Another year goes by in the human world, filled with a myriad of new and futuristic developments. Homes continue to get more intelligent and more and more connected to the internet.
2018 was when 55.6% of humans used the internet or around 4 billion of the Earth’s population. Social media users went up by 13% from the previous year, amounting to approximately 3.9 billion users.
Also, there were around 5.1 billion cellphone owners. So, people were intensely connecting, and nothing was stopping them.
Advancements of the Technology in 2018
Appliances were improved and have more uses than usual, the mobile industry keeps on bringing new features, and 3D printing expands even more. So, let’s see what precisely occurred in 2018 and what new developments were made.
Pilot – Real-Time Translator
In 2018, real-time translation was made easy when Waverly Labs released earbuds that can translate up to 40 different languages as soon as they are spoken. Before 2018, this invention was a mere work of fiction that humans could only see in movies.
However, Waverly Labs made it possible for those who need them to have Pilot, the earbuds that revolutionized the way humans communicate.
The Pilot earbuds can translate up to 42 dialects. They have dual noise-canceling microphones that help emit clear and accurate translations. These earbuds can be helpful for both social or personal communication and business communication as well.
5G – The New Generation of Wireless Tech
From 2018, the new and improved fifth generation of wireless technology became available in some countries. 5G technology, as it is known, is the latest improvement that humans can have on their mobile phones.
Some countries began using 5G in 2018, while most other countries had this new tech available from 2019.
The difference between the older 4G and newer 5G technologies is that the 5G tech can work 64 times faster than 4G. Additionally, latency speeds are nine times faster with 5G, and the towers that support 5G can connect more devices than the technologies that preceded it.
Smart Displays in Your Home
2018 saw the rise of smart homes – homes with appliances and devices connected to the internet and can perform specific tasks without human help.
For 2018, home displays made a boom. People started upgrading their homes with these smart displays that feature smart speakers, the ability to host video calls, display video calls, show weather reports, manage all smart devices you may have in your home and many more features.
The forerunner of this new type of home automation was Amazon with its products Echo Show and Echo Spot. Of course, Google also wanted in on the action and introduced Google’s Home Hub. Other companies that followed suit were Lenovo and JBL, and Facebook was the latest in 2018 with the release of the Portal.
The Xbox Adaptive Controller
Gaming has been evolving for years and years, and its evolution is nowhere near ending. 2018 brought innovation to gaming, making it even more inclusive and available for all who want to participate.
Microsoft took a step forward this year when it introduced the new Xbox Adaptive Controller, an oversized version of its classic controller made to help ease gaming for humans with limited hand and arm mobility, and it costs 100 dollars.
Microsoft decided to take this step to help include everyone who wants to play while competitors stood and watched. The design of this controller differs in button size than the regular controller, and it has ports than can accommodate additional features, like foot pedals if needed.
Honorable Mentions for 2018
As with every other year, not every invention can be at the top. However, that does not mean that those inventions do not deserve credit. So, here is a list of other innovations that were debuted in 2018.
- Netgear Orbi Voice is a Wi-Fi router that solves the problem of limited internet range throughout a household. It also has a smart speaker that users can use to play music and control other smart devices in their homes via voice command.
- The Samsung QLED 2018 TV features the ability to project art, weather reports, or photos when turned off, making it a TV and a decoration that users can customize to their taste.
- In 2018, 3D metal printing left a significant imprint and made a lot of noise when Desktop Metal and Markforged introduced affordable 3D metal printing technology. This new and improved metal printing technology enabled many different users to access the benefits that 3D metal printing offers. Additionally, with Desktop Metal and Markforged releasing this new technology, other companies like HP wanted to jump on this train and do the same.
- Loot box systems were declared illegal by Belgium, which was the first country to do it, and the reasoning behind this was that they encouraged addictive gambling behavior in adults and children.
- The Guardian and The New York Times revealed that the company Cambridge Analytica used the data that it harvested from 50 million Facebook profiles to help the election team of Donald Trump.
From the inventions we talked about in this article, we can see that humans in the tech world in 2018 focused on using the advancements made thus far to help aid humans who have certain disabilities and can not navigate daily life as quickly as others.
Tech companies wanted to be more inclusive, helpful, and considerate of the minority who could benefit from technology in ways the majority of humans do not need to. So, it could be said that it was a great year where technology was used for purposes beyond entertainment and mainstream needs.