IoT rules, AI even smarter and more insightful: 5 Tech Trends in 2018

There is no doubt that we are in the midst of a digital revolution. Consumers and enterprises have a lot to look forward to, as frontier technologies are becoming affordable enough for everyone. So, what exactly will 2018 have in store? Here are five tech trends we are keeping our eye on:

 1)  IoT, Smart Apps for Smart Homes

In 2017, smart assistants continued to be widely adopted with Amazon Alexa managing to get integrated into practically everything from household appliances to cars. There are many smart home product categories, so you can control everything from lights and temperature to locks and security in your home. In 2018, we’ll watch to see if Apple’s Siri assistant and Home Kitsmart home platform (with the Homepod smart speaker) will catch up to Alexa. The Homepod, however, is facing an uphill climb, as its release date has been pushed up at least another month.

 2)  Blockchain technology will continue to disrupt nearly every industry

Blockchain is associated most with financial markets and industries, but any business with valuable digital assets from contacts to contracts they need to protect can find a legitimate use case for blockchain technology. Just this past week Eastman Kodak and WENN Digital, in a licensing partnership, announced the launch of the KODAKOne image rights management platform and KODAKCoin, a photo-centric cryptocurrency to empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management. The shares of Eastman Kodak, the 130 year-old industrial company that has struggled to keep up with technology, more than tripled. We look forward to watching Blockchain mania continue.

 3)  Artifical Intilligence (AI) boosted by Insights-as-a-service platforms

According to a recent report Forrester, 2018 will be the year enterprises finally move beyond the hype to recognize that AI requires hard work—planning, deploying, and governing it correctly. But Forrester also predicts better human and machine collaboration due to improved interfaces. New AI capabilities are facilitating the redesign of analytics and data management roles and activities and driving the emergence of the insights-as-a-service market. Insights-as-a-service are described as a cloud-based, action-oriented, analytic-driven applications and solutions that operate on Big Data.  Insights-as-a-Service platforms might be used, for example, to provide analytics based on real-time information from connected vehicles to a number of car manufacturers globally.

 4)  2018 will be the year of the Hybrid Cloud

Enterprises are increasingly adopting the cloud for data management. The hybrid cloud, the use of both private and public clouds, is heading the same way.  According to a SUSE survey, hybrid cloud strategies are growing faster than private or public cloud, with 66 percent of respondents expecting hybrid cloud growth to continue, compared to 55 percent for private cloud and 36 percent for public cloud. Additionally, MarketsandMarkets estimates that the hybrid cloud market will grow from $33.28 Billion in 2016 to USD $91.74 Billion by 2021, at an annual growth rate of more than 22 percent.

“Organizations evaluating cloud solutions have traditionally been concerned about data privacy, security, and sovereignty and private clouds were seen as the way to address these issues,” said David Safaii, CEO, Trilio Data. “But if there are data security concerns, enterprises should use the security method that makes the most sense, and will increasingly seek out hybrid or multi-cloud approaches. This approach maps performance, data protection, and cost to each workload.“

 5)  5G turbocharging smartphones

We’ve been hearing a lot this past week about about 5G — the wireless technology that’s going to turbocharge everyone’s smartphones. It was a big topic of discussion at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The next-generation mobile network will be able to accommodate a lot more people and a lot more data as carriers like Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T and manufacturers like Nokia and Ericsson improve the total capacity of the network. That means your phone won’t be fighting against all the others trying to send and receive data.

“Once 5G arrives on a nationwide basis, there is so much bandwidth available that we will have pretty much unlimited access to data,” predicted Forrester analyst Dan Bieler.

Still, there will be advantages and disadvantages to 5G, according to IDG. 5G will be significantly faster than 4G, allowing for higher productivity across all capable devices with a theoretical download speed of 10,000 Mbps. Plus, with greater bandwidth comes faster download speeds and the ability to run more complex mobile internet apps.

However, 5G will cost more to implement and while the newest mobile phones will probably have it integrated, other handsets could be deemed out of date.

Menlo Technologies is a global services company specializing in web and mobile technology. We’re leaders in high quality iOS and Android application development.

We’ll keep you updated on the trends mentioned above, and as always, will share new tech trends that emerge.