Tech Trends to Consider in 2018January 3, 2018 No Comments
Featured article by Cher Zavala, Independent Technology Author
Technology has already changed the world we live and work in to a huge degree, but it seems this is only the tip of the iceberg. New developments are continually arising that affect which products get made, the materials used, how items are customized, where they’re sold, how they’re marketed, and more. Read on for some of the key tech trends to consider in 2018.
While artificial intelligence (AI) has been something humans have been thinking and talking about for decades, it seems to now be at the point where it’s really going to take off. Machines are now much better at learning about their environments, and adapting process and results to suit.
In 2018, we will likely see a lot more companies centering the design of their products and services on the use of artificial intelligence. This isn’t just about creating machines for humans to use, but actually developing machines which are more human-like. As well, AIs are going to work more collaboratively with human designers to come up with creative solutions to complex problems.
Online chatbots are one particular example of the artificial intelligence trend. These digital robots are increasingly popular with businesses and customers as they provide a way of giving better customer service. Chatbots help brands and consumers to connect digitally, and they are continually being updated to get better at conversing naturally with shoppers, understanding context in conversations, and solving client problems faster.
AI is also set to make a difference in many other areas. For instance, internet-enabled devices (such as smartphones and smart-home products) are becoming more able to learn the preferences of users and the patterns of their behavior; while computers are being designed to automatically make predictions, create documents and handle meeting requests. In the fast-food industry we’ll likely see a lot more self-serve kiosks in the future too.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Virtual and augmented reality is also on the rise, and can be seen from the huge success of Pokémon Go in 2017. The app earned millions of dollars each day at the height of its peak sales period, and is a great example of augmented reality (AR) being used effectively by a brand. With Pokémon Go, businesses were shown customers are ready for these types of interactive experiences, whether they come in the form of AR games, apps, marketing ads, or something else.
When it comes to virtual reality (VR), while currently this is a fairly individual experience that leads people into worlds only they inhabit, soon it is likely to be much more of a communal setup. In the future, people will be able to explore alternate realities and worlds together, whether at work or during leisure time.
We’ve seen tech giants such as Apple, Google and Microsoft concentrating on incorporating speech-recognition software into their products over recent years, but soon enough it’s going to become the norm for many other companies. In fact, according to a report from BCC Research, the voice-recognition market globally is predicted to reach approximately $185 billion in 2021, while the speech-recognition sector is set to enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 17.6 percent in the years leading up to 2021.
Aside from consumer products, speech and voice recognition is becoming popular in the healthcare sector. Moving forward, more patient data will likely be secured and accessed via the tech, while doctors will be able to save time taking notes when in appointments with patients, as new tools could record the conversations instead.
When it comes to marketing, more money is being invested into voice-activation software for advertising services and mobile-search processing too; while in banking, mobile applications are increasingly being secured via biometric voice-recognition software. Government departments are also spending more on using voice-recognition technology to help boost operational precision and efficiency.
Customization and Personalization
With the rise of Big Data, combined with advances in new technologies, it’s now more feasible for businesses to user data and machine-learning systems to help customers engage more with products online and in stores. As well, technology is increasingly being used in the processing of materials and usage of different components to customize product design – check out some of the new ways 3M protection film is being used, as an example.
Lastly, while we know Amazon has had a focus on customizing and personalizing the shopping experience for individual customers for years now, more and more companies will be looking to cater to the specific tastes, shopping habits, and design preferences of consumers in the near future.
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