Innovation

Top 5: Tech trends that will make headlines in 2018

With each new year comes a fresh crop of tech stories. Here are Tom Merritt's predictions about the five topics we'll hear most about in 2018.

We're heading into a new year and it's always fun to think about what's in store. But sometimes looking at what's happening right now can help you get ready for what's next. Why am I talking in zen koans?

Because I'm about to throw down the top five tech trends to watch for in 2018.

1. Machine learning

What can it really do and what practical uses is it being put to? This year, watch for real advances to finally start pulling some of the publicity from marketing claims.

SEE: Machine learning business use will double by end of 2018, report says (TechRepublic)

2. Blockchain

Forget Bitcoin. Well, set it to the side for the moment. It may be the most famous use of a blockchain but the number of uses for blockchains are exploding. Watch for the first big success stories that don't involve a cryptocurrency.

SEE: Yes, Blockchain could reverse the course of civilization and upend the world's most powerful companies (ZDNet)

3. Autonomous cars

A bus in Las Vegas, Waymo cars in Arizona, and shuttles in Singapore are all driverless realities right now. Be on the look out for the earliest opportunities for business uses.

SEE: GM to begin testing self-driving cars in New York in early 2018 (ZDNet)

4. Augmented reality

A number of companies from old timers like Meta to Apple are aiming for this market. Expect more and differentiated products for AR in the field and beyond.

SEE: Six tech topics for software engineers to watch in 2018 (TechRepublic)

5. Internet of Things

The chips are getting cheaper and with the advent of 5G the data is getting faster. And this will drive edge computing to the forefront of digital transformation.

Here are a few more tech prognostications from TechRepublic and sister site, ZDNet:

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Image: iStock/Weedezign

About Tom Merritt

Tom is an award-winning independent tech podcaster and host of regular tech news and information shows. Tom hosts Sword and Laser, a science fiction and fantasy podcast, and book club with Veronica Belmont. He also hosts Daily Tech News Show, coverin...

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