5 Strategic digital and technology trends for 2018
25 January 2018 TECH
By Motlagae Konyana
2018 comes with a massive shift in digital transformation and marketing. There are new trends entering the market with the aim to disrupt and industries need to pay attention if they do not want to left out in the analogue cold.
Blockchain is an incorruptable digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record financial transcations and virtually everything of value.
The Blockchain technology is like the internet – it has a built-in robustness such as storing blocks of data and information that is identical across its different network. Moreover the blockchain technology cannot be controlled by any single entity and has no single point of failure. Bitcoin was invented in 2008 and since then the Bitcoin blockchain has operated without significant disruptions to date.
Blockchain has the power to bring about digital disruptions in different industries. The technology holds the promise to digitise and change industries Blockchain has many potential applications in government, healthcare, content distribution, supply chain and more.
Artificial intelligence (AI) makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks such as delivery of medicine to rural areas and more.
Most AI examples that you hear about today – from chess-playing computers to self-driving cars – rely heavily on deep learning and natural language processing. Using these technologies, computers can be trained to accomplish specific tasks by processing large amounts of data/information and recognising patterns in the data.
Robotics are also a major field related to AI. Robots require intelligence to handle tasks such as object manipulation and navigation.
Amazon is the most influential emerging platform for digital advertising and has prospects of soon becoming a key rival to the tech giants Google and Facebook. Amazon is placing themselves as a useful platform for advertising in every part of the sales funnel. 43% of US online retail sales happen through Amazon, and 38% in South Africa and the marketplace is becoming more competitive. 2018 will mark a time for many brands to refocus their efforts on online retail and ensure that their strategy is aligned and invest time controlling their branding, content, and products effectively on Amazon. Online shopping was perfected by Amazon and they surely will be the tech giant to look out for.
AR and VR
Virtual Reality (VR) is an artificial, recreation of a real life environment or situation. It englufs the user by making them feel like they are experiencing the simulated reality first-hand, primarily by stimulating their vision and hearing senses. The VR is achieved by wearing headsets that are equipped with technology that creates and enhances the imaginary reality for gaming.
Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that layers computer-generated elements to an existing reality in order to make it more meaningful through the ability to interact with it. AR is developed into apps and used on mobile devices to blend digital elements into the real life experiences so they enhance one another, but can also be told apart easily unlike with virtual reality.
Augmented reality enhances experiences by adding elements such as digital images, graphics, or effects as a new layer of interaction with the real world. While, virtual reality creates its own reality that is completely computer-generated and driven.
I still get freaked out by virtual reality’s power to transform the world. I don’t feel comforatble sitting on the couch next to my friends and family encased in a headset and in my own world, but that is the world of virtual and digital disruption – what a time to be alive.
What digital and technology trends are you excited to see come to life in 2018?