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6 tech predictions for 2018

Jan 16, 2018 Future Talkers
AI, insights, tech

New year, new gear!

2017 was a dark year for the tech  industry, peppered with cool gadgets, preductable upgrades and spectacular downfalls. What excitement will 2018 bring? Here are a few predictions for this year:

Augmented reality in your pocket

Virtual reality was going to take over the world. But strapping on a headset to look at games or 360-degree videos hasn't been the hit many had hoped. In 2018, a lot of that same technology could finally go mainstream using a gadget you already own: your smartphone.
Augmented reality overlays digital images onto the real word, as seen through your phone's camera. Smartphones are including powerful AR technology in their devices so anyone with a fast enough device can try it out. For example, with Apple's ARKit, iOS apps can map out a room and use realistic, changing lighting to make their objects better blend in with a scene.
We're still waiting for the big break-out app, but AR could continue to change shopping and selfies in the next year. No bulky face-computer needed.

Streetwise robots

This year, robots will finally take to the streets. No, it's not to revolt against their human overlords (at least not yet).
A number of companies have developed robots that cruise the halls of hotels and hospitals, crack down on crime in malls, or just deliver a burrito a couple of blocks away. These robots use a combination of GPS, sensors and cameras to navigate the world without taking out bystanders.
They're already facing a backlash. A security robot deployed by the SF SPCA to clear out homeless encampments around its property was reportedly knocked over and smeared with feces by angry locals. And San Francisco recently passed regulations to limit the number of delivery robots on the streets. But these rolling helpers are probably just getting started, if they can avoid falling into fountains.

Smart homes that let in strangers

You're not home, but that doesn't mean tech companies can't swing by and drop off your dinner order or a 12-pack of paper towels. Amazon kicked this odd category off earlier in 2017 with a service that lets delivery people access your home through a special smart lock. Look for more partnerships between delivery services and smart home technology over the next year.

Voice in every gizmo

Alexa-fever has spread and most of the big technology players are working on their own voice assistants. They're breaking out of smart speakers and appearing in everything from cars to singing fish.
In 2018, companies like Amazon and Google will be fighting to lock you into one voice ecosystem. After Google repeatedly banned Amazon from including YouTube on the Echo Show, Amazon finally gave in and agreed to Google hardware. Expect similar tugs-of-war over services on the voice platforms. Before the year is up, you may have to declare your allegiance for Alexa, Siri, Cortana or Google Assistant.

Your internet bill could change

Chances are you pay a flat monthly fee for your internet connection now. Some companies charge different prices for faster or slower connections, but don't limit what you can access.
The recent repeal of FCC's net neutrality rules have opened the doors for internet service providers to experiment with different pricing structures. In theory you could be charged more for a Netflix and Amazon Prime Video tier, or social media networks could be an additional monthly fee. Any changes are likely to start small, as companies test the reactions of customers and see if they flee to competitors (where there are any).

Most smartphone camera upgrades have focused on improving the actual camera, like packing more pixels or a bigger sensor into a limited space. Now companies like Google are using computing to take photos to the next level. The Pixel 2 smartphone is able to detect the outline of a subject and throw the background out of focus, and the company recently released a few small photography apps. Look for big improvements in how your photos look, like less noise in low light, and fun new tricks.

Article taken from CNN Tech