Have we innovated as far as we can go now with tech? Or is there so much more to come? With driverless cars moving ever closer to being a possibility and the introduction of robots that can do everything from clean the house to reduce loneliness and isolation, what’s next in the world of tech innovation?
Let’s take a look at some of the tech innovations we will see more of, or that will be making waves in 2018.
Voice search and Artificial Intelligence
With the arrival of Alexa, Siri and Cortana, voice search has really taken off. In 2018 voice search will begin to expand further to watches, refrigerators, and even toasters. The ability to control household items by voice is expected to be a game changer, and although it’s still developing there’s plenty of room for further innovation here.
LG’s new ThinQ fridge launching this year, comes with Alexa technology that will also communicate with other ThinQ items in the kitchen. So the fridge knows that you need to use up some cheese, and recommends a cheese based recipe to you – then it will tell the cooker to switch on and heat up to the recommended temperature for that recipe. Not only that but it can set the dishwasher programme for burnt on cheese! It will walk you through the recipe using the screen on the fridge, and you can play some music through it whilst you cook.
Not only for household items though, but the potential for business is still yet to be further explored. Human beings can speak at 150 words per minute, but type on average about 40 words per minute. The ability to take AI and connect through voice could revolutionise the workplace. 2018 is still too early for these innovations, but the tech savvy business will spot opportunities here and we could see voice search and AI connecting in the workplace soon.
Driverless cars and car sharing
Apps like Uber and Lyft have paved the way for Joe Bloggs to use a car and transport people around, and the recent outcry in London over Uber’s potential licence removal highlighted just how much the public want the service. Watch out for new offers this year such as peer to peer car rental, recently seen from Koolicar.
They are a French company who demonstrated their app Koolicar Go at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Users can use the app to locate cars offered by peers that they can hire in the immediate area, or reserve for later, with or without having to exchange a key.
Last year saw Ocado test its first driverless vehicle and we’re expected to see further trials this year from other brands looking to capitalise on the technology. Domino’s Pizza has already started using driverless cars in the US, so it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing more moves towards this technology in the UK.
According to the British Blockchain Association (BBA), the UK is set to become the global HQ for blockchain.
Blockchain essentially creates a ledger of data, which is known as blocks, that are encrypted so they can’t be altered. It’s commonly been used for cryptocurrency, but it has the ability to be used by anyone who uses traditional paper systems or traditional databases.
The potential for increasing trust, and transparency on the internet makes blockchain an exciting development to watch. The potential of blockchain is only just starting to be explored and the BBA are looking to expand the UK’s influence in the blockchain market.
Homepod, Apple’s answer to Alexa is set to launch shortly in the UK. Way behind some of its competitors, Apple say the standout feature is its speaker like sound quality, which it says is well ahead of any other similar product.
The speaker will work with Homekit – Apple’s smart home offer, and will be able to coordinate all your Apple devices and do pretty much anything that Siri can do, leaving some to wonder what else it’s got to offer.
ARM based laptops
Advanced Risc Machine (ARM) based laptops are set to revolutionise computing this year. ARM laptops will improve efficiency, increase speeds and give excellent battery life, long beyond what we can expect now. It really is early days for these laptops but they are well worth keeping an eye on.
Virtual reality headsets
Oculus Go is a standalone entry level virtual reality headset from Facebook that doesn’t rely on a PC, game centre or phone to work as everything needed is within the handset. The Santa Cruz version will be the high-end alternative which is out to developers now with a launch date yet to be set.
Virtual reality headsets made a slow start in 2018, but with the launch of the lower cost Oculus Go that doesn’t rely on additional technology to use it, we could see more and more from virtual reality headsets in the coming year.