Some technology trends to watch for in 2018

Some technology trends to watch for in 2018
Technology is constantly evolving. More mature network infrastructure, wider availability of data and increased processing power have all helped advance technologies such as deep learning and edge analytics to the next level. So what’s new this year and what’s trending?
 
A new whitepaper titled “8 in 2018: The top transformative technologies to watch this year” from IHS Markit is offering their take on what will be in store in the new year. Among the technologies are AI, IoT and blockchain that even those of us in security are closely following – technologies that can be leveraged by end users for security as well as non-security applications.
 
The report, the result of IHS’s survey of its leading technology experts, aims to “find out how these technologies are coming together in new and powerful ways to fundamentally change businesses, fuel innovation, disrupt industries and create both threats and opportunities,” the research firm said.  “From the Internet of Things to the cloud to artificial intelligence, industries are seeing a new wave of technologies that have the potential to transform and significantly impact the world around us,” it said.
 
That said, the following are the top eight technology trends to watch this year:
 

Artificial intelligence

 
According to IHS, AI has matured to the point where it is being used as a competitive differentiator in several industries. It further points out optimization for on-device versus cloud-based solutions is becoming an area of focus. “Cloud AI has more computing power to analyze data as it utilizes deep learning algorithms, but there are potential issues around privacy, latency and stability. On-device AI, meanwhile, can help offset those dangers to some degree. For instance, smartphone users who deploy the built-in AI of their phones are able to store data locally and thus safeguard their privacy,” it said.
 

IoT

 
Citing its forecast that the global installed base of IoT devices will rise to 73 billion in 2025, IHS notes that enhancements in IoT connectivity, such as low-power wireless access (LPWA), will drive growth. It further said that adjacent technologies will become increasingly sophisticated. “Machine video and ubiquitous video will empower new types of visual analytics. And AI, the cloud and virtualization will help develop critical insights sourced from data at the so-called ‘edge’ of computing networks,” it said.
 

Cloud and virtualization

 
According to IHS, cloud services will pave the way for technologically immature companies to utilize machine learning (ML) and AI, radically transforming their usage and understanding of data.
 

Connectivity

 
While the first 5G commercial deployments have emerged, the path to full 5G adoption and deployment is complicated, with new opportunities and challenges alike in store for mobile network operators, infrastructure providers, device manufacturers and end users, IHS said. “5G represents a dramatic expansion of traditional cellular technology use cases beyond mobile voice and broadband, to include a multitude of IoT and mission-critical applications,” it said.
 

Ubiquitous video

 
According to IHS, the growing use of screens and cameras across multiple consumer- and enterprise-device categories, along with increasingly advanced broadcast, fixed and mobile data networks, is powering an explosion in video consumption, creation, distribution and data traffic. It further points out video content is increasingly expanding beyond entertainment into industrial applications for medical, education, security and remote controls, as well as digital signage.
 

Computer vision

 
“The proliferation of image sensors, as well as improvements in image processing and analysis, are enabling a broad range of applications and use cases including industrial robots, drone applications, intelligent transportation systems, high-quality surveillance, and medical and automotive,” the paper notes.
 

Robots and drones

 
Drones and robots’ roles in manufacturing and other sectors have become increasingly important. Indoor drones, for example, can help with installation or monitoring in places that’s hard to access for humans. The report confirms this notion. “The deeper underpinnings of the story lie in the disruptive potential of robots and drones to transform long-standing business models in manufacturing and industry, impacting critical areas such as logistics, material picking and handling, navigational autonomy and delivery,” it said.
 

Blockchain

 
Finally, blockchain has emerged as a much-discussed technology that can help with identity management, secure transactions and beyond. “Blockchain-based services beyond financial services are already being developed and deployed and will continue to ramp in 2018. These include: the use of blockchain to improve advertising measurement and combat ad fraud; blockchain-based systems for distributing music royalty payments; and solutions to better track and manage electronics supply chains,” IHS said.


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