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4 top tech advances to watch in 2018

As 2018 fast approaches, we thought it was a great time to start looking forward to all the new and exciting technological advances we can expect to see over the course of the next year. With everything seeming to develop at the speed of light, we leave the drama of much-awaited innovations like the IoT and driverless cars to 2017, and start to look towards to the next radical advances set change to our world!


5G is coming soon, very soon, and with Intel largely leading the developments, the tech giant has announced that it will be unveiling its 5G mobile trial platform at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games. This will be the first big release of 5G that the world has been waiting for, Korea Telecom, KT will deliver the first broad-scale 5G network paired with Intel 5G technologies and this is set to enable a series of immersive onsite 5G-powered experiences.

5G is a new network system that has much higher speeds and capacity, and much lower latency than any existing cellular systems. While the technologies to be used in 5G are still being defined, there are many details on which everyone agrees. 5G networks will use a type of encoding called OFDM, which is similar to the encoding that LTE uses. Though, the air interface will be designed for much lower latency and greater flexibility than LTE.

The new networks will predominantly use very high frequencies that can transmit huge amounts of data, but in only a few blocks at a time. Other than speed, the biggest change 5G may bring to its user is in virtual and augmented reality. As phones transform into devices that allow the digital and real world to work together like never before, the very low latency and consistent speeds of 5G will give you an internet-augmented world, if and whenever you want it.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) is the technological advance that’s poised to change nearly every industry in 2018 and beyond. Often mistakenly mentioned as interchangeable with virtual reality (VR), augmented reality enhances the world we live in rather than creating a whole new sensory world – therefore offering a host of different opportunities to VR and far advancing it in 2018.

Along with the emerging 5G technology, AR capabilities will soon be on every new smartphone. As interest builds from tech industry giants like Apple, Google and Microsoft, Augmented Reality is rapidly growing in its uses too. In a report released earlier this year, BCC Research estimated the global market for AR will reach more than $120 billion by 2020, up from a mere $8 billion in 2016 – demonstrating the gaining trust in the technology.

The future affordability of using AR in training forms a large part of the drive behind its development and is set to transform the way we learn. An example of a platform already being trialled for professional use and expected to be in wide use in 2018 is the training of surgeons through AR simulated cadavers, allowing trainees to no longer need real cadavers to train on, saving large costs and time in healthcare training.

Within engineering there are also programmes being developed to help connect experts to workers around the world with real-time, visual tutorials whilst on the job – saving a lot of time and money.

These examples are just a couple of the uses in the pipeline poised to revolutionise training in nearly every industry. With the ability to connect workers and experts across the globe with the latest and best information out there, AR is set to take interactive, digital learning to the next level.

Artificial Intelligence – Consumer Cloud Robotics

Cloud Robotics is certainly one of the most dramatic emerging innovations ready to take the world by storm in 2018. With systems now being developed to teach themselves more than was initially programmed; we are now looking at a future with self-evolving AI.

As the buzz around IoT reduces, the next logical evolution for the companies that have driven its rise will be cloud-based robotics. We’ll start seeing more special-purpose robots come onto the commercial market towards the end of 2018. Get ready for “the Roomba of” everything from vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers to car washes and beyond.

The upcoming consumer robotics will bring smart automation to daily life, and see automatic technologies transforming our environments, in the same way the self-driving vehicle has changed the way we think about transportation.

As machine learning and artificial intelligence draw on the huge resources of the Cloud for training, these technologies will have huge impacts on the future of work. Able to learn what’s normal and what isn’t, machines will play an ever-expanding role in automation and predictive problem-solving – we have yet to truly see how robots will replace many traditional human roles, 2018 will start to herald this watershed moment in.

High-Speed Transportation

When the concepts for Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) were first announced in 2015, it was widely doubted that the concept would be ready to have people use it by 2018, (its proposed deadline). After all, many countries are still waiting on high-speed railways! But it seems that the rapidly fast, airless transport system, first thought of by Elon Musk, is actually going ahead to trial at the end of next year.

The Hyperloop is a concept in which pressurised capsules are shot through reduced-pressure tubes at extremely high speeds that are much faster than conventional train lines. The capsules ride on air cushions, driven by linear induction motors and air compressors, and are able to reach upwards of 750mph (1,200km/h). With speeds like these being touted, it has the potential to get you from Los Angeles to San Francisco in just 30minutes – a journey that would usually take several hours.

Designs for test tracks and capsules resulted in a full-scale prototype 5-mile (8 km) track built by Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) between San Francisco and Los Angeles. While initially the concept was not taken entirely seriously, Hyperloop now sees more widespread adoption in the decades ahead, as the full economic and technological benefits are realised. Towards the end of the century, it’s considered that these ‘vactrains’, reaching thousands of miles per hour, will be commonplace throughout much of the world, forming a new global network.

It’s set to be an exciting year ahead!

With all of these technological innovations set to take place in 2018, there is no doubt that next year is poised to be a transformational one! As we advance ever more into a world previously thought of as mere science fiction, it’s increasingly realised that there is no end to the bounds of technology. Stay tuned to the impact all of these advances on our every day in the very near future!


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