The technology trends of 2018 point to a brave new world in automation and productivity

The technology trends of 2018 point to a brave new world in automation and productivity

A brave new world

Imagine waking up to a new day. A smart alarm clock nudges you awake at the optimal time, as you check your smartwatch to see how the quality of your sleep was. As you ready yourself for work, the virtual assistant on your smart speaker reads you the news, and weather and traffic conditions as you brush your teeth.

Freshly brewed coffee from the automated coffee machine awaits you as you grab a cup before work. Just as you are about to head out of the door, a drone from the logistics company drops off a package just in time. You are scheduled to reach the office at 9am and you get some work done on the commute, thanks to your self-driving car.

All this sounds like science fiction, but the foundation for this scenario to happen is here today. Here are some tech trends from 2018 that are making the above a reality.

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Many have dreamed of living in homes where mundane tasks are all automated and can be outsourced to a device, allowing us to control them with just the sound of our voice. Today’s smart home is available to the mass market, thanks to the creation of products like Amazon Echo and Google Home that make it easy to precisely control and customise everything in a home from a single interface.

This is thanks to the better connected and WiFi networked environment that binds together new smart devices that range from robot vacuum cleaners and smart rice cookers, to connected lights and even shower heads. Indeed, the smart home revolution has arrived and it is just getting started as the number of connected devices is steadily rising and is projected to reach nearly 50 billion by 2020.

The revolution, however, isn’t stopping with just smart speakers. Companies like Google, Lenovo, JBL, Sony and LG are planning to release more home assistant devices this year. Lenovo, for example, introduced a Smart Display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 with prices starting at USD200. It will be available in either an 8in or 10in screen model that allows users to watch YouTube videos, get the weather forecast or engage in video chats with their loved ones.

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