The 7 Top Tech Trends to Watch in 2018, according to CES

1st February 2018 | Reading Time: 3 minute read

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

CES 2018 has come to an end, a show in which the world’s leading tech firms show off their latest and greatest innovations, gadgets and products. We summarise the top 7 tech trends you need to be aware of this year.


Our thirst to stream video, make data calls and run apps on the go, relies on a high-speed data transmission at all times. 4G will get to a stage where it can’t cope, introducing 5G. 5G is the next-generation mobile network for seamless connectivity with ultra-high capacity transmitting at super low latency (no more buffering).

So how much faster is 5G. Let’s use a streaming example (we love them). A two-hour movie download would take 25 hours on 3G, 4G took 6 minutes with 5G, what for it… took just 3.6 seconds. That’s rapid.

If reports are to be believed 5G will start rolling out in the UK from 2020.

Artificial Intelligence

In a nutshell AI makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks. This year at CES, manufacturers were incorporating AI into appliances. Like the LG washing machine that could observe frequently used laundry modes and factors such as air quality to optimise the machines performance. AI is also playing a big part in the smart home via voice –activated products.

One thing is for sure AI will get to know us, with less friction in time to come, predicting when we need something.


As you would expect at a consumer exhibition, robots grabbed the most attention. Companies at CES presented robots that could hand you objects, vacuum, turn off lights, hold conversation, dance provocatively and there was even a very realistic robotic dog.

According to Futurism a trend within robotics from CES 2018 was creating “retrofuturistic” robots that combine contemporary tech with 20th-century aesthetics.

LG’s CLOi made the headlines for the wrong reasons when it failed to respond.

“Even robots have a bad day”


Voice assistants aren’t going anywhere as proved at CES. The fight for dominance continues as Google’s Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa fight for voice supremacy. Google has gained ground by arguably developing better devices with wider functionality.  They announced at CES that their Assistant would be getting a screen produced by Lenovo, LG and Sony.

Samsung’s equivalent Bixby will be adding voice assistant to its TVs and their ‘Smart Fridge’. Compile a shopping list, play music from the AKG integrated speakers or control the home’s heat and security with the smart fridge.

Companies are getting a head of the curve and beginning to create content specific for search, see Just Eat.

 Facial Recognition

We all know about the technology in the latest iPhone X to identify users through facial recognition. Now a car manufacturer Byton is using facial recognition to identify the driver and load their settings into the vehicle.

Nvidia is using the technology to check whether someone may be too tired to drive and check whether they can detect nearby objects.

According to the Consumer Technology Association users are getting more comfortable using facial recognition.

Virtual Reality

Although the purpose for VR for most consumers is entertainment, businesses are adopting this trend in a number of ways. The most prominent is training. Companies like UPS are using Vive to train employees to use expensive or complex equipment.

The big VR talk at CES was the wireless options available to avoid tripping over the cord whilst playing Job Simulator.   Some VR device to keep on your radar include, Lenovo’s Mirage SoloOculus Go and of course HTC Vive Pro.

The next step according to HTC’s Vive GM, Dan O’Brien, is to create more multiplayer experiences with social interactions. “I think it will drive more and more adoption”, he remarked.

Smart Cities

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) projects that global spending on Smart Cites will reach $34.35 billion by 2020. This was part of the reason CES had a dedicated conference program and exhibition space focused on the topic.

The tech community are striving to change cities for the better and with Internet of Things (IoT) cities are becoming smarter. AT&T announced their plans to outfit cities street lights with smart sensors to monitor pedestrian movement, traffic, air quality and noise.

The case for Smart Cities include enhancing health and public safety, transportation (including self-driving pizza delivery) and creating competitive economic advantages.  With the introduction of IoT and gigabit speed internet more opportunities are arising for entrepreneurs to develop apps to facilitate Smart Cities.


We’ll be keeping an eye on these top technology trends to look out for in 2018, and how they will affect business communications.