2017 was an incredibly disruptive year for technology, as the world saw the release of game-changing new smartphones and the explosion of cryptocurrency. At Vodafone alone we celebrated the launch of our new no lock-in contracts, the DreamLab app for iOS, the launch of Vodafone nbnTM and adding more countries to our amazing $5 Roaming. We also released our suite of ReadyApps for business customers. But 2018 is sure to have even more surprises in store as the world charges towards the future, and in a few years, the technology we know and love today is sure to be unrecognisable!
Here are eight tech trends you can expect from 2018.
1. The rise of Machine Learning
New research from Deloitte has predicted that this year will see a large amount of growth in the adoption of Machine Learning (ML) in medium and large-sized enterprises. In fact, according to their 2018 Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) report, in 2018 the number of ML pilots and implementations will double. For the uninitiated, Machine Learning is exciting technology that teaches binary logic computers to learn the way we do – by interpreting information around us and learning from successes or failures. This may sound a bit dystopian, but the technology can be extremely useful for personalising products, advertising to customers, and more.
2. Increased adoption of cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin was certainly one of 2017’s favourite buzzwords – just don’t expect the cryptocurrency craze to slow down in 2018. The CEO of Blockchain predicts that this will be the first year that we see banks hold digital currencies as part of their reserves in case they need to react to any market shocks – so we know things are getting serious. Of course, it isn’t just Bitcoin on the rise, other digital currencies like Ethereum, Ripple and Cardano are increasing in popularity. Will you get on board with the blockchain?
3. Prepare to talk to AI chatbots
Technology will affect every aspect of our lives – and that includes customer service! Customer experience (CX) is becoming more and more important for brands to survive, and companies are starting to get on board with Artificial Intelligence to interact with customers. Gartner predicted that by 2020, 85% of conversations with customers will be with chatbots. Some businesses like Qantas are already using chatbots to help people complete orders or even just engage with their content. According to a LivePerson report, How consumers view bots in customer care, most customers in Australia would still prefer talking to a human, with 57% people preferring to wait on hold for 3 minutes to talk to a human over talking to a bot. However, chatbot technology is getting smarter, and is going to be a way of life very soon – so watch this space.
4. VR introduced in the workplace
While we know some people (like the Wallabies) already use VR tech at work, 2018 could be the year that we start seeing it more and more in businesses, according to Deloitte’s Tech Trends 2018 report. Deloitte identifies VR as a key ‘digital reality’ opportunity for organisations, as it could solve a lot of common business problems – like connecting remote teams, improving the employee training process, and even improving focus with virtual reality desktops. It could even be used in the recruitment process. Personally, we’d love to see how VR tech could be used in the workplace, too!
5. Longer battery life
There have been several reports that new technology in the new year will have significantly better battery life. The battery life of some laptops might last a full day (for instance, LG has claimed that its 2018 Gram laptop will last up to 22.5 hours). Innovation continues for smartphone batteries, with some exciting smartphone releases planned for 2018, and technology is improving to charge less frequently, and charge faster.
6. Foldable smartphones
Microsoft, Apple and Samsung have hinted at plans to release foldable smartphones in the future, with both Apple and Microsoft recently filing patents. Huawei has also recently suggested that they will release a foldable smartphone in 2018. The rumours are flying, so it’s time to wait and see what happens.
7. Drones will become more of a reality
At the moment, drones are somewhat of a novelty for most people, however drone expert Elaine Whyte predicts that the drones market will become a ‘mature professional service offering’ in 2018. Potential uses include collecting 3D data for building information modelling, drone delivery, and of course, photography. With this also comes regulation, so it will be interesting to see where this goes in Australia.
8. Demand for more data
As smartphones develop their capability, there’s demand for more data in mobile phone plans, for video streaming, social media and file sharing. Currently, Vodafone is adapting to this trend – find out more about our triple data deals and summer sale on Red Plans.
All this is just the beginning. Every year is full of surprises, and we can’t wait to see what lies in store in 2018!
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