The past couple of years have been full of happy surprises in the world of technology. Innovations have been happening right and left, with its impact felt in practically every field of business, be it education, healthcare, logistics, travel, finances, even in the personal life of users. There has been a re-centering of intelligence, and if the technology was used as primary means of survival, it is now driven by the need to excel, to make lives easier and better. Virtual reality, artificial intelligence, IoT - all these terms have transformed the terminology “technology” altogether.
Artificial Intelligence or AI is the most talked about the technology of recent times. 2017 bore witness to the rapid evolution of this technology, and the trend will continue to remain strong this year too. AI has touched practically every field of business, and your life as well. Machine learning solutions will become an important part of the human ecosystem, and this will be done by interacting accurately and intelligently, not only with the users, but the surroundings too.
You have heard of AR and you have heard of VR. Mixed Reality is a mix of the two. It is also called Hybrid Reality, wherein the users are introduced to a totally different world where advanced optics, sensors and next level computing power are all combined together in a single device to produce a magical, mystical environment. When it was just AR and VR, the senses were restricted to just sight and sound, but with Mixed Reality, you get to enjoy the smell and touch too. This has created waves in the world of gaming, education, healthcare, networking, retail and so on.
With quantum computing, the unthinkable has been conquered. Computing power can be done at a massive scale now, with even unsupervised machine learning happening with ease. This technology, as you may know, is a practical application of quantum physics. It is a quantum-mechanical phenomenon like entanglement and superposition, the two main principles of quantum physics.In the CES show 2018, Intel’s keynote talked about a 49-qubit quantum computing chip.
Talk of 5G is in vogue. Though tech timelines are hard to meet, we can hope for the fastest internet ever (10x faster than 4G) through 5G. This network is going to revolutionize the way we stream files and send content. This is going to be greatly helpful for developers, engineers, students, medical professionals and consumers. The method of downloading and using apps is also going to experience a paradigm shift this year. There were lot of big announcements related to 5G by telecom leaders in CES 2018.
Almost every company in the world has recognized and realized the power of data and its role in attracting consumers and retaining their loyalty. Data is going to become an even bigger priority in 2018, with companies juggling massive amounts of data and coming up with predictive algorithms and personalized ads. And it's going to change the way consumers are going to live their life too - talking to their smart speakers, learning about weather updates, traffic situation on different roads, etc.
Alternative data is data that’s procured from various sources like sensors, financial transactions, mobile devices, public records, internet, of course, and satellites. This has been used for a number of purposes, including financial investments and marketing. The beauty of alternative data is that it can provide insights that were never before possible. This trend has been developing for the past few years, but in 2018, it is making an even stronger impact. About 90% of the investors are already claiming its success in their investment.
Financial investments have long since been done with the help of apps and software. But imagine them going several steps farther and wealth management is done through robo advisors. Robo advisors are going to create profound and permanent changes in the way investors make financial decisions. And that’s not all, these advisors can also plan home purchases, college fund savings, need for health care, other protection plans, etc. Clients interact with the advisors in a multi-step process.
There is no dearth of data that’s going to be downloaded or shared across a multitude of data streams, networks, platforms and devices. Data insights will be more accurate, so timely decisions can be made in a contextual manner. Businesses will depend heavily on the data to sense and exploit events and trust them to make context-based decisions.
2018 is going to be a big year for healthcare and medical professionals. Advances made in sequencing technology facilitate direct-to-consumer genetics. Through this, healthcare professionals can enjoy better awareness of their patient’s health status. Genetic predispositions can be detected through the data streaming in from wearables, IoT healthcare devices and pharmacogenomics. Healthcare challenges will be minimized.
Consciousness hacking is an exploration, a complete perspective on how science and technology can help our relation to the world through spiritual, emotional and psychological flourishing. It is actually a global community that uses advances in technologies like HRV, EEG, ECG, and GSR (through bio-field sciences) to understand the relationship between mind and body, and how communities connect. If you want to know more about consciousness hacking, check it out here.
It could be a little too soon to predict how these trends will manifest themselves and which devices will rule the roost. We still have to wait and see what new infrastructure or gadgets will take over in 2018. Nevertheless, there is a lot to be excited about.