2017 has been a big year in the development of technology trends, with numerous advances in the digital sector. We have put together five main tech trends which we think will have an ever growing importance, impact and influence in 2018.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science that aims to create intelligent machines and has become an essential part of the technology industry. In 2017, artificial intelligence was everywhere, impacting the lives of people, whether they were aware of it or not. Virtual Personal Assistants (Siri), Video Games (Call of Duty) and Smart Cards/Keys (Tesla) are some of the more prominent examples which are being used in everyday life and will continue to grow in the coming years.
Big tech organisations such as Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook have each poured a large amount of money into their AI fields. Humans simply can’t keep up with the speed at which technology and customer demands are moving. That’s why more businesses are moving towards harnessing the power of conversational AI chatbots and other virtual assistants to manage the day-to-day flow of work. It is estimated that some 85% of customer interactions will be managed by AI by 2020.
The fifth generation of connectivity, 5G is expected to be in some markets by the end of 2018. As of now, there is no rollout date for the UK but last November the Chancellor announced that some £750m has been allocated for the development of 5G. The networking standard is not just about faster smartphones but higher speeds and lower latency, which will also make new experiences possible in augmented and virtual reality. It will also enhance those faster transfer speeds for self – driving cars and cloud-based artificial intelligence.
3. Augmented Reality
As brands look to engage and have deeper conversations with customers, advances in augmented reality technology make it an ideal platform to deliver new brand experiences to customers. The proliferation of smartphones combined with AR developer kits makes it easier than ever for companies to bridge the gap between digital and physical customer experiences. Brands have the ability to connect customer with their brand, combining packaging, print advertising and promotions, ecommerce, and now augmented reality and artificial intelligence for a robust and holistic physical + digital experience.
4. Smarter Cars
2017 saw driverless technology going full steam ahead, with numerous companies increasing their testing of autonomous vehicles. Nissan ran its first test of self-driving cars on UK roads, Audi developed the TrafficJam Pilot, a system whereby cars can drive themselves in congestion, while BT took a test drive in Dusseldorf which developed a system which keeps cars perfectly in lane in commuter traffic. 2018 is only likely to see the number of companies, as well as individuals, increase their testing of autonomous vehicles and those that can communicate with each other in real-time to avoid collisions.
5. Digital Centralization
Advancements in technology mean that as individuals, we have become to rely on multiple apps in our daily lives. These include navigation, changing the temperature of our house from a wireless device, or heating our self-driving cars from our mobile phones. Consumers are constantly craving centralization, a convenient way to manage everything from as few devices and central locations as possible. 2018 may influence the rise of something better.