10 Technologies & Trends That Will Dominate In 2018
by: Ashley Marsh
Published on: March 29, 2018
Among many others, blockchain is only one technology that will experience a significant advancement in 2018. We’re taking a look at this and other technologies to forecast the business trends that will influence startups & corporates throughout this year:
A successful startup is associated with a brilliant idea accompanied by brilliant execution. Startups oftentimes base their innovations on the latest technologies and trends. In fact, the innovations they come up with are sometimes so incredible that it is received very well by the market.
Technology changes at a fast pace but gives enough opportunities for innovation. So, those planning to build a startup or aiming to update their business models can base it on the technologies described below.
The most impactful technologies and trends affecting startups & corporates in 2018 are:
#1 Artificial Intelligence (AI)
In 2018, AI is no longer a theoretical concept. You may easily find developers conversant in Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP). So, utilizing AI is no longer a dream but an opportunity you should take.
Artificial Intelligence is becoming more and more popular and finding its application in many fields. AI enables a machine or program to communicate with users just like a human being i.e. it helps in creating an intelligent machine or program.
It has become really easy to think of an innovative idea which can be realized using AI. Artificial intelligence is a field that has still not been tapped fully and hence is a very good candidate for innovation.
#2 Internet of Things (IoT)
Internet of Things (IoT) makes the communication of data between different mechanical and computerized devices along with humans possible. It facilitates machine-to-machine or machine-to-human communication and can be used in a variety of ways such as providing home security through a network of connected devices. IoT, thus, gives a fertile ground to base innovations upon.
So, like AI, IoT is a promising technology which has the potential of being at the center of a lot of innovations. In fact, many big companies like Del, Daimler, DHL, and GE Digital among many others make use of IoT in some way or the other.
#3 Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented Reality is the superimposition of virtual images on user’s view of real-world images. AR is rapidly gaining ground and has come to find its use in a number of applications. Some industries in which AR has already found applications are construction, healthcare, and retail among others.
AR is still not fully explored and has the potential of being the inspiration behind many innovations.
#4 Increased Use Of Mobile Devices For Enterprise Mobility & Micro-moments
Although enterprise mobility and micro-moments are different, both point to the increased use of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Enterprise mobility refers to the use of mobile devices to carry out business tasks from anywhere. While it increases the employee productivity, there are issues of data sharing and security that have to be taken into account. Enterprise mobility is a field where innovations are possible so that people may communicate with each other over their mobile devices more efficiently.
Micro-moments, on the other hand, are the use of a mobile device reflexively by a user in order to accomplish various tasks like searching, messaging, purchasing, and more. The use of smartphones is increasing hence micro-moments are very important to marketers these days in order to encourage users to purchase their products or services.
Both enterprise mobility and micro-moments are becoming very important areas of research.
A blockchain is a public ledger that is digitized and decentralized. It records the transactions involving cryptocurrency. But these days blockchain is finding other uses as well like in financial institutions, stock exchanges, music, and IoT devices among many others.
Though Blockchain technology was originally created to record the transactions of cryptocurrencies, recently it has found other applications as well. Some of the industries already impacted by blockchain include financial services, insurance, and energy.
Since blockchain is a relatively new technology, it presents an excellent area for research.
#6 Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual Reality is not a very recent technology but still offers a lot of possibility for innovation. Using specially designed glasses or gloves, a virtual reality makes you feel as if you are the part of that (virtual) environment – stimulating it as if it were real.
VR is successfully used in a number of fields like engineering, entertainment, health, education and many others. In engineering, for example, VR is used for 3D designing.
VR will be explored more to find more innovative uses which can be utilized to develop alternative solutions. Overall, the technology will be advanced further and combined with augmented reality (AR) to create the so-called Mixed Reality (MR).
#7 Software as a Service (SaaS)
As a part of cloud technology, Software as a Service is hosted by a third-party on a subscription basis. It saves a lot of costs incurred on the hardware and upgrades.
As shown by big companies such as Salesforce, Microsoft, Google, Amazon and many more, SaaS provides a lot of areas of research such as security, availability, and performance.
Recent times have seen a decrease in brick and mortar stores with many of them being forced to close due to fewer sales as people nowadays prefer to purchase online rather than visiting a store.
Partly due to higher convenience, Amazon and the likes have seen an increase in sales. In fact, in 2017, 68% of Internet users in the EU shopped online – a number that is increasing steadily. This clearly shows the popularity eCommerce enjoys in today’s times and makes eCommerce a lucrative option for startups and companies to watch out for this year.
#9 3D Printing
3D Printing, or additive manufacturing, allows for the creation of very detailed models as well as individual parts of objects using various materials. In 2017, a home was 3D printed on site in Russia within just 24 hours at a fraction of the cost(8.527 Euro) of a traditional house – and it is expected to last up to 175 years. But not only the construction industry profits from this technology, BioTech and Industry 4.0 are not far behind.
As costs are decreasing, 3D Printing is well on its way into many industries – making it a valid option to tap into.
#10 Disruptive Innovations
Admittedly, this is not a technology per se. However, in 2018, many disruptive innovations, built on the very technologies we mention, will capture the market, forcing startups as well as established companies to innovate. As we outline, there is no need to reinvent the wheel but rather step outside the box and discover the possibilities existing technologies already offer. Companies like Uber, GitHub and Snapchat prove that finding a new angle can result in becoming a market leader.
Innovation begins with a small idea and if developed and researched in a proper manner has the potential of capturing the market. Startups and companies looking into new ways to tackle a solution don’t always need an original idea to succeed – the technology and trends that will advance in 2018 already serve as a good inspiration and can be applied in many industries. Which one will you choose?