2018 will be a wild ride for technology

Jan 01, 2018, 13:59 IST | Jaison Lewis

From a possible rise in crypto currency investments to flexible phones, videos in 8K and more advancement in AI, 2018 is already looking like a wild ride for technology 

crypto coin

Getting in on the crypto coin

Crypto currency was a huge buzzword this year and will continue to be one in 2018. This year, we will witness mainstream companies and even governments attempt to get in on the crypto currency market by launching their own. Hyundai and Burger King have already taken the plunge and there are rumours that Amazon isn’t too far behind.

Even banks are getting in on the action with some investments in crypto currencies. While there are signs that this may all be a bubble, especially with Bitcoin, the opportunities that a decentralized currency offers are real. While Bitcoin is mostly unaffordable, you might be interested in the other upcoming coins in the market. Just do your research before buying.

Flex that phone 

flexible screens

We have been hearing of phones with flexible screens for years now. Everyone who is anyone, except Apple, has shown at least one flexible screen prototype phone. This year, however, you might actually see a phone with a flexible screen launched. As phone companies continue to increase the size of screens while keeping the devices portable, they will be forced to expedite the new screens to stay relevant. Samsung has already filed some patents for folding phones and rumours are it will make its debut before the holiday season next year. The rumoured name is Galaxy X; expect flexible phones from LG too. 

The virtual is a big reality

cost-effective VR gear

It took a long time for VR to be adopted, but with availability of simple and cost-effective VR gear in the pipeline, this form of entertainment might get the boost that it requires. Gaming will be where most of the interesting action happens; Sony has already launched their VR headset that connects to the PlayStation 4 with a whole host of games coming out for the system this year. Both Oculus and Google have also announced low-cost self-contained VR headsets that don’t require a phone or computer. Not to mention there is now a huge amount of VR video content available on popular video streaming services with more being added everyday as 360-degree cameras become more affordable.

360-degree view for you

360-degree camera

360-degree cameras will be very affordable and very popular this year, especially since the consumption of VR content is up, thanks to the availability of cheap VR gear and high-speed Internet connections. Though 360-degree cameras are already available in India they are a bit pricey. This might change this year as more consumer players get in on the mix. Xioami, Samsung, Insta360 and GoPro have low-cost 360-degree cameras in the works. Video services like YouTube and Facebook already have support for live streaming VR feeds, which means you can expect to watch product launches and other live events while sitting on your couch. 

Internet of Things and AI

Alexa and Google Home

Assistant devices have taken the world by storm. Alexa and Google Home are invaluable to their users and this is just the beginning. These devices use artificial intelligence to profile their users and anticipate what they want, add smart devices like locks, light bulbs, washing machines and air conditioners into the mix and you have a smart home. These technologies will go from being gimmicks to being actually useful, thanks to assistant services. Imagine reaching home after a tough day at work and finding your lights and music already set along with the temperature for an evening of relaxation. This will be made possible with the ever-growing intelligence of assistant devices and the proliferation of smart appliances, which will only grow this year. 

From 4K to 8K

4K TV

TV companies have already flattened 4K TVs into wallpaper-like panels. Come this year though, the 4K format will be a thing of the past. LG and Samsung are already experimenting with 8K panels, showing some of these beauties at trade shows. We might see the first consumer- ready products sometime this year, though actual adoption may take a while. 4K videos have only really gained traction this year when it has been commercially available since 2013. So, it might be safe to say we won’t be seeing a proper adoption of the format for at least three to four years. 

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