The most significant technological advancements in 2017 provide clues to what we can expect during the coming year. Many of these developments involve smartphones, which are still gaining capabilities at a rapid pace. The continuing reduction of electronic components also creates the possibility of new devices in the near future. Other tech trends for 2018 deal with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
1. Bezel-less Displays
The Gaxlaxy Note 8 and iPhone X have already started the trend in bezel-less smartphones, which will grow quickly in 2018. Many new smartphone features are just gimmicks, but everyone can use more display area on their mobile device. The 2:1 aspect ratio of many new smartphones also increases the display area by making better use of their natural shape. These features are already in mid-range phones and should appear on budget phones shortly.
Wearables are currently used primarily in medicine, but their use will become more prevalent in 2017. Their applications in preventative healthcare will ensure these devices continue to become more popular for the foreseeable future. Fitness trackers can already monitor vital signs such heart rate, but implants will soon be able to perform these tasks. Wearables will eventually perform diagnostics on the wearer, which can be downloaded and evaluated by physicians.
3. Smart Home Devices
Smart home speakers such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant are already available, but they still require Internet access to do anything. Apple’s Siri also needs to retrieve information through the internet, although it can access the iPhone’s processor. Digital assistants that can learn by themselves may be available as early as next year, which will require AI capabilities such as facial recognition and natural language processing. Additional advances in smart home devices should include resolving some of their privacy issues.
4. Wireless Charging
Wireless charging has been available for mobile devices since about 2009, but its commercial success has been limited so far. The primary disadvantage has been that they’re considerably slower than wire chargers, but that’s now changing with the recent release of fast wireless chargers. The iPhone8 and iPhone X were also released in 2017, both of which feature wireless charging. The expected popularity of these iPhones ensures that the efficiency of wireless charging will continue to increase.
5. AR and VR
AR and VR may become standard features for mobile devices in 2018. Apple patented an AR system in 2013, but it wasn’t until Apple officially announced its support for an AR platform in 2017 that it started to go mainstream. Niantic Labs may also release Harry Potter: Wizards Unite in 2018, which is an AR game for mobile devices that doesn’t require additional hardware, unlike Google’s unsuccessful Tango platform.
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