2018: our 6 tech predictions!

To mark the New Year, here are Orange’s predictions in terms of the digital tech coming your way in 2018. You’ll not be disappointed! This year will be firmly focused on artificial intelligence and ambient connectivity – as businesses and consumers get ready for 5G.

Prediction #1. Digital identity: say goodbye to passwords!

In 2018, biometric recognition technologies will continue to make giant strides into our lives. From now on, you are your own password, whether through your fingerprint, face or eyes – or more precisely your iris. Research into securing our multiple digital applications is also taking place around behaviour authentication. For example, the system developed by Orange for observes what you do (the pace you swipe your finger on your smartphone, your movements etc). This protects your privacy while continually confirming your identity, all without the need to ask for a password.

Prediction #2. What if saving the planet came from the skies?

Drones, just toy gadgets? Not really. “Drones are flying objects that are easy to handle, can be operated at a distance and can go almost everywhere,” explains Bertrand Rojat, who is head of Open Innovation within the Technocentre and Orange Vallée. The aim is to use them for observation and collecting images, which opens up a huge range of applications, particularly for connected, smart and more environmentally-friendly agriculture. A winning innovation for people and the planet.

Prediction #3. it’s time for VR and AR 

What if virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) went beyond entertainment to address major societal problems? These immersive technologies are already triggering revolutions in industry, heritage preservation (virtual reconstruction of lost historic sites) and health. VR may even offer effective applications for treating pain, phobias, mental disorders and depression.

Prediction #4. Control your smart home with your touch… and voice!

Artificial intelligence has entered our homes, which will become smarter and more empathetic to help us save time, improve our quality of life, become more empowered and more. The sensitive home will rely on domestic robots as well as an assistant to serve you in your home like a “digital butler”. You can control the latter via touch, a screen or smartphone or your voice, which is the case for Orange’s Djingo voice assistant. That’s why Orange launched the Home’in integrative research platform at the end of 2017 to continue designing a smart and sensitive home while protecting your privacy.

Prediction #5. Towards a carbon neutral Smart City thanks to AI

Now more intelligent, connected cities must aim to become as carbon neutral as possible and focus on saving energy, the circular economy and improving quality of life. This challenge is all the more crucial when recognising that urbanisation is a continuing global trend. This is why Orange designs and develops services and solutions that promote sustainable alternatives when it comes to smart cities, M2M, energy optimisation, carbon footprint reduction, eco-friendly mobility… Digital technologies can help decrease CO2 by promoting more economical consumption. A broad range of solutions already exists (such as smart grid and smart metering) for our business customers.

Prediction #6. Driverless cars: AI puts its foot down

If there is one technology that could transform society, it’s the self-driving car. Enhanced road safety, car-pooling, improved coexistence between drivers and pedestrians and also a complete transformation of our cities… the driverless car promises many things, but it all seems a long way off. Fortunately, advances in artificial intelligence, along with the progress it is delivering, should speed things up. As Lyse Brillouet, Director of Digital Society Research at Orange Labs attests: “It’s no longer a dream, but it’s not quite reality yet either.” Watch this space closely!