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Social Broadcasting Among Ericsson’s Top 2018 Trends

STOCKHOLM—As 2017 dwindles down to its final few days, people are looking ahead to what may be some of the big new trends in technology in 2018 and beyond. Ericsson has come out with its seventh annual trend report and some of the highlights indicate that people think that technology could be change rapidly in the next few years to provide more human-like experiences.

One emerging trend cited in the report is the rise of social broadcasting. Users say that social media is being “overrun” by traditional broadcasters, but half of consumers say artificial intelligence would be useful to check facts posted on social networks.

Intelligent ads are also something people have their eye on. Augmented and virtual reality users believe that ads will become so realistic that they could eventually replace the products themselves.

Other trends that the report pinpointed was the development of intelligent voice assistants that can read a person’s body language, expression, intonation and touch; the development of long-lasting batteries; VR that allows users to walk around in smartphone photos; and augmented hearing.

Some of the trends also indicate users’ fears. As many as 30 percent of users say the continued emergence of new technology makes it hard to keep up to date. Around half of respondents said that they would be spooked if they couldn’t tell a difference between a human and a machine. A portion also think that a road network for drones—or flying cars—would help with traffic; though many worry about drones falling on people. It’s not all doom and gloom, 40 percent of respondents said they would like to have a robot do their work and earn their income while they spend more time relaxing.

The full report is available here.