Another year and still no flying cars. But hey, technology still marches on in other ways.
You can even buy a flamethrower from Elon Musk—what a time to be alive! Here are a few trends we think are worth paying attention to in 2018.
A race to reserve the best Alexa Skill names
Remember when everyone was scrambling to buy a good domain name back in the day? Well, Alexa Skills are similar in that they require a unique name. This past holiday season solidified that Alexa is here to stay and you can expect brands (and squatters) to try and reserve the best Alexa Skill names. — Dave Skorepa
Website personalization everywhere
At this point, the internet has collected so much data on nearly everyone who uses it. We should expect to see even more personalization when we interact with any internet-enabled device. We’re talking about measures far beyond those creepy ads of the thing you looked at one time that now follow you around online. Expect companies to change the entire content and navigation of a website based on what they know about you. — Dave Skorepa
Drone Terror Attacks
It’s a bit of a downer, but a drone carrying a bomb is only a matter of time. Terrorists are nothing if not creative and motivated and a drone bomb could allow a terror attack in previously unreachable locations. The American intelligence community is already bracing for it, and we probably should too. — Dave Skorepa
Changing shopping habits
Look out for more tech-savvy fashion startups and businesses that can provide you with a temporary wardrobe. Companies like Rent the Runway & Le Tote use data to suggest outfits and then ship clothes and accessories to your residence. You can then use these outfits and ship them back at your leisure without having to worry about dry cleaning, if the clothes will go out of style, or not having enough space in your closet. I think this model is changing the game of how women (and especially millennials) shop. — Anna Yunker
Cryptocurrency—End of Bitcoin?
2018 could be the beginning of the end for Bitcoin. Numerous challenges have arisen over its nearly 10-year existence, with one of the largest issues being at the heart of its design. Every transaction, no matter how large or small, is recorded to every computer in the Bitcoin network. Burgeoning popularity has put an enormous strain on the system, resulting in slow, and even failed, transactions. In addition, high fees are charged to all transactions. These costs were as low as $1 earlier in 2017, but have ranged between $7 and $55 on average throughout the rest of the year.
Several improvements have been proposed to the Bitcoin system that may correct these issues. One proposed change, dubbed The Lighting Network, promises near instant payments, low cost fees, and scalability. If successful, it might change the Bitcoin landscape dramatically. — Keith Rowe
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Dave Skorepa is Chief Creative Officer at Aztek Web in Cleveland, Ohio.