The top tech trends for the coming year will be about the coming of 5G, artificial intelligence, companion robots, smart cities, mixed reality, sports innovation, digital therapeutics, and other things that are going to be a big part of the global economy in the years to come.
Those were some of the takeaways based on a presentation by analysts at the beginning of the media day for CES 2018, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas this week. The presentation was made jointly by Steve Koenig and Lesley Rohrbaugh, two tech analysts at the Consumer Technology Association, which puts on CES 2018. Overall, they said the tech economy is healthy. The U.S. market for tech devices is expected to grow from 621 million units in 2016 to 671 million units in 2017, up 8 percent. 2018 revenue for those tech devices in the U.S. is expected to be $351 billion, up 3.9 percent from $339 billion in 2017.
New trends depend on 5G
Koenig said that the top trend for the show and the year will be the pending arrival of 5G networks, which promise multigigabit download speeds for broadband data. Companies such as Samsung, Verizon, Intel, Qualcomm and others are debuting equipment that will make the 5G networks possible in the next couple of years. And once 5G is here, it will lead to huge expansions in the telecom, industrial, automotive, healthcare, and mixed reality markets, he said.
Artificial intelligence is also a pervasive tech trend, with smart speakers like the Amazon Echo with the Alexa voice recognition service taking off. Koenig said sales of smart speakers grew an estimated 279 percent in 2017 to 27.2 million units, and that number could hit 43.6 million in 2018.
AI is in very industry
AI is also making its way into automobiles through self-driving cars and other applications. Robotics continues to grow as companies such as Blue Frog Robotics and Mayfield Robotics create better buddy robots that provide companionship and party fun for people. LG will have a lawn-mowing robot soon.
Face recognition and other biometric technology are growing rapidly as well, leading to improvements in everything from smartphone security in the iPhone X to better security cameras that don’t give off false alarms.
Rohrbaugh also said that sleep technology is making advances, as researchers are increasingly recognizing that lack of sleep is really taking its toll on busy people. Somnox, for instance, has a sleep robot that you can cuddle. It will help you go to sleep, like a teddy bear. Yes, that’s worth a good laugh, but Koenig said robots have come a long way since Honda made the humanoid Asimo years ago. […]