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)
3) Smart Cities
4) Quantum and Super-Computing
5) Big Data Analytics
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.
7) 3-D PRINTING
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.