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  January 9th, 2018 | Written by

2018 Technology Predictions

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  • Chatbots can provide off-hours customer service to website visitors.
  • Voice first devices will be building relationships and emulating their owners in 2018.
  • With augmented reality ecommerce, customers can truly try before they buy.

Connexica, the provider of search-based, self-service business intelligence software, makes the following tech predictions for 2018.

Chatbots. Most of us are now familiar with websites offering a livechat feature where you can ask questions and seek advice in real time from a human. Unfortunately, these chat facilities are generally 9/5 Monday and Friday and don’t offer 24/7 coverage.

This is where the Chatbot fits in. Chatbots can act and behave as a human would interact with customers/website visitors to provide an out of hours service, basic introductory, filtering service to determine if they should speak with an agent or book an appointment etc.

Chatbots will become widely used throughout 2018 helping organizations streamline processes and improve customer service.

Voice First Interaction. First generation voice interaction devices are everywhere and for most people Siri, Cortana and Alexa are familiar words within their house. They are great at what they do, answering questions, calling contacts for us, telling us jokes, helping us to cook, but it’s all very one sided.

We predict that in 2018 and beyond we will see second generation platforms conversing with humans, asking questions, prompting thoughts plus much more. Currently, Alexa and Siri etc can only understand and respond to one question at a time but going forward we predict humans will be able to ask multiple questions. Voice first devices currently reply with very formal scripted replies, look out for devices designed to build relationships and emulate their owner in responses.

Augmented Reality Ecommerce. Think Pokémon go for retail! 2015 saw augmented reality (AR) take over lunch breaks, spare time and daily commutes as the world went crazy for Pokémon hunting. For most this was the first taste of AR where augmented reality is overlaid on to the physical world. The first signs of retailers dipping their toes into this world have started with Amazon and Gap via mobile devices with the Tango camera, currently limited to Lenovo and later in the year Asus phones. Shoppers can now move furniture around their house, place TV’s on walls, try clothes on manikins and zoom in/out depending on what level of detail they require, all within the setting of their room, office etc.

Watch out for more devices with this camera capability, more retailers offering this services and more customizable details such as personalised manikins – truly try before you buy.

IoT, Big Data, and AI

In our other prediction blog this year we talk about IoT and how 2018 is going to see more devices, more smart homes and devices streamlining home life. In this post we focus on the data and what’s going to happen? With more devices, comes more sensors and more data, this is where big data thinking will come into play combining these vast datasets to create meaningful insight.

Watch out for AI and machine learning in 2018 stepping in and using the data from IoT devices as we start to receive high volumes of more precise data. The use of this data is endless from improving device performance, enhancing day to day activities to targeted marketing and truly understanding our customers. There will be a case of create and collect in 2018 as the tsunami of data hit’s us and organisations aren’t sure what to do with this abundance of data.