure to powering smart personal assistants like Siri, you will see more of artificial intelligence based technology in your everyday life.

2) Planet of the robots

With more research and investment in robotics, you will also see more of intelligent drones and robots in 2018. According to IDC’s FutureScape: Worldwide Robotics 2017 Predictions report, 45% of the 200 leading global e-commerce and omnichannel commerce companies will deploy robotics systems in their order fulfillment, warehousing, and delivery operations. 2018 is going to witness the emergence of robotics in fields including agriculture, manufacturing, and medicine. Lifelike robots like Sophia could even play the role of human companions and help take care of children, the elderly and people with special needs. Sophia who looks like the late actor Audrey Hepburn was even awarded full citizenship of Saudi Arabia. Those worried about a robotic invasion can put their fears to rest. Robotics of the future will be designed to help people achieve more.

3) Mixed reality: The rise of immersive experience

With the digital revolution, today we have access to more content than ever before. Earlier, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) defined the way people interacted with the digital world. The coming days will see the emergence of mixed reality (MR) that combines both augmented reality and virtual reality. The mixed reality technology enables users to interact in an environment where both physical and digital objects co-exist. 2018 will witness more application of the mixed reality technology in fields ranging from simulation-based learning, military training, aviation, healthcare to interactive product content management. According to the research firm Reportbuyer.com, the global mixed reality   market size is expected to touch $2.8 billion by 2023.  

4) Blockchain: The force awakens

The blockchain is the fundamental technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. The exponential rise of bitcoins has rekindled everyone’s interest in blockchain technology. The technology provides a secure way of sharing encrypted data on anything, from money to medical records, between companies, people, and institutions. Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize the financial sector and the world economy. In 2018, companies are going to invest heavily in developing their blockchain and fintech capabilities. As we move toward a digital, technologically advanced financial world, blockchain will play a crucial role in making our financial systems faster, more secure and efficient.

5) The age of machine learning

Businesses will increasingly leverage on machine learning to gain a competitive advantage in 2018.  Machine learning deals with the technology that enables computers to learn explicitly without being programmed.  The technology can be used to analyze large volumes of data and predict patterns. In the coming days, machine learning will be widely used in fields including data security, personal security, financial trading, healthcare, personalized marketing and online search.  

6) IoT: Unchained

IoT is here to stay and thrive. According to Business Insider, the business spends on IoT solutions will reach $6 trillion by 2021. Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of devices that is embedded with software and sensors that enable these devices to connect and exchange data. The technology is applied in verticals including wearables, connected cars, connected homes, connected cities and industrial internet. 2018 will see the rise of “digital twins,” the next step in IoT-based technology. Companies will rely on the technology to predict problems through data analysis and simulations. Another disruptive technology that will emerge will be based on a combination of IoT and Blockchain technologies. The technology will be applied in domains including warehousing, healthcare, and financial sectors.  There will be connected devices everywhere.

As the waves of new and emerging technologies hit the world, it is a good idea to start learning more about these new and upcoming tech domains. In today’s high-tech era, leveraging  the right technology can mean the difference between success and failure. Consumers are quick to punish those who don’t innovate fast.

Nokia did not do anything wrong except miss out on the latest trends in mobile technology. While the competitors quickly caught on the demand for smarter phones, Nokia was left far behind. In the end, it is the lack of innovation and the failure to adapt to emerging technologies that force companies out of business. The lesson for everyone is to adapt and innovate before it is too late.

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About the Author

Tharika Tellicherry
Marketing professional, blogger, movie buff, music fan, traveler, collector of memories, and tic-tac bottles.

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