Top tech predictions and trends to watch out for in 2018

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2017 was the year of the voice assistant, with Amazon Alexa finding its way into everything from smart speakers and TVs to cars and fridges.

This trend is set to continue in 2018, but Alexa will face growing competition from Google Assistant and Apple Siri – with Apple releasing HomePod, its answer to Amazon Echo, early in the New Year.

Interacting with these voice assistants may seem unnatural at first, but as the technology improves, people may start to see them as a more intuitive way to access services than tapping on a screen.

Apple will release HomePod, its answer to Amazon Echo, early in the New Year

Artificial intelligence will find its way into more and more consumer products, meaning your devices will increasingly learn your habits and preempt your behaviour.

So before long you’ll be relying on robot travel agents to plan your holidays, connected cars to get you where you need to go, and social networks to read your emotions and assess your mental health.

Driverless deliveries from the likes of Ocado and Domino’s could also start rolling out more widely in 2018, thanks to growing adoption of autonomous vehicles, drones and self-driving robots.

Driverless deliveries from the likes of Domino’s could also start rolling out more widely

Augmented reality is poised to enter the mainstream, with both Amazon and Apple rumoured to be working on smart glasses that will overlay digital information – such as street names and local points of interest – onto the real world.

Meanwhile, retailers like Ikea are developing AR apps that will let you see what items of furniture look like in your home before you buy them.

Ahead of Britain’s imminent departure from the EU, many are looking for ways to take control of the things that matter most to them – such as health and finance.

Retailers will come up with new clever uses of augmented reality

This could see more people investing in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and using wearable devices like Fitbit and Apple Watch to monitor their own fitness.

And for those looking to escape our planet altogether, SpaceX and Blue Origin are promising to carry out the first commercial space flights in 2018.

This will allow wealthy tourists to travel outside of the Earth’s atmosphere for the first time – and perhaps one day take holidays on the International Space Station.


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