Every year, the innovation cycle gets shorter and shorter. Who know’s what technologies will emerge in 2018. But some big technology trends have recognizable growing attention. I predict that the following selected 6 technology trends will become sustainable in 2018.
Drones are still a cutting-edge technology, apart from multi-copters for filming purposes. Fully autonomous drones can be observed in closed areas, like logistic centers. Some prove of concepts already have been done in public for pizza delivery, postal service, or parcel delivery. In 2018, artificial intelligence and robotics will mature to commercial readiness.
Multi-Access Edge Computing (or Mobile Edge Computing; MEC) will come commercially available in carrier networks. Even before the 5G standard will be finished, carriers will implement cloud computing capabilities in their networks. The question is, do they have the customer in mind and deploy a common system or do they create isolated solutions? Anyway, application builders can improve their customer experience with low latency or compute offloading solutions.
Google Glass will come back, hope for it or fear it. After some leaps of innovation and experience with other platforms (Holo Lens), technology has improved. There are too many cost-saving use cases, so one or another business will bring a model to the mass market.
If technology is ready or not, the mankind is expected not to be ready. With Google Glass, there were many discussions about privacy and safety concerns. With the stop of selling in 2015, the discussions passed away too. Sad but true. There were some ethics discussions about artificial intelligence in the past year. But nothing serious about the more or less slightly loss of privacy coming with every innovation leap.
Augmented Reality Maintenance applications will emerge in 2018. Technology is getting complicated more and more. The complexity level of larger machines (e.g. cars, agricultural machinery, plants, aircrafts) or tiny bits of electronics (wearables, IT systems) demands high skilled people for maintenance and repair (and maybe also manufacturing). The AR technologies are ready for commercial use. In combination with Edge Computing and Smart Glasses, A/R supported maintenance applications are possible.
Next Gen TV
TV stations have decreasing amounts of viewers for linear tv programs. With the offerings of Netflix, Hulu & Co and the ubiquitous internet connected playing devices, people select what and when they want to see. But streaming is still a one-way thing. There is less interaction in it. But obviously, there is a demand for interaction for viewers. Otherwise, why do people tweet, instagram on their second screen? Some live sports shows established so-called “Netman’s”, showing posts, photos and opinions from their audience live during the show. I predict there will be some more things coming.
The End of the Computer
Apple is talking about it in the commercials. They are merging the development tools. They help app developers to create a unified user experience over all platforms. Microsoft already has a combined computer tablet model, the Surface Pro. The future is a combined tablet-laptop thing. Classic laptops or PCs will still serve special purposes. But the future is a kind of table-laptop.
There are many promising technologies in the pipelines. As in last year, 2018 will be an exciting year for technology enthusiasts like you and me. Let’s see what will happen, what technology trends will continue. Which ones will vanish, which new ones will appear.