“Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born,” computer scientist Alan Kay aptly states.
I remember the days of listening to cassette tapes on a Sony Walkman, listening to the radio for hours just waiting to record my favorite song, and even having to access the Internet using a dial-up connection.
With every passing year, new innovations bring massive changes to the technology that surrounds us. What’s common today will soon be replaced with something else tomorrow.
For your enjoyment, I present to you four technology predictions for 2018.
Widespread Adoption of New Digital Interfaces
Android smartphone users love to brag how their devices are the pioneers for many features in mobile technologies. They enjoy taunting Apple iPhone users, like myself, with phrases like, “We had that in our phones two years ago.” (Yes, Cai and Scott R, two of my techs, I’m talking about you!)
When Apple introduced the iPhone X in October, it adopted facial recognition as the way to unlock your phone. Some Android devices also use facial recognition and iris scanning to access them.
But digital interfaces will begin appearing elsewhere too. Vehicles will start to incorporate facial recognition to save unique settings for each driver. Fingerprint scanners will be used to allow access to various facilities, like your neighborhood gym.
Subscription Models Become the Norm
Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Pandora, and a host of other companies have already acclimated consumers to paying for movies and music on a month-to-month basis.
Adobe switched to subscription-only plans for its entire suite of creative products in 2013. Microsoft is now encouraging consumers and businesses to purchase the Microsoft Office software through its recurring Office 365 subscription plans.
You’ll see many other software and service companies switch to offering their products and services by subscription instead of one-time purchases.
Cryptocurrencies and the Blockchain Continue To Rise
If you’re not familiar with the terms “cryptocurrency” and “blockchain,” you may want to start doing some research.
The blockchain is simply an online ledger, originally designed to track cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in a secure and efficient way. But the technology has been quickly adopted by other industries because it reduces cost and improves efficiencies.
Despite advice by uninformed financial talking heads on TV, early investors in cryptocurrencies and other blockchain technologies have pocketed major gains.
While it is still a volatile investment, in-the-know investment advisors predict continued growth throughout 2018.
Security Breaches Continue And Cybersecurity Remains A Big Focus
From the WannaCry ransomware attack that crippled over 300,000 computers worldwide to the Equifax security breach that compromised financial records of as many as 143 million people, such incidents will continue to regularly occur throughout 2018.
As a result, small businesses will see the need (and even be mandated) to adopt better cybersecurity protections to safeguard information stored on their computers.
It’s impossible to predict the future – especially in the tech world. But in December, it’ll be fun to look back and see what changes actually occurred.