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SIX Technology Trends to Keep Your Eye on in 2018

It’s great to see what today’s technology is capable of doing. So, what exactly will 2018 have in store? Here are eight tech trends to keep your eye on:

1. Blockchain

By now, you have probably heard a thing or two about the promise of blockchain and BITCOIN. At a high level, blockchain technology is a way of securely managing access and information. The core of blockchain hinges on the idea of decentralization, which essentially distributes power and risk equitably across players in a network.

Blockchain startups are finding niche and clever ways to optimize industries, by replacing intermediary parties (brokers, agents, etc.) with smart contracts that automatically verify actions without compromising data security.

2. Internet of things

BI Intelligence’s report on the “internet of things” notes that nearly $6 trillion will be spent on IoT solutions in the next five years alone. This deluge of investment has turned this once science-fictional notion into reality.

Already, many of us wake up in our “smart beds” to a Bluetooth-connected alarm clock that communicates with our wifi-enabled speakers. Soon all of our devices — microwaves, washing machines and even bird feeders — will be connected to the web.

3. Virtual reality

Is 2018 the long-awaited year that virtual reality goes mainstream? While the technology is still evolving, and while players like Oculus and HTC continue to iterate on their consoles, things look promising for the industry as VR platforms begin to appeal to the masses.

One of the biggest obstacles to virtual reality achieving true scale is the creation of enough content to attract a wide swath of consumers. Beyond gaming, there a number of virtual-reality startups that are building high-value-add services specifically for enterprises. As the industry has learned, on-boarding hard-core gamer will not be enough to sustain a long-term effort.

4. Augmented reality

The rise of Pokémon in 2016 was just the first of many implementations of augmented reality that will make a massive impact on society. Apple and Google recently introduced both ARKit and ARCore and are driving an inflection point for the industry. As hardware and software continue to improve, we can expect to see more developers building AR applications in 2018.

It’s not just startups looking to get in on the action. In fact, it is likely that many of the world’s biggest brands will invest their resources into creating augmented-reality experiences to enhance their users’ experiences both inside and outside of their stores.

5. Chatbots

Chatbots, at the most simplistic level, are front-end interfaces for companies to communicate with their customers. More advanced bots leverage artificial intelligence to provide enriching and interactive user experiences. Enterprise applications of messaging bots seem poised to have a tangible impact on the software space, as more companies invest in developing their own consumer-facing bots.

6. Automation

Artificial intelligence and machines will soon become ubiquitous in the professional world. From virtual assistants, to manual labor,to intermediary services, many jobs will likely be disrupted in the coming years. Though humans are indispensable in certain fields, there are many points of optimization that we can fully automate with embedded technology.