6. Quantum technology

In recent years, development of quantum computers has become a very popular and promising endeavor in the high-tech industry. Quantum computers use fundamentally different systems to search and compare data as opposed to regular computers. Unlike the bit system in classic computers, quantum computers are based on qubits, which, unlike bits, can be superposed. Like a bit, a qubit also has two values - 0 and 1 - but thanks to quantum superposition, it can simultaneously take on all possible values. In theory, this would allow quantum computers to become a lot more efficient than ordinary computers.

One of the big announcements at CES-2018 in Las Vegas was the presentation of a 49-qubit processor for quantum computers from Intel. According to the head of the company Brian Krzanich, who presented the technology, this new processor is yet another step towards "quantum supremacy".

Credit: ces.tech

Last spring, IBM launched cloud-based access to its 20-qubit quantum computer, and by the end of 2017 announced plans to provide access to a 50-qubit prototype. Google and other companies are also working on quantum computers.

7. Cities will take smart infrastructure to another level

This year marks the first time that CES featured a dedicated area for products and services focused around the concept of smart cities. This area showcased how connected technologies will continue to influence urban environments – from crowd-sourced data on the availability of parking to intelligent street lamps.

In the US, these technologies are predicted to continue growing around mobility and transportation, while in Europe the focus will lean more towards energy consumption. In both cases, they will involve linking and sharing data between various city grids and infrastructures, combined with information from smartphone users who will become "integral nodes of smart-city networks".

A discussion was held during CES-2018 with technology heads from Miami, Las Vegas and Kansas City. They noted that “smart” technology is already quite applicable in practical life in their cities. For example, representatives from Kansas City described how they are working to create an infrastructure to accommodate self-driving cars that will optimize the flow of traffic. Miami representatives spoke about using "smart" technology to prepare for the hurricane season.

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8. Digital assistants

A virtual digital assistant (VDA) is an automated software application or platform that can understand natural language in written or oral form and uses artificial intelligence technologies to do so. We all know Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, which not only can talk about the weather and play your favorite radio station, but also explain how to put a bandage on a burn or even how to do chest compressions.

At this year’s CES it was announced that Amazon’s Alexa will soon appear in thousands of computers within the Windows 10 operating system. According to RBC Capital Markets, in the coming years voice assistants may be a major growth factor for many companies. For example, Alexa revenues could reach $10 billion by 2020.

According to CTA experts, this year digital assistants will also break out of speaker format and will be incorporated into other everyday products.

"Voice is a more natural way to interact with technology," said Koenig. "Consumers are going to expect that type of interaction across their entire digital landscape."

Consumers are more accustomed to using voice commands when “communicating” with technology, while the development of technology helps computers better recognize speech and individual voices, adds Jayson DeMers.

According to forecasts, approximately 44 million devices with integrated voice assistants will be introduced to the market this year, which is 60% more than last year. Sales in this market will double and will amount to $3.8 million.

9. Transport: Urban air-taxi and new electric cars

More news from Intel! The VC200 air taxi, developed by the Volocopter startup, performed a small demonstration flight during the CES expo. The flying taxi was shown as a concept  in 2013, but since then it managed to make a manned flight in Germany and an unmanned flight in Dubai.

A new improved model of the Volocopter 2X airtaxi, according to experts, could become the first in a series of models for the company. As stated by the manufacturers, the vehicle can stay aloft for up to 30 minutes and fly up to 17 miles (about 27 km) on a single full charge.

Another trend at CES this year was the growing popularity of electric vehicles. Toyota demonstrated the concept of a futuristic universal E-Palette mini-van. According to the project’s developers, it needs to fit into the vision of the future where electric autonomous vehicles become a key part of the city infrastructure. E-Palette is an automated, electric, flexible vehicle concept from Toyota, which can be tailored to various needs and lifestyles.

It comes in different sizes and can cater to specific needs; for example ride-sharing, hotel rooms or retail shopping. To embody this view of the vehicle of the future to life, Toyota has attracted a number of partners in the e-Palette Alliance. The company president Akio Toyoda said that the Alliance includes Amazon, DiDi, Pizza Hut, Uber, Mazda and others.

Also, Fisker has unveiled a new model of the Emotion electric car that can travel up to 650 km on a single charge. In addition, according to the developers, Fisker Emotion has the option of quick charging, which can reach a 200km range after just nine minutes of battery charge. The cost of a luxury sedan is about $129,000.

Credit: ces.tech

10. Medicine: robots and online services

As CTA analysts note, another trend of 2018 will be the emergence of a large number of medical applications and an improvement in their quality. Companies, however, will still need to tackle the issues related to data storage and protection.

“By now, every company in the world has understood the necessity of collecting, storing and using data; but in 2018, this will become even more important. Soon, companies will be able to use a near-unlimited amount of personal data. This places a greater responsibility on them to ensure its confidentiality. Most effort will be directed towards solving such issues, as well as developing more effective prediction algorithms in healthcare,” - confirms Jayson DeMers, founder and CEO of the marketing company AudienceBloom.

Experts also believe that medical robots, too, will evolve. There is a lot of hope for the projects by Johnson & Johnson and Google, who are developing next-gen medical robots. Several years ago Verb Surgical, Inc. (an enterprise of Johnson & Johnson and Google) invested nearly $250 million into the development of a system that would surpass the highly popular Da Vinci surgeon robot in ease of use and efficiency.