7 Emerging Tech Trends For 2018

2017 was certainly an epic year for technological innovation and digital transformation. But we have only recently entered the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and 2018 promises to see more exponential changes. There are several areas where I see impact that I have briefly highlighted. Below are my predictions:[su_spacer]

1) The Internet of Things (IoT)

Predictions from only a couple of years ago envisioned 50 billion devices (including our smartphones, appliances, and office equipment) connected to the internet by 2020. Now estimates may go beyond that. In 2018 the growth of IoT connectivity will sure with 5G networks, cloud computing, and cheaper sensors.

2) Artificial Intelligence (AI) 

AI will see large gains in both capability and performance in 2018. Emergent artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are no longer things of science fiction and will likely change operations and have arrived. Companies are already developing technology to distribute artificial intelligence software to millions of graphics and computer processors around the world.  Robotics are also becoming more ingrained in the deployment of AI. No doubt this will have implication on governing, commerce, sustainability, health, and even how we fight wars in the future.[su_spacer]

3) Smart Cities 

2018 will be the year of The Smart Cities. Smart Cities integrate transportation, energy, water resources, waste collections, smart-building technologies, and security technologies and services. The term “smart city” connotes creating a public/private infrastructure to conduct activities that protect and secure citizens. This includes shared situational awareness and enabling integrated operational actions to prevent, mitigate, respond to, and recover from cyber incidents as well as crime, terrorism and natural disasters.[su_spacer]

4) Quantum and Super-Computing

We have come a long way from the rather large and slow PCs. We are now at the footstep of quantum computing in The Cloud with flexible and wearable electronics. Recent breakthroughs in physics, nanotechnologies, and materials science have brought us into a computing reality that we could not have imagined a decade ago. As we get closer to a fully operational quantum computer, a new world of supercomputing beckons that will impact on almost every aspect of our lives.[su_spacer]

5) Big Data Analytics

According to Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, we produce more data every other day than we did from the inception of early civilization until the year 2003 combined. Therefore organizing, managing and analyzing data is more important than ever. Big data and data analytics are collapsing the information gap and giving businesses and governments the tools they need to uncover trends, population movements, customer preferences, demographics, commercial traffic, transportation, etc. These tools (enhanced via machine learning and artificial intelligence) can also help several industries, including customer service, by identifying caller trends; healthcare, by flagging potential fraud; and financial services, by proactively flagging a borrower that is on the verge of lapsing in payment. In 2018, the capabilities of data analytics is something agencies and businesses cannot ignore because it can increase productivity, efficiency, decision-making and new business activities.

6) Block Chain

In a nutshell, Block Chain is a technology and process for managing data and digital assets. It can be characterized as a public decentralized and distributed ledger technology that records historical transactions of any asset or currency. It functions as a peer-to-peer community network via a consensus-driven process. It is the technology behind cryptocurrencies. Block Chain acts both as the information and the conduit. It also creates an audit trail that makes it appealing for reconciliation purposes of historical records, transactions, and regulations that will impact a whole host of future functions and services, including cybersecurity. The issue has been the scalability of Block Chain. In 2018 there may be a breakthrough in that capability, especially with cryptocurrencies. That alone could be disruptive.


Smart 3-D printing is trailblazing future manufacturing. 3-D printing connotes a three-dimensional object that is created layer by layer via computer-aided design programs. To be able to print the object, the computer divides it into flat layers that are printed one by one. By printing with advanced pliable materials such as plastics, ceramics, metals, and graphene, there have already been breakthroughs in prosthetics for medicine and wearable sensors. The big advantage is that 3-D printing can be customized, produced rapidly and is cost effective. In 2018 look for wider adoption of 3-D printing technologies in manufacturing in construction, healthcare, and in consumer industries.

I have just touched on only a few tech trends of our new technological era and speculated on what 2018 may bring. Also look for great gains for technologies and applications in Robotics, Drones, and medical nanotechnologies. With benefits come risks and the real imperative for society is planning and adaptation or we will lose control of the promise of technological innovation.


Chuck Brooks
Chuck Brooks
Chuck Brooks is a globally recognized thought leader and evangelist for Cybersecurity and Emerging Technologies. LinkedIn named Chuck as one of “The Top 5 Tech People to Follow on LinkedIn”. He was named by Thompson Reuters as a “Top 50 Global Influencer in Risk, Compliance,” and by IFSEC as the “#2 Global Cybersecurity Influencer” in 2018. He is also a Cybersecurity Expert for “The Network” at the Washington Post, Visiting Editor at Homeland Security Today, and a Contributor to FORBES. In government, Chuck has received two senior Presidential appointments. Under President George W. Bush Chuck was appointed to The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as the first Legislative Director of The Science & Technology Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security. He also was appointed as Special Assistant to the Director of Voice of America under President Reagan. He served as a top Advisor to the late Senator Arlen Specter on Capitol Hill covering security and technology issues on Capitol Hill. In local government, he also worked as an Auxiliary Police officer for Arlington, Virginia. In industry, Chuck has served in senior executive roles for General Dynamics as the Principal Market Growth Strategist for Cyber Systems, at Xerox as Vice President & Client Executive for Homeland Security, for Rapiscan and Vice President of R & D, for SRA as Vice President of Government Relations, and for Sutherland as Vice President of Marketing and Government Relations. In academia, Chuck is Adjunct Faculty at Georgetown University’s Applied Intelligence Program and graduate Cybersecurity Programs where he teaches courses on risk management, homeland security, and cybersecurity. He was an Adjunct Faculty Member at Johns Hopkins University where he taught a graduate course on homeland security for two years. He has an MA in International relations from the University of Chicago, a BA in Political Science from DePauw University, and a Certificate in International Law from The Hague Academy of International Law.

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