New Year, New Gear: Tech we're excited about in 2018

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Now we've all dried our eyes following our emotional farewell to the great and good of 2017, it's time to look ahead to 2018. There's loads of new technology to be excited about, and we've picked out a few of our favourites:  

Wi-Fi everywhere

According to Alex Scroxton, Network Editor at Computer Weekly, in 2018 the number of public Wi-Fi hotspots deployed around the world will grow to more than 340 million. This means that, by this estimation, there will now be one hotspot for every 20 people on the planet!  

However, with the recent FCC regulations that were approved in May (ending Net-Neutrality in America and creating what many have called an ‘internet for the elite’), we should remember: ‘for the Internet to fulfil its greatest promise, it must reflect the diversity and experience of all people, everywhere’. At the moment, for instance, women in the developing world (specifically, in urban poor communities of Africa, Latin America and Asia) are 50% less likely to have Internet access than men. This year, therefore, we’ll be getting interested in preserving the democracy of the internet, and learning how we can help others benefit from its expansion.

Read more about Digital Inclusion and how you can help here.

 

Under Armour’s HOVR Record-Equipped Shoes

Under Armour will release the Record Equipped version of their HOVR shoe this year. It will track your run, pace and more via an embedded chip that can also use bluetooth to pair with the MapMyRun app. Here at Trumin, the phrase ‘embedded chip’ is enough to get our pulses racing (we’re weird like that), so no-doubt our Race Day team will be keeping a close eye on this one!

 Now you too can easily time your casual mountain/sunset run. 

Now you too can easily time your casual mountain/sunset run. 

Facial Recognition

Daniel Newman, Digital Transformation contributor at Forbes magazine, writes:

Facial recognition software is another tech that’s not new but is making great strides. This might be one of the only cool features on the iPhone X—and that helped push this more mainstream.

We can't wait to see what this year holds for our friends at Yoti, the digital identity app. Founded in 2014, Yoti allows its users to leave (read: forget) their passport at home by uploading their ID documents to a secure app on their phone. They then take a selfie, which is verified using facial recognition software. With Yoti aiming to reach 2 million users during 2018, we predict this year will show that facial recognition software is big news. From allowing people to buy alcohol at self-service checkouts, to preventing voter fraud, it could significantly impact our everyday lives. Cool, eh?

 "She's wearing sunglasses!" we hear you scream, "This is a poorly chosen stock photo for a point about facial recognition!" Well here's a cool fact - facial recognition software can now recognise faces wearing sunglasses  55% of the time !

"She's wearing sunglasses!" we hear you scream, "This is a poorly chosen stock photo for a point about facial recognition!" Well here's a cool fact - facial recognition software can now recognise faces wearing sunglasses 55% of the time!

Crossrail

Crossrail, Europe’s biggest civil engineering project, is the new underground railway that will become known as the Elizabeth line when it opens through central London in 2018. Each train is 200 metres long and is designed to carry 1,500 passengers. The accessible carriages are designed to provide more space, and will have air con, Wi-Fi (see, didn’t we tell you there’d be Wi-Fi everywhere?) and 4G. We Brits are pretty used to sub-par train travel, so this slick new line is the stuff dreams are made of.

 

Samsung’s Foldable Smartphone

Samsung debuted prototypes of its Galaxy foldable smartphone at a private gathering at the Consumer Electronics Show. Nobody seems to know many specific technical details about the new phone, but one thing seems certain - it’s gonna bend. And we’re really thrilled about that. Plus, we’ve been missing our Motorola RAZR since 2006, so will welcome back the flip-phone (of sorts) with open arms.

 

Bots and Robots

Let’s put it this way - if you watched Black Mirror once then had to stop because its impending reality terrifies you, then you may not be thrilled about this 2018 development. One of the big takeaways from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held in Las Vegas earlier this month, was that everything in the home seems to be embracing both wireless connectivity and artificial intelligence in a big way.

Firstly, there will be increased competition in the smart home device market - so think Amazon’s Alexa plus friends/frenemies. Robot assistants are also making progress. Aeolus the robot helper has facial recognition, responds to voice commands, has a memory for objects and places and can perform household tasks. However, as Andrew Gebhart, Associate Editor at CNET, notes:

It's also huge, and I'd imagine seeing Aeolus roll to you slowly at night while extending that can of beer you asked for would be a rather harrowing experience.

As we now know, courtesy of this brilliant Sophia Robot/Chrissy Teigen exchange, robots can now comprehend shade. So although we're excited, we are also a little afraid. 


Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2018/01/16/top-18-tech-trends-at-ces-2018/#7c67c086452f

http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240233982/Wi-Fi-forecast-predicts-one-hotspot-for-every-20-people-by-2018

https://www.newcivilengineer.com/ 

https://www.cnet.com/news/after-ces-2018-how-close-are-we-to-the-jetsons/

 

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