Which product development trends are worth investing in 2018? As an entrepreneur, you know that foreseeing the future is a tricky task that always involves risk. That’s why in Ideamotive we build our foundation on those IT trends that are already big and… growing.
In this article, we cover three top digital technologies that have a big chance to go mainstream in 2018. We also help you decide which of those solutions suit your business type by giving examples of their current application.
If you need more advice on how to incorporate blockchain, augmented reality or artificial intelligence into your business model, our agile development team is always happy to help.
Blockchain: No need for cryptocurrencies to “burst like bubbles”
While many start-ups and web development companies are investing in cryptocurrencies like crazy, some well-established business people repeat the mantra that the bitcoin bubble is about to burst. The things is, those “bubble advocates” are often the ones who don’t understand blockchain technology and its founding idea.
Similarly, many people who stress that cryptocurrencies don’t have any material back-up and are therefore just an illusion, forget that traditional money is equally non-existent as bitcoin. The value of a hundred-dollar bill is not intrinsic, but based on the common trust in it – just like with bitcoin.
But cryptocurrencies are just one example of how blockchain-based applications will be gradually changing the world. As Yann Ranchere put it, the core idea of blockchain technology is to create a distributed trust platform.
This is one of the main reasons blockchain will thrive in 2018. It gives the Internet and its users a real possibility to restore the original cause with which the World Wide Web was born: enabling a fair and public way to store and transfer information globally.
Practical application of this technology is only limited by the imagination of entrepreneurs and skills of development agencies. Here are some examples of already existing blockchain-based digital solutions:
– Open-source computer networks to provide independent content hosting (such as Substratum or Holochain)
– BitPesa, a trans-African paying system with built-in foreign exchange function allowing traders all over the continent to balance their transactions via FX and B2B payments
– Distributed data storage in the cloud, such as Storj which allows for secure, fast and decentralized file hosting.
A simple truth is that if people trust a system will grow – then it will grow. And no doubt that more and more people do trust in Blockchain.
A fascinating example of this trust is the recent rebranding of the Long Island Iced Tea company. They changed their name to Long Blockchain Corp. and announced that their business will be now shifting its primary corporate focus towards the exploration of an investment in opportunities that leverage the benefits of blockchain technology.
Next thing they know is their stock value jumping by 200%.
Wondering how you can use blockchain to the advantage of your business? Contact our project development team for a free consultation.
Augmented reality: beyond gaming and Pokemon GO
Augmented reality, although existed a good couple of years earlier, only made it to the mainstream use through the gaming application Pokemon Go in 2016. In the first month after launching, the app has been downloaded over 100 million times worldwide.
The fun aspect is what makes the way for AR to flood all areas of life and business. The brand new quality of experience it creates will let entrepreneurs satisfy their client on a completely different level. AR simply allows the customer to pre-experience a product or service before they purchase it. This is fun.
According to PwC 2017 Global Digital IQ Survey, the industry branches that are going to invest the most in augmented reality in the coming three years are automotive, technology, media and telecoms, retail and customer service. However, all the other industries are also preparing their game for it.
There are a few reasons why the potential of AR for business is so huge:
Compactness. With a device such as AR glasses, there is no need for the consumer to use any other electronic equipment. Glasses can serve as a TV, laptop and smartphone, all in one. This potential inclusion of all functions in one device is a challenge and opportunity especially to the tech industry, where designing user experience in accordance to the new AR possibilities will become the priority.
Interaction and intuitiveness. Those are the features that each industry will want to exploit since they are already among the most established overall trends in tech development. Augmented reality will allow to bring them to the new level, enabling the end consumer to interact not only with their devices but also with the reality in a brand new way.
Fun. This cannot be overemphasized. Interacting with AR and implementing it into business solutions is an extraordinary experience for users, as well as business strategists and developers. Therefore it will not only be advantageous for the gaming industry (obviously, loads of fun!), but for any industry where customer service and retention is key to business growth (e.g. augmented reality for interior design or retail).
Instant access to information. With the possibilities of AR solutions, the information we seek could be virtually placed in front of our eyes and ears within seconds – in a written, visual or audio form. This is a great advantage for the advertising industry, as well as media and communication sectors.
Artificial Intelligence: robots won’t rule the World
“Everything we love about civilization is a product of intelligence, so amplifying our human intelligence with artificial intelligence has the potential of helping civilization flourish like never before – as long as we manage to keep the technology beneficial.“ – Max Tegmark, President of the Future of Life Institute.
Artificial intelligence is arguably the biggest tech and philosophical issue these days. Are humans going to be replaced by robots? Will artificial intelligence get out of control and rule the world? Those kinds of questions lurk at as from every corner.
Rather than giving in to such catastrophic scenarios, AI product development companies and business owners need to assume responsibility for managing this trend wisely – in 2018 and beyond. AI is going mainstream and this is unstoppable. The question to be answered here is: what do you do to make sure your business takes full advantage of that?
We wrote about industries that will be most influenced by AI development a few months ago. But in reality, pretty much any business can benefit from artificial intelligence solutions in its working structure. Here is how to make a good use of it for your company:
Make AI fulfill your purpose, not the other way around. In other words: don’t introduce artificial intelligence to your company just for the sake of it. Instead, ask yourself questions about which areas of your business need scaling and employ AI there.
Choose agile development agency to find solutions for you. You want your AI tools to be tailored to your business processes and practices. That’s why picking a good agile agency is so important, as their working method allows for a big margin of flexibility in your project.
Put user experience first. This golden business rule also applies to the use of AI in your company. Check in with your end-customers first – what exactly do they need? Taking time to answer this question will help you determine whether you actually need AI to satisfy this need.
Invest in bots. Chatbot design is becoming a standard service in good software houses. Using chatbots for at least some of the customer service has a great potential to cut costs. But, as reported by many surveys around the world, customer experience with bots is still not satisfactory enough for the user. 2018 seems to be the year to work on that.
Educate yourself and your team. Whenever you get a chance, talk about AI with your employees, managers, partners. Do the research. Organize workshops, courses, and lectures about it. Learning and sharing knowledge about artificial intelligence is an investment.
That’s because the world driven by AI is becoming reality. Knowing this, business owners and organization leaders have a responsibility to learn and educate about it and figure out how to use those new solutions wisely.
And if you don’t know where to start – remember you can always turn to your trusted development agency for advice. 😉