Emerging Tech Trends That Will Be Everywhere In 2018 (That We Learned From CES, 2018)
January 13, 2018
The future of new tech is currently on display this week at CES 2018, otherwise known as ground zero for all things high-tech, which is being held in Las Vegas. Luckily, though, you don’t have to wade through a sea of sweaty geeks, booth babes and ridiculously large TV installations. Samsung’s 146-inch "The Wall" set? We’ll take three, please!
To get a glimpse of the many innovations that both the CES show and 2018 as a whole will bring, we asked world-renowned trends, tech expert and professional speaker Scott Steinberg, author of Make Change Work for You and founder of SELECT magazine, to take a closer look at 10 pieces of new tech that promise to transform how we live, work and play in the coming months and years ahead.
Read on to find where you’ll soon be splurging on shiny new gear — and how all these supercharged new gadgets aim to reshape the very way we interact with the world around us.
Sure, the concept of robotics have been around for decades, primarily helping us out with research projects on the scientific front and the magic of mass production on the assembly line. But, look more closely, and you’ll find the concept filtering into more everyday contexts such as social companions like Jibo and Buddy and an increasingly broad range of self-driving automobiles. Whether you’re talking about cobots — robotic arms programmable to perform a variety of tasks so easily you don’t need experience in software programming to do it — or artificially intelligent vacuums of the kind Roomba provides, expect to see automatons popping up in a growing number of places in 2018 and beyond.
Essentially radio-controlled helicopters for the high-tech generation, these self-aware wonders — which are often capable of flying, hovering or landing on their own — offer fun ways to snap photos and 4K ultra-high-definition videos from above, or give you a bird’s eye view of any landscape. New models such as the Typhoon H Plus even add artificial intelligence (AI) to the mix, and can auto-steer around obstacles you encounter while cruising the friendly skies. A growing range of models geared at every interest and price point — including action sports fans and professional photographers — looks to help expand the field’s reach in the months and years ahead.
Picture cars, trains, trucks, computers, toys, cameras and even smartphones that can think for themselves, and you’ve got a good idea of how AI promises to transform tomorrow’s world. For example, **ForwardX Robotis CX-1 self-intelligent suitcase can even steer itself behind you at the airport as you sprint to catch a connecting flight. Going forward, AI will only continue to filter down into more applications, such as computer programs that can chat with you online when you need customer service help and support so smart that you think you’re talking to another human. Needless to say, the possibilities when it comes to virtual girlfriends are endless.
Sure, we’re all familiar with Apple Watches, Fitbits and other handy accessories we can slap on our wrist to track everything from the number of steps walked in any given day to our heart rates and sleep cycles. But, this year, you’ll see all sorts of clever implementations of this technology, from bracelets and charms you can use to place voice and video calls, to ingestible sensors and smart pills that can help provide a better sense of just how healthy you are. From smart shirts and shocks designed to improve athletic performance to contraptions like Wagz’ dog collars — which can track your pet and help you see what Fido sees when he randomly starts barking — the future is now!
Virtual reality refers to the practice of creating 3D computer-generated worlds which you can explore and inhabit by donning computerized (and often douchey-looking) headsets. Luckily, explosive interest in the space is resulting in the development of a number of new models designed to be sleeker, sexier and more powerful, and prevent you from getting mercilessly taunted the minute you step out of the house wearing one. For instance: Haven’t checked out HTC’s Vive Pro yet, or new models from Sony, Samsung and LG Electronics? You’ll find that each piece of new tech are worth the peek. Pop one on, and you can take a walk on the moon, explore under the ocean or engage in sci-fi action combat sequences so convincingly real you’ll practically soil yourself the minute you take the plunge.
Augmented reality, the practice of inserting computer-generated graphics and digital pop-ups over real-world scenes, continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Already, we have apps that can let you hold your smartphone camera up to nearby landscapes in New York City and scan apartment buildings to see which residences have spare rooms for rent. Now, thanks to gizmos such as the Vuzix Blade — a pair of smart sunglasses that can display these types of scenes on your noggin, and let you take control of them using Amazon Alexa voice-controlled commands — we’ll also soon enjoy growing access to accessories that support this phenomenon as well.
The Internet Of Things
It’s a simple, yet complex idea — the concept of a network of physical devices, home appliances, vehicles, mobile handsets and other household objects that use high-end electronics, sensors, software and network connectivity to communicate seamlessly with one another online. From app-enabled watches to smart cars and one-touch buttons you can press to automatically activate orders from online merchants like Amazon, we’re growingly living in a world where every high-tech item talks to one another. Look for cities to get more intelligent over the next few years as well, as parking meters, street lights and ticket cameras start to operate with help from the online cloud as well. Pretty soon, we’ll be living in a world where high-tech gadgets can predict just about every need — even down to your preferred morning wake-up call time, heated floor temperature and breakfast cereal.
Imagine Internet-connected stoves that can download recipes and deliver step-by-step video instructions, as well as automatically set timers and temperatures. Now picture mobile handsets like the Honor View 10, whose cameras can auto-detect which type of scenes you’re taking photos and auto-adjust light and filter settings accordingly. How about wearables and smart home gizmos that can detect your sleeping patterns, everyday behaviors and preferred social patterns — and adjust everything from lighting to temperature to alerts to workout timers to match? Needless to say, a skyrocketing range of devices only continues to become more intelligent and capable of predicting your every need — a trend which promises to evolve in continues directions in the coming years ahead.
5G Wireless Technology
Sick of sitting and waiting for YouTube and Snapchat videos to load? Rejoice: 5G wireless technology is about to be the standard — which delivers ultra-high-speed data transfer capabilities to mobile phones and portable devices. Offering near-instantaneous downloads and response times, the new tech is designed to power even more advanced and cutting-edged apps, and make streaming music, movies and games that much more of a seamless and stress-free experience. While coverage is yet to be widespread, it’ll only grow throughout 2018 and beyond — so the next time you’re looking to binge-watch while out and about, consider making the upgrade. Your ADD and stunted attention span will thank you later.
4K/8K/QLED TV Technology
Want to watch TV shows, movies and — er, “art films” — at ultra-high resolutions, with lifelike pictures so colorful, crisp and well-defined they practically pop off the damn screen? A broadening array of new display technologies (which make typical HD sets look like yesterday’s news) promise to take viewing time to the next level. While prices on many models still have yet to fully come down, the good news is that you can snag a 4K set today for practically a song. Consider units a prelude to what’s coming next, as TV makers continue to up their game, and produce physical and streaming content designed for display at ridiculously high-resolution formats.