It’s that time of the year when technologists, futurologists, bloggers, and punters reveal their predictions for the next twelve months. I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring, dust off my crystal ball, have a look at the tea leaves, and give you my opinion on likely global tech trends over the next year…

  1. Agricultural tech will start to make a big impact. Plenty is working to make healthy food available to everyone on the planet in a clean and sustainable way, and we’re going to start to see it enter the public consciousness in 2018.
  2. People will be able to touch the air. Companies like Ultrahaptics are using magic (I think that’s really what it is) to allow anyone to touch virtual objects in air, without any need for gloves. I cannot wait to see the first commercially available devices using this.
  3. There will be new ways of doing computing. You can already access IBM’s quantum computer online and run experiments. That’s right – a real live quantum computer! Containers have promised much in recent years but I predict that, with help from things like Kubernetes, they will finally deliver their potential. And for legacy and new applications, platforms like YellowDog will allow enterprises to access Limitless Compute to deliver their batch applications in next-to-no time.
  4. There will be kick-back against Big Tech. Whether it’s people getting fed up with two or three organisations have access to all their history and behavioural data, or the reaction to removal of net neutrality in the US, the early majority will start to abandon Big Tech and begin to ditch Facebook and use DuckDuckGo as a search engine.
  5. Old Tech will be New Tech. Board and card games are making a big comeback – where I live in Bristol in the UK, three new board game cafes have popped up in the last 12 months, and my millennial pals like nothing more than kicking back to playing Magic: The Gathering for hours on end. People are ditching consoles and valuing old fashioned face to face human interaction.

Of course, this time next year we may all be in the middle of a nuclear winter as the USA and North Korea decide that MADness is the way to go after all, but that notwithstanding, the rate of tech change and adoption of new technologies by businesses and consumers means that one thing is for sure: we certainly won’t be bored.

Have a lovely Christmas and a happy New Year.

Gareth

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