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Advances in technology mean that our world is ever-changing and how we go about our everyday lives is affected. We are constantly looking for quicker and easier ways to do things. Flying cars and floating buildings are still a few years away, but what about a robot who can perform life-changing surgery? Not as far away as you might think.

2017 has presented some amazing and exciting new technology, but what’s in store for 2018? Below are 5 predicted technology trends for 2018:

1. Voice enabled home speakers to grow in popularity

Amazon kicked off the smart speaker market with the Amazon Echo which was originally available to Prime users in 2014. Since then the total home audio market has grown 32% in the last year, reaching $3.7 billion in revenue. Amazon alone are responsible for 82% of smart speaker sales, which are predicted to increase drastically over the coming year. Businesses are also beginning to use them due to Alexa, the cloud-based personal assistant, proving useful in meetings and for using search engines to find out information at a quicker pace.

2. Advancements in autonomous driving

Self-driving cars have always been in the dreams of road users, but have only ever been a reality in a handful of action movies. However General Motors are set to start testing their self-driving cars in New York next year. The company has already tested in San Francisco, Phoenix and Detroit, but is set to make the testing procedures more difficult in order to see how the cars operate in unusual situations with the hope that they can improve their technology faster. It is said that the driverless car market will be worth $77 billion by 2035.

3. Augmented Reality to go mainstream

Augmented reality now has many different platforms and is widely used by social media apps, the world of retail and even gaming platforms. However it’s the smartphone industry who will take the technology to the next level. Manufacturers such as Google, Apple and Samsung are all using AR to advance their products, with Apple providing AR based apps through the App Store. The technology is predicted to be stretched to its limit properly next year.

4. Windows laptop with game-changing battery life

Microsoft announced last year that they were producing an ARM-powered windows laptop. It is said to have the best battery life of any device we have experienced so far and can even go days without being charged. It was said that December 2017 would be the launch date, but this has not yet been announced and a 2018 release is looking more likely.

5. Advances in robotics

Robotics have been developing for years now and we have successfully developed robots which can perform complex tasks, but where are our robots who can perform surgery? Well, Senhance can do just that. The machine has been FDA approved after a test involving 150 patients found that Senhance is as accurate as the da Vinci robot and can in fact aid doctors with minimally invasive surgeries. The technology is hoped to be advanced even further and will hopefully be able to perform more frequent and complex surgery.

What technology trends do you predict to impact your business in 2018? SCS Technology would love to hear your thoughts on Twitter @SCSTechnology.