Get familiar with these new technologies that will shape the year ahead
From bitcoin bankruptcies and industrial espionage to data breaches and drone chases, 2018 has been an eventful year in technology. But what can we expect in 2019?
With the tech world increasingly becoming part of the mainstream news agenda, we gaze into our crystal ball to make predictions about the technologies that will make an impact over the next 12 months.
This year has been huge for genomics and artificial intelligence, but in 2019 the way we see the world will change literally, not metaphorically. Augmented reality looks set to revolutionise the way we use media. The technology aims to make TV screens redundant, plunging you into sports arenas, for example, and overlaying info on the action.
Advanced haptic feedback
The latest iPhone models have dropped the physical button on the front and added a 3D Touch function, which means the screen can vibrate in places when tapped or pressed. Advanced haptic feedback can make flat screens feel like sliders and buttons.
Robots have long been laughed off as tech duds, but that could be about to change. Trundling along the streets of UK town Milton Keynes is a small fleet of Starship Technologies delivery robots, shipping Amazon packages and even Co-op groceries.
Many phone owners would be glad to switch off. We foresee a surge in "dumb phones". Nokia has relaunched its 3310 and 8810 to the joy of those who have experienced a battery that could last weeks.
As robot workers are looking too expensive, a technology that allows employers to power up their human staff more efficiently is emerging. Called exosuits, the mechanical vests can give increased strength and endurance. But staff may reject the equipment and a divide could form between those who use the suits and those who don't.
Facial recognition technology
In early 2019 Britain's largest police force, the Metropolitan Police, will decide whether to roll out technology to match people's faces to a digital database of criminals. But the error rate from the software is still questionable.
They're often described as the scourge of pedestrians and drivers alike, but scooters have an appeal beyond tech bros who never outgrew their childhood. But they haven't made themselves popular in US cities, where some people have set them on fire.
You've probably come across chatbots over the past year, whether it's ordering a pizza, booking a trip or getting help when your car broke down. Advances in machine learning and AI have been staggering. And given that 85% of customer interactions are expected to be through chatbots by 2020, this can only be a good thing.