News about progress in the area of artificial intelligence have caught our attention many times in recent months. Many experts and tech journalists focused our attention also on how augmented reality is increasing its importance. At the same time, we often heard both optimistic and disturbing news about IoT technology.
But in the last few weeks nothing has probably hit the headlines as spectacularly as news about bitcoin. This cryptocurrency debuted in 2009. As many still remember, there was a time when one bitcoin costed less than a dolar. The currency experienced many cycles of appreciation and depreciation through the years. However, this autumn the price of bitcoin rocketed enormously. It surged past 17 000 USD.
What’s going to happen next? Some experts predict that we will witness the rise of state-sanctioned cryptocurrencies, even though it might not happen as quickly as in one year time. But a different scenario might be even more plausible.
− We are already witnessing rise of many startups that intent to create and popularize new cryptocurrencies. I am convinced that this phenomenon will be shaping the reality in 2018 and, moreover, we will see many cases of abuse in this area - says Alexey Shabalovskiy, CTO of EMBIQ. - On the contrary to the traditional currency market, this area is not appropriately regulated by law. Cryptocurrency market lacks mechanisms that could prevent speculation-bubbles, financial pyramids and other unfair actions. There are already some examples of questionable practices that cannot be effectively restrained.
It is more than likely, that bitcoin may also cause troubles for investors. Especially for inexperienced and careless beginners.
- The bitcoin bubble, that we observe now, will pop many times in the next months. We’ve seen it before and it will happen again. It is also possible that some other cryptocurrency will take bitcoin’s place. Perhaps ethereum or IOTA has the potential to replace it, but maybe a completely new invention will emerge and conquer the market - concludes Alexey Shabalovskiy.
As for blockchain, the technology that’s behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, it can be expected to be used more often outside the finance sector than it is now. Some might try to use it more widely to ensure authenticity of legal documents, to secure transfer of ownership and protect other legal proceedings. Of course none of this will be plain sailing and many blockchain-related initiatives might experience striking failures.
However, also the already mentioned IoT will probably remain a buzzword in 2018. According to Gartner, a world-renowned research and advisory company, buyers will definitely be drawn to IoT-capable products. In fact, the company forecasts that this technology will be present in 95 percent of electronics for new product design by 2020.
What's interesting, Deloitte Global, in its annual Technology, Media & Telecommunication report, points out i.a. that AR technology will also be strongly marking its presence. The company predicts that over a billion smartphone users will generate augmented reality content at least once in the upcoming year. Many will do that much more often. The AR tech will become available in many apps and, of course, a growing number of mobile devices will be able to support it.
This stands against a quite popular belief, that smartphones aren’t likely to surprise us with any major technological changes in the near future. Deloitte Global emphasises, that the incoming upgrades might be hard to notice at first sight, but the progress in these devices’ performance will in fact be huge. In a few years many smartphones will incorporate not only AR tech, but also AI chips. Furthermore, as the report states, it is likely that much more sensors will be used in such products.
Apparently, smartphones and other commonly used electronic devices will continue to satisfy our pursuit of convenience by assisting us in more and more everyday tasks. Their development will also aim at providing us with new forms of entertainment.
In the earlier mentioned report, experts from Garner also refer to that. They indicate, that we will probably not only use more intelligent devices and apps, but also more convenient methods to find what we are looking for on the Internet. The company’s experts predict that in the close future it will certainly pay-off to redesign websites to support visual and voice search. According to Gartner, early adopter brands that do so, will increase their digital commerce revenue by 30 procent by 2021.
Which of these predictions and of other forecasts will prove to be true? No one knows for sure. However, it might be a good idea to think over what the experts anticipate and to make sure that your business will manage to keep up with the changes.