No, it’s not another humdrum story about how blockchain, machine learning, and AI are important. It’s been a long year; the holiday season is in full swing, and everybody has earned some time for fun.

Let’s take a look at what has been trending in IT this year. Things like Amazon Go and iPhone X — we all have heard of them. Will these outstanding innovations inspire us in 2018? Let’s find out!

1. Amazon Go and

Amazon Go store in Seattle is hands down the most impressive high-tech project. “No Lines. No Checkout. (No, Seriously.)” is the daring slogan heralding the most recent brick-and-mortar attempt by Amazon.

The idea is to walk into the store, get your groceries and walk out without staying in line before the cash register: the shop “knows” what you have picked and charges your Amazon account at the exit automatically. is a Chinese version of Amazon that is going to open hundreds of unmanned convenience stores in China in the nearest future. They are supposedly going to use even more sophisticated tech compared to Amazon’s.

Initiatives like these are already changing the way US customers shop for groceries at Walmart, Kroger, 7-Eleven, and some other supermarkets. The large chain stores are actively adding a pick-up option, allowing customers to order at home and pick up their orders at a parking lot.

Tech powering Amazon Go:

2. Autonomous Vehicles

Tesla, Google, Uber, and Apple are just a few tech companies that are working on autonomous cars, not to mention every other major car brand. Some, like Tesla and Uber, already have working versions of cars that can take passengers from A to B without them putting hands on the wheel.

The latest addition to this domain is self-driving trucks by Tesla that will increase transportation efficiency. Musk says his electric trucks will be 20% more cost efficient than diesel trucks.

Tech powering autonomous vehicles:

3. Smart Home Hubs

What initially looked like home speakers — Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple’s HomePod — has naturally converted into smart home hubs. The basic idea is to let users control their smart home appliances with voice commands, as well as listen to music or quickly access their agenda for the day, reminders, traffic and weather updates, etc.

Tech powering smart home hubs:

4. Facial Recognition

Facial recognition has been making the headlines since summer when Apple announced iPhone X. Glancing at your smartphone to unlock it or to make payments is undeniably a prominent milestone for the whole consumer electronics industry.

The technology has some natural limitations: the user’s eyes, nose, and mouth should all be visible at the same time for it to work. Yet, it looks great in action.

Facial recognition is bound to become the trendy feature in 2018. According to the multiple leaks, Samsung and other smartphone manufacturers will be adding this technology to their 2018 flagman models. Smartphones will make this tech mainstream, and we will see more and more use cases pop up here and there; just like in China’s fast-food restaurants (watch the video below).

Tech behind face recognition:

5. Augmented Reality

Do you remember the hype about Pokemon Go when it became an overnight hit in the App Store about a year ago?

Today it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t heard about this location-based augmented reality game. The basic idea of augmented reality is to superimpose graphics, audio and other sensory enhancements over a real-world environment in real time.

Even if you haven’t played Pokemon Go, there is still a high chance you have already experienced AR. Have you ever played with any video chatting apps that attach cat’s nose and ears to your face? It’s AR all right.

However, augmented reality can go way further than mere games. Marketing folks have long used augmented reality to drive attention to brands.

The U.S. Army relies on AR to enhance soldiers’ situational awareness. It’s actually a great tool for many industries.

Tech behind AR:

6. Blockchain

Some of you who bought bitcoins several years ago are probably smiling right now. The brightest example of blockchain technology is Bitcoin — the cryptocurrency that has been breaking all price records as of lately.

While rushing out to invest in bitcoins is not something we suggest at this time, the blockchain technology will certainly continue to influence the financial industry in 2018.

Take a look at the initiatives of the large US banks that consider blockchain for various purposes: international payments, trade finance, money laundering protection, etc.

Major Bank's Blockchain Initiatives

Source: Business Insider Inc.

Tech veterans also predict that blockchain technology adoption will go way beyond the world of finance in 2018. One segment that is actively taking advantage of this tech is retail.

For example, Walmart is working with IBM to make its food supply chain more efficient by tracking every step of the production supply chain.

Here are some other examples of the innovative uses of the blockchain technology:

Tech behind blockchain:


As you can note from these innovation examples, the most engaging tech trends repeat throughout the list: machine learning, visual recognition, speech recognition, AI, and IoT.

It’s safe to say that betting on these technologies for your 2018 projects will be a smart choice. Velvetech will be happy to get your businesses through these tech trends all the way to the improved bottom line.

Remember to get in touch before January 10 to get a 10% discount on your first project in 2018! Read our holiday report to learn how to get your bonus.

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