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From cobots to automated food: 7 new technology trends for 2018

Startups presents the gamechanging trends small businesses should be capitalising on, from a rise in blockchain adoption to a 'cobot revolution'...

If we thought last year's trends were enabling us to become lazier and more demanding, 2018 is about to take things to a whole new level. But it's not just about making our lives easier. 2018 trends are specifically about optimising efficiency – in all walks of life.

Thanks to advances in facial and voice technology, typing on a keyboard could potentially become obsolete, as programmes become increasingly competent at acting out demands based on our expressions and intonation, quicker than we could ever type.

Waiting times to order food in cafes and restaurants could be a thing of the past, with more and more restaurants moving towards automation to streamline operations.

And menial and time-consuming jobs could be completed by a new lineup of super-productive – if robotic – colleagues, in the form of cobots.

Technology today moves so rapidly and is so advanced, that it can feel hard to keep up. What's more, there's a tendency to feel that it's not for the masses. But as a lot of the start-ups referenced in this feature show, the implications of changes in technology could have far-reaching effects on the everyday business. From sparking an idea to optimising processes, efficiency is king these days – and this tech is the way forward.

Thanks to input from industry experts and entrepreneurs, we've compiled seven technology trends set to shape the next 12 months, with particular consideration to what that might mean for the small business landscape and innovative start-ups.

Click the links below to jump to a specific trend or use the arrows above and below to browse through the trends.

These are the technology trends for 2018 you need to know about:

  1. Blockchain 2.0
  2. Automated food
  3. Femtech
  4. Cobots
  5. Facial recognition technology
  6. Intelligent transportation
  7. Voice recognition