The 5 trends businesses can’t afford to ignore in 2018

1. Speech self service

This year, we have seen a lot of ads about the latest Google device that responds to your voice commands. Google Home is really making inroads into our domestic situations. It still feels odd to ask the device out loud to turn on the lights and music, but I have heard that children are already using it for their homework assignments. Clearly they are not shy and in time, neither will we be, as the technology continues to get smarter.

2. Digital Privacy and Safety

Just because they share their entire life on social media, this doesn’t mean that Gen Y is not concerned about safety measures online. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The digital rights and governance group at the University of Sydney conducted a survey of 1,600 people and found that the majority of people in their 20s and 30s were most concerned. Online platforms like FortKnoxster are taking advantage of blockchain technology, decentralized storage, and advanced encryption, and creating potential solutions to help protect user safety as it becomes more important.

3. Hollywood Technologies

I call these Hollywood Technologies because the very abilities we have seen in the movies are finally making their appearance. Passwords will become a thing of the past as we start to see voice print as identification and with biometrics embedded into hand held devices, like iris scanning and face recognition. One company (Prellis Biologics) can now print organs on demand with a 3D printer. What was once the realm of sci-fi is now real.

4. Blockchain

A major mainstream credit card company is already using blockchain, a more secure and transparent method to pay, as it is said to be a more efficient method of paying. It also removes the need to swipe a credit card. MasterCard’s blockchain operates independently of a cryptocurrency, and instead accepts payments in local currency.

5. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is becoming more mainstream and businesses are staring to utilise it. We built a basic chat bot utilising an AI platform in just a week and a half. The great thing is that no longer are large enterprises leading the way – anyone can be involved. Companies are now making their AI tools accessible and easy to use, so we will see more experimentation and innovation from smaller businesses.

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