Trend Monitor 2018: more intelligent, more digital, more connected

Wednesday, 28. February 2018

Trend Monitor 2018:
more intelligent, more digital, more connected

This year again, we had a look at the most exciting top-trends in technology and subdivided into three phases what numerous experts have predicted: Trends, which have just emerged, which are already part of the (long-term) agenda of many organizations and trends, which cannot be avoided in 2018. We can already reveal one thing: Our lives will become more intelligent, digital and connected in 2018.

Emerging Trend: narrow AI

Pflanze webArtificial Intelligence (AI) remains among the top issues in 2018– areas of application are becoming more and more concrete, however. Stock market trend expert Matt Koppenheffer explains in his Blog „The Motley Fool“: “Today, people are talking a lot about artificial intelligence – with autonomous robots in their minds trying to take over world domination. But in 2018, the real benefit for enterprises will derive of implementing algorithms and intelligent computers, which are good at doing one very specific job.” This form of artificial intelligence is called “narrow AI”: It enables computers to do certain jobs extremely well, for example driving a car, and is used in a great variety of areas – from language translation to content management in Facebook’s newsfeed. An example: The taxi drones of the company EHANG, which are in already in use in some Chinese metropolises. So AI technologies are becoming more and more tangible – and more and more relevant for organizations of various branches.

Booming Trend: Blockchain
Weg web

The blockchain will become vastly accepted in 2018: The “digital logbooks” can be used by anyone in order to track transactions between two parties – the crypto currency Bitcoin, for example, deploys a distributed kind of blockchain. However, there are many more ways of deployment – just think of e. g. patients’ records with blockchain technology: The individual patient history can be stored in a safe, decentralized place and could be accessed by various medical practices and centers, with no need to coordinate and update the records. Banking and insurance institutions, stock exchanges, hospitals, utility companies, retailers: “There is hardly any industry and hardly any relevant enterprise not dealing with the blockchain”, – this is how the German Newspaper WirtschaftsWoche sums it up. In short: It has become clear that blockchain listings and connections seem to grow constantly. However, there is still no evidence that the idea is as powerful in practice as promised by theory. In 2018, the technology will have to provide this evidence for the first time on a major scale in reality.

Trend in Bloom: Augmented Reality (AR)

Fokus webAugmented Reality (AR) was among our top three technology trends in 2017, and there is a great deal of exciting developments in this field in 2018 coming up as well. Apple already published the operation system iOS 11 with augmented reality features and opened up the road for AR apps: Facebook, too, laid the foundation for using AR on the platform by enabling developers to build AR filters and camera effects for their apps. For example, you can already use IKEA’s app Place to virtually place furniture in your living room. Another great example for successful AR use are the „Jedi Challenges“: The cooperation of Lenovo, Microsoft and Disney allows Star Wars fans for realistic lightsaber fights in their homes already today. As you see, some AR apps are already perfected and marketable – and since smartphones are more and more compatible with the new technology, they will be more and more popular in 2018. Therefore, companies should now start asking themselves the question of how they can repurpose their product with AR technologies and inspire their target group in the future.

These trends show that the digital change, that affects our working and social lives so much, has only just begun: New application options for technological achievements like AI, blockchain or AR are emerging one after another. However, experience shows that the speed curve of the digital revolution is exponentially pointing upwards. To recognize relevant trends in good time and identify trendsetting technologies, having a look at our strategy blog regularly is worthwhile – we promise always to keep track of tech trends!