360 video: Tech trends for 2018 that will change your everyday life
Posted on December 12, 2017
1 min read
Hot off the technology presses at Telstra’s Chief Technology Office – meet the five trends that will change your everyday life next year, including everything from the mass adoption of voice assistance, to cheering on the newest category of athletes and the tech toys your kids actually want for Christmas.
If you prefer listening to our tech trends on the go, listen to our in-depth podcast on the 2018 tech trends here:
1 Voice assistance
We’ve had voice assistants on our phones for years now thanks to Siri and Google Voice Search. Now with Google Home we are seeing this moving into our living spaces in a convenient form via a smart speaker, and with the ability to control our lights, locks, security, music and videos, just by speaking normally. Amazon has recently announced that that their voice service Alexa will be coming soon to the Australian market, heating up this space further. From here you’ll be able to shop, order Ubers and more, again just by speaking. We are still waiting for Apple’s smart speaker and no doubt Samsung will continue to build around its Bixby Voice Assistant (recently revamped on the Note 8) leveraging its appliance business and recent acquisition of audio specialist Harman. How all these ecosystems will work together is a challenge worth solving.
eSports has really been big for years, but it is about to be launched into mainstream stemming from increased interest from ‘traditional’ players like the AFL and Channel Seven. Unimaginable by most people only a few years ago, eSports events such as the KeSPA CUP tournaments in South Korea already fill arenas – mostly made up by audience, as in any spectator sport. It won’t be long until sporting grounds like Etihad Stadium will be filled by eSports events in Australia as well, with the audience watching the tournaments being played out on big screens and enjoying the atmosphere – by that time it will become clear to everyone that eSports and computer games in general are not a marginal phenomenon or just the domain of the ‘nerds’.
3 AR-enabled apps
The next product to be made obsolete by mobile phones: the tape measure. While Pokémon Go was the AR phenomenon of the past year, Apple’s ARKit in iOS 11 and Google’s ARCore will pave the way for the next wave of AR applications. This wave promises to be not only more advanced for entertainment purposes, but also enable more useful features such as accurate distance and area measurements.
The first trials of autonomous vehicles – in fact a shuttle in Perth – took place in 2016. Next year we will see many more trials in most states of Australia as operators explore where these new AVs fit in the transport system, how people react to them, and how they connect for best efficiency and safety. Rideshare users will likely get more choice as incumbent Uber and local rideshare GoCatch will see Lyft (a major player in the US) enter the market. We may also see services like UberPool which offer lower fares by sharing rides roll out here – which is good for traffic and good for your wallet. On-demand public transport may start to become apparent as well – think luxury minibuses booked via an app and shared among four or more people. Finally, bikes are going to get more popular. We’ve seen Singapore’s oBike hit Australian shores with the ability to share them for one way trips anywhere, enabled by connectivity and understanding location. The next wave is electric bikes which you pedal but can give you an e-boost – expect to see them in greater numbers. Already in Europe and China these small vehicles are making it easier than ever for a wider group to access active transport and help improve traffic.
5 Programmable toys
Schools have begun to incorporate software development, or ‘coding’, into their curriculum, as teaching students to code is considered a good way to prepare them for future jobs where computers will be ubiquitous and also assists in a broader availability of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills. Recently, educational devices have appeared that are fun to use but also have an element of coding, and such devices might be used by kids at home just as easily as kids at school. BBC has released a cheap device called the micro:bit that, for just $20, allows kids to do simple coding on a smartphone and wirelessly program the micro:bit, without a traditional computer ever being involved. At the more premium end of the toy market, Sphero offers a range of toys from rolling balls to Star Wars characters that can also be programmed from a smartphone or tablet. Kids have fun and learn valuable skills at the same time.
Google is a trademark of Google, Inc
Apple/Siri are trademarks of Apple, Inc
Amazon Echo/Alexa are trademarks of Amazon Technologies, Inc.
Uber/UberPool are trademarks of Uber Technologies, Inc.
Samsung/Bixby Voice Assistant are trademarks of Samsung Electronics Co Limited
Harman is a trademark of Harman Technology Limited
AFL is a trademark of Australian Football League
Channel 7 is a trademark of Seven Network (Operations) Limited
Etihad is a trademark of Etihad Airways
GoCatch is a trademark of Taxi Apps Pty Ltd
Lyft is a trademark of Lyft Inc.
oBike is a trademark of oBike Asia PTE.LTD
micro:bit is a trademark of BBC
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