How The Landscape of Technology Is Set To Change In 2018
In many ways 2017 was an unsurprising year in terms of technology trends. Both Google and Amazon continued to build and dominate the market with their respective voice assistants, and AI powered backend. While still being hyped as ‘the next big thing’, Augmented and Virtual reality failed to make a large impression on the public, mainly due to the lack of real world applications, though perhaps this promise might be further explored as the year goes on. One unexpected phenomenon was the meteoric rise of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a whole. 2018 promises to build on these trends and for new ones to emerge.
The Rise of Voice Control & AI
As mentioned, 2017 was a big year for voice assistants. Google assistant was introduced onto Android phones, and the Google Home mini and Echo dot became more accessible by routinely dropping under £50. This year both systems will continue to be implemented in terms of places and devices, but the real innovation will be in the software features that are introduced, improving how we interact with the assistants, and the different tasks they can perform. Recent updates to both platforms have introduced the ability to provide different content to different users based on recognising them by their voice, and plenty more features are set in store for this year.
Electric Cars: The Next Big Thing?
Electric cars have been touted as the next big thing in automotive tech for what feels like the last 10 years, but 2018 could finally be the year they come of age. Over the last couple of years, Tesla has been building mind and market share with its innovative electric cars, but also manufacturing the capability to launch its new affordable Model 3. Also launching this year is Nissan’s new Leaf motor, which promises a similar range (~220 miles) and price point (£20k – £30k) as the Tesla. Alongside these new electric cars, many manufacturers will be rolling out more advanced autonomous and self driving features to assist drivers and keep them safer on the road.
Two Paths for Crypto Cash
At the time of writing, the price of bitcoin is currently at ~£6k after losing over 50% of its value in just over a month. After the boom in 2017, could this be the correction to the market that brings cryptocurrencies to the mainstream in 2018? There are several challenges that need to be overcome if this is to be the case. The huge number of cryptocurrencies can often be confusing to newcomers, if one or two can move to the same level of prominence as bitcoin in a non-volatile way, then the ability to pay with crypto could move from online to the real world.
In addition to this, transaction fees need to be reduced. Transaction fees are needed to be able to add new items to the blockchain, but in order to be reasonable for the mainstream, they need to fall from their current ~$10 which would make small payments viable. If these challenges cannot be overcome, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a whole could continue to slide back into irrelevance.
A Re-Imagining of Social Media
Predictions made in the technology industry can often seem futile, even after a few months, and new products and developments can be released at any time. But based on the observations of technology in 2017, from the complaints of social media to the advances in motor and travel tech, our predictions can take shape. With 2018 promising to be a huge year for the landscape of tech, and for companies like Roller who work to progress it, it’s a simple case of ‘watch this space’ for the next 12 months.