Now that 2017 is over, we need to start thinking about the year ahead. What innovations, ideas and trends will be big in 2018?

It is obviously a tough one to know for sure, but it will not stop us from speculating. And for this prophecy, we will focus on the past. We believe that certain recent trends are likely to continue. Then there are the older ideas that have been on the verge of a breakout for years and might finally get there in 2018. There will, of course, also be the innovations that no one saw coming, but we will stay away from making wild assumptions about these type of inventions in this article.

So, what will go down in 2018? Here are a few of the innovations, ideas and trends that we think will influence our lives in the coming year.

Augmented Reality

A lot of people believe that augmented reality will be a hit in 2018. This is by no means a new technology though. Remember the Pokemon gaming app that came out in 2016 and took the world by storm for like a day and a half? Of course you do. This app used augmented reality with great success.

So why will augmented reality be particularly big in 2018? When the iPhone 8 and iPhone X were launched last September, both advertised augmented reality as one of their main features. Since then, lots of app developers have started to work with and implement augmented reality. But there are still so many things to explore. We will most likely see a slew of new apps in the next year that use this technology. Ups and downs are sure to occur, and nothing is certain, but if we had to bet, we would say that augmented reality is very likely to have a huge impact on innovations, ideas and trends in 2018.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies became a popular subject in mainstream media a few years ago. Then, in 2014, it seemed to phase out. Some people still used and invested in these new currencies, but most people – at least the everyday Joes – pretty much forgot about it. That is until the second half of 2017. Over the course of a year, investment in cryptocurrencies skyrocketed. Bitcoin’s value alone increased by a whopping 2400% in 2017. The increased interest in cryptocurrency will most likely affect 2018 quite a bit. If the market stabilizes, it might become a real currency alternative. Although this is probably unlikely to happen in 2018, we are sure that the cryptocurrency hype will only grow in 2018 and be among the year’s most significant innovations, ideas and trends.

3D Printers

3D printing is one of those things that we have heard about for years and years without really seeing it make the quantum leap we all expected. It has become kind of a ‘Boy who cried wolf’ situation. In fact, it has been all talk for so long that most people have pretty much stopped caring about it. But could 2018 finally be the year of 3D printing?

The short answer is… maybe. One of the technology’s biggest hindrances is the price. So far, 3D printing has mostly been used by manufacturers (small and big). The price has actually decreased, but it still remains to be seen if a 3D printer will ever be a standard home appliance. If so, it needs to be even cheaper. As of late 2017, prices are down to about 250$ with some models going as low as 125$. That is a start. Remember, there was a time when computers were only used by organizations and were not meant for civilians. There is still a chance that the 3D printer could be transformed from a machine strictly used in a few professional settings to something everyone has at home, and pricing is a good place to start. If it does not happen this year, check back in 2019.

Bluetooth

Bluetooth technology is old news. Nothing new to see here, right? Well, since the iPhone removed its headphone jack in 2016, there have actually been some interesting changes. For example, wireless earbuds became a thing in 2017. Now more phones have taken the same step and removed the headphone jack. This will force those that produce products with a headphone jack to change their policies. The market, therefore, needs to look at innovations, ideas and trends to gain an advantage over competitors. This will lead to more changes in Bluetooth technology. It is a true Bluetooth revival, people.

Streaming Wars

Disney acquired part of the Fox corporation in December 2017. The main reason for this was Disney’s plan to compete with Netflix. Therefore, they needed a bigger backlog of material which Fox could offer. Part of the merger was also a 30% stake in the streaming service Hulu. Disney already owned 30% in the company and is now a majority stockholder. The original plan was to start a Disney streaming service in 2019, but with Disney gaining so much more control of Hulu, they can easily change Hulu to fit their needs. If they decide to move up their plan, they could launch an international streaming service in 2018. Google and Amazon have also been interested in this market and have their own services. With increased competition, we could see more innovations, ideas and trends connected to online streaming. So it will interesting to see what 2018 will hold for this relatively new market.

The Death of Retail

The past two years have been really hard for traditional retail stores. Large corporations like J.C Penney, Macy’s and Sears have closed multiple stores and stock prices in the retail industry have gown down. Many have blamed Amazon and other online retailers while others have blamed millennials’ changed attitudes towards consumerism. People buy less stuff and use the money more for experiences. They would rather go out for dinner or travel abroad with friends then buy new clothes. This trend will continue in 2018. With opportunities in the travel and restaurant industry, it will also be interesting to see what innovations, ideas and trends will result from this. There will be opportunities in real estate (with more stores closing), online retail and in selling experiences. Either way, the face of consumerism is definitely changing.

Innovations, ideas and trends for you in 2018

These are a few of the things that we think will impact 2018. But obviously, the innovations, ideas and trends that will impact you the most are likely the ones close to you and your work life – the new implementations, product launches, developments and ideas in your workplace.

In order to make the most out of this, it is important to be able to manage the innovation within your company or your team. This is why 2018 should be the year you start using a digital idea management platform to share, develop and organize the ideas of you and your co-workers. Try out Ideanote or try out another idea management platform (but you should probably try out Ideanote, just saying) – just give digital idea management a go. It will help you and your co-workers get the most out of your own innovations, ideas and trends in 2018. And frankly, that is a lot more valuable than 3D printers and Hulu.

Happy New Year!