In 2018, we saw a clear trend in the technology industry – it shifted from a business focus to a consumer focus. As machines (from smartphones to Fitbits) were being made smarter and friendlier, technological innovations often surpassed human intelligence. ‘Man’ and ‘man-made’ are pretty much indistinguishable now.
Let’s take a look at 6 key technology trends in 2018 that will continue to matter long into 2019:
Internet of Things (IoT)
Google Home and Amazon Echo have been here for a while but 2018 saw a big shift towards versatility. The new age devices are not just objects connected to the internet but they are smart, intelligent and above all assistive. Controlled by voice, these devices are a pleasant change from the hand-held screens. Is this technology trend here to stay in 2019? Yes! But what will be interesting to see this year is how businesses use IoT to connect with their customers and get better at delivering service.
While machines learn to think on our behalf, we learn to trust them. Artificial intelligence has led to self-correcting and self-learning systems that provide unparalleled assistance to our every need. AI has made our Facebook newsfeeds smarter and improved Google search results. Meanwhile, WhatsApp now suggests the apt emoji for the conversations we are having and machines like Amazon Echo answer our verbal commands. As AI grows, one more area that has seen some evolution is chatbots. Chatbots can serve as virtual assistants in any industry and act as much more than an information-retrieving system. 2019’s evolved chatbots will listen, understand and give humanized answers.
This year saw a strong trend toward mobile banking and a steady increase in the number of digital-only banks with no physical branches. Paytm payments bank, which got its banking licence in 2017, is one of the biggest examples of a digital-only bank in India. With Google and Apple leading the mobile payment game globally, it looks like this technology trend is here to stay, both abroad and in India.
As the banks go digital, the financial services industry is seen dealing with increased cyber attacks. Having said that, security will be a top priority for the FinTech industry in 2019. We saw an increase in the use of biometrics as an easy alternative to passwords. Many mobile apps, especially the banking ones can now be logged in using fingerprints only. Biometrics are not only secure but user-friendly too, therefore this technology is here to stay.
2018 was a year of videos. We all been bombarded with live videos from our friends, family members and favourite celebrities and brands. While a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. This year Instagram set in motion the live video feature and LinkedIn launched video posts. We also saw an increase in the use of GIFs, boomerangs and Snapchat filters. As live videos get more and more popular every day, it will be very interesting to see how this shapes the future of marketing and brand communication. This technology trend might also lead to the development of smart recording and streaming devices.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been making the rounds of technology trends for a while now. Virtual reality provides a different way for users to interact with technology and 2018 saw an increase in its usage. While we are sure that this trend is here to stay, there are still questions around any valuable application of VR. Many businesses are now using AR and VR to impart skill training and collaboration at the workplace.
So there you have it – the 6 technology trends that shaped the digital landscape in 2018 and are going to be a big part of 2019 tech industry as well. While most of these technologies have been here for a while it will be very interesting to see some useful applications and collaborations in 2019.