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Technology Trends: Our tech predictions for 2018

Trends, Opinion and industry comment

Technology Trends: Our tech predictions for 2018

Technology Trends: Our tech predictions for 2018

Each year we like to gaze into our crystal ball and predict what's in store in the world of tech for the next 12 months.
You can see how our 2017 tech predictions fared in this article, but it is now time to set out our predicted technology trends 2018. Here are some of the things we expect to happen this year in tech.
1. Voice control on visual displays

We predicted the smart home would go mainstream last year, and the influx of voice assistants to our homes ensured that was the case. Amazon has already launched the Spot, a small device with a round screen, and we’re expecting visual displays to become a big part of voice assistants this year.

This will include smart mirrors - a mirror that doubles up as a screen and interface for your daily news, weather forecasts and smart home device controls and metrics.

2. Alexa to go to work

Another voice assistant prediction: 2018 will be the year Alexa moves to the office. Amazon are already working on Alexa For Business. With more and more people now familiar with the technology at home, Amazon are well placed to launch APIs to allow companies to create customised voice experiences for their business.

Potential uses include conference calling, video calling, meeting room booking and scheduling.

In business and in personal use, we also expect to see phone companies get involved to allow calls between regular phones and Alexa devices.

3. IoT to be gripped by hacking fears

We’ve previously blogged about the importance of checking who is hosting your smart home device. The first time the mainstream media gets wind of the technology being abused, we expect that will make bigger ripples than our blog post.

We’ll stick our necks out and guess this will relate to default passwords being hacked on IoT devices either to create botnets or remotely take control of the devices in question.

A Hollywood blockbuster in which the ‘terrorists’ take someone hostage by hacking their smart home or smart car is surely just around the corner.

4. Internet of Useless to emerge

All new technologies are quickly followed by a raft of useless novelty applications. We don’t imagine the Internet of Things will be any different. Expect a plethora of smart products you didn’t realise you needed (because you didn't need them), like IoT-enabled bras with integrated heart monitors. A regular fitness tracker will do the same job, and the general public will recognise that.

5. Continued cryptocurrency growth

We foresaw the cryptocurrency resurgence in 2017. So far the focus and hype has been around Bitcoin. We expect to see a knock-on effect and investment to grow in other coins such as LiteCoin and Ethereum.

Equally, as more people are drawn into investing without really understanding cryptocurrency, we expect to see a backlash and stories of people being conned into buying a sham cryptocurrency.

6. Cryptocurrency to replace advertising and subscriptions

Some websites have already been surreptitiously having their users mine for cryptocurrency. It is possible that lawmakers will intervene to stop that happening, but if not we could see it become more widespread, including users being given the choice or mining or viewing ads. That would allow publishers to compensate for dwindling ad revenue and allow users to decide what's least disruptive to their experience.

7. GDPR compliance woes

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)  comes into effect in May. We saw an increase in activity in relation to this in the final quarter of 2017, but we work with a lot of clients in industries that tend to be on the ball when it comes to their legal obligations.

Are the majority of businesses going to be compliant with the regulation when it becomes law? It is difficult to imagine that scenario at present.

8. Symfony to come of age

Symfony is a PHP web application framework that underpins many other frameworks and large applications. It is already a platform of choice for us because it has been independently audited and battle-tested.

It has already had more than 1 billion downloads, but spurred on by the impressive version 4, which was released in December 2017, we are expecting it to become even more popular this year.

9. Greener tech on the agenda

The next big environmental issue will be the use of mercury in batteries and of rare earth metals in modern display screens. The tech industry will come under scrutiny over the sustainability of using more batteries, selling more smart devices and developing faster servers.

That could make 2018 a very good year for the handful of companies with the capabilities to recycle these materials - and is likely to mean price rises for the rest of us as supply comes under increasing demand.

10. More vulnerabilities and bugs to come to light

We’ve started 2018 with a huge cybersecurity scandal being uncovered in the form of the Intel CPU vulnerability. We envisage more of these scandals coming out over the course of the year. As a result, we think the public might start to lose patience with the tech industry in general for these failings.

Not a very optimistic note on which to end, but that’s where we end. What are your tech predictions for 2018? Leave a comment below or get in touch on social media.