2017 was a great year for the world of technology - we’ve seen some incredible advancements across many industries. At Zinc, we believe that the best way to be able to predict the future is to be a part of the innovation. It’s been an eventful year for us here - here are some of the things we’ve learned.
Siri or Cortana has been a part of our lives for years, but in the last twelve months there have been more sales of virtual assistants than ever before. With the Amazon Echo and Alexa leading the market, 2018 is already set to be a year of incredible advancement in this area. Designs will begin to incorporate AI as standard, humanising the machinery around us.
When it comes to businesses, these virtual assistants are already making themselves invaluable. Consumers will begin to expect the same level of intelligence from businesses as they can access at home. Financial services already use virtual assistants to offer wealth management advice, with Gartner predicting that these chatbots will handle 85% of customer service interactions by the year 2020. For technology-based products or services, customer support, configurations, and the management of millions of systems could all become an entirely virtual area.
It’s not just our phones that are smart now; everything from our watches to our refrigerators can connect to the internet. Businesses now have the opportunity to monitor their products in an entirely different way. Devices can report on their own environment, such as temperature, usage, and location, providing vital data.
With this information, productivity can be increased whilst cutting costs substantially. Shelves can re-order stock when they’re running low, windows know when they need cleaning, and machines can self-diagnose issues, which leaves your employees to focus on more important tasks. 2018 will surely see our daily lives connecting in increasingly innovative ways.
For as long as the internet has been a part of daily life, our every interaction has contributed to the wealth of data that’s collated about how we use the net. By 2018, it’s no longer news that this data is incredibly valuable.
Collecting information will only become a higher priority, and will be used to fuel innovation. It’s now possible to collect data through AI on how we search and what users need in order to to predict their future wants. The possibilities on the horizon regarding predictive algorithms and machine learning are incredibly exciting.
Nevertheless, the way we use data in 2018 is going to change. The oncoming regulation change, GDPR, is going to force businesses across Europe to adapt and alter everything they do with the data they collect.
Blockchain gained its renown as the system supporting Bitcoin. It is, at its core, an electronic ledger that efficiently shares information between both open and private networks. Every action is documented in an unchangeable record that is linked to a specific participant. Updates are by consensus of all participants, and cannot be erased, making a secure chain of information. This technology can be used for financial transactions, but can be adapted to transfer any digital data securely.
Currently, Blockchain makes it essentially impossible to forge a transaction or scam a customer. It’s the most secure way to send information today. It is for this reason that it’s already becoming a staple in the FinTech world - MasterCard is launching a service to increase the speed of international transactions, and JP Morgan uses one the largest blockchain payment networks to date.
Blockchain offers an opportunity to businesses in all industries. Everything from FinTech to healthcare, to local authorities, could benefit from this development.
As a company, we’re already in some exciting discussions that are on the forefront of some of 2018’s newest developments. We can’t wait to see what’s in store this year.
For innovative technology ideas that could transform your company, from apps to AI, get in touch with us today.
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