What direction the latest technology in the world will take over the course of the coming year is a favourite past-time of tech industry pundits and experts at this time of year. 2017 was without a doubt the year of cryptocurrencies and blockchain, though AI and machine learning also saw some very impressive developments.
AlphaZero, the game-playing AI created by Google sibling DeepMind routing the best human and software-based chess players the world had to offer was one well-publicised example, as have been developments in applying AI and ML to driverless car development.
But what’s coming up in 2018? In his Huffington Post blog, John Lucas, a Director at Hyve Managed Hosting, threw his hat into the ring as well as putting his neck on the line with five forecasts for the tech world of 2018. However, it’s all data protection focused so a little boring! We’ve come up with an alternative list here, starting with data protection. So what are they?
1)Data Protection scandals and breaches.
Despite the best efforts (presumably) of companies, records of customers personal data just keep being hacked. Lucas fully expects this trend to continue into 2018, if not get worse. He also thinks we can expect a major breach of a similar kind in the public sector.
Also around data, Lucas forecasts companies will struggle to successfully implement the new European data protection legislation that is coming into force – GDPR. GDPR means that online users must actively rather than passively provide any personal information used by companies and is specifically meant to address the online environment. We can expect some big fines for breaches as major tech and digital companies struggle to get to grips with the new regulations.
2) Virtual Assistants and Smarter Homes
Virtual assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant aren’t new but so far their traction has been somewhat limited. 2018 is, however, tipped by many to be the breakthrough year for virtual assistants. We can also expect to start to see home appliances being built as ‘smart’ devices as standard, many of whom will be compatible with the big VA brands mentioned.
3) Laptop Batteries That Last a Day!
One tech area that always seem to lag everything else is batteries. We’ve got portable devices now that do amazing things and a satellite can be launched from a smartphone, never mind a laptop. But we still can’t seem to find a solution to the problem of permanently having to be near a plug socket. However, it looks like that could finally change in the coming year. More energy-efficient processors using the same technology as the latest generation of smartphones will make it into Windows laptops next year. Chip maker Qualcomm is confident that 25-hour battery life for laptops will arrive soon and tests have already achieved 20 hours of continuous usage.
4) HD Video
When we say HD Video it should really be qualified as HD Video becoming the standard all the way down to smartphones. The latest generation of smartphones incorporate 4K high-definition video and it will also become the standard for drones and small hand-held cameras. This means that the resolution quality of video content produced by amateurs will reach a whole new level and the new 4K television sets will also start to become the new standard in place of HD.
5) 3D Printing
Developments in 3D printing was a big thing in 2015 and 2016 but 2017 has been a little quiet on breakouts in the technology. However, that is expected to change again next year with new 3D printers able to print at a much faster pace and to use a wider range of materials expected to come to market.
Scanners used to capture 3D data for printers have also become smaller and cheaper and commercial usage of printers should take a significant leap forward next year. Domestic 3D printers common in homes may be a few years off yet, but not too far!
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