Published on February 2nd, 2019 | by Bibhuranjan


The Biggest Tech Stories that Happened in 2018

It’s the start of 2019 and people are eager to see what new technology innovations the new year has in store for them. Tech watchers are talking about everything from 5G ultra-fast cell networks to devices that pull water out of thin air.

But the start of a new year is also a chance to take stock and see how much has changed in the last 12 months. 2018 was a major year for technology developments. There were huge leaps in terms of progress while other endeavors took a step back. The private sector made its first leap into space thanks to SpaceX, while a number of companies are trying to move into city-building.

There are plenty of resources online to find all the details about last year’s top tech stories. From self-driving vehicles to foldable smartphone screens, check out these tech stories to find out about some of the most exciting innovations in the tech world today.

These are some of the stories most likely to have a big impact on 2019:

#1 SpaceX

Remember this one? In the tech world, a year is a long time, but it was only in February 2018 that SpaceX successfully launched a rocket into space. Founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, SpaceX brought its mission of reducing space transportation costs by building reusable rockets closer to reality. SpaceX is continuing to break boundaries, launching its first crewed spacecraft in 2019.

#2 Sidewalk Labs

The tech sector is hungry to get into the world of urbanism and city-building. From Musk’s Boring Company to Uber and Lyft’s lofty promises to solve traffic congestion, everyone wants to play a hand in the city of the future.

No one has been given a bigger opportunity to do just that than Google’s sister company Sidewalk Labs. In a partnership with Waterfront Toronto, Sidewalk Labs is set to become a property developer on prime waterfront real estate in North America’s fourth-largest city. Sidewalk Labs will be building a lot more than just streets and condos. They’re promising the “first neighborhood built from the internet up,” using sensors to compile data on how people use urban space. Expect technology to be a key in reducing congestion and improving safety.

#3 Self-Driving Cars

A fatal collision involving an Uber self-driving vehicle in Tempe, Arizona proved to be a major setback for autonomous vehicles. The company had to suspend testing in other cities after an Uber vehicle failed to stop for a pedestrian. There were a lot of problems with the story, including the fact that the test driver was watching a video at the time.

The fatal car crash gave fuel to AV critics who doubt that self-driving cars will do anything to ease congestion or improve safety, rather than make matters worse. The innovation itself is exciting, but the companies behind it may need to rethink their sales pitch. The World Economic Forum found that self-driving vehicles would cause a 5.5% increase in Boston’s traffic problem downtown. However, self-driving vehicles do reduce the need for parking, which takes up a lot of space in cities.

#4 Mobile Payments

Mobile payments broke records in 2018, exceeding the $700 billion mark, meaning that they’ve grown by $500 billion in only four years. A future in which the majority of payments are made by mobile is on the horizon. From in-person purchases to mobile shopping, today’s mobile apps need secure, convenient, and fully integrated mobile payment processing.

One of the major bonuses to m-commerce was the launch of Pay, Google’s simplified, one-stop app for mobile payments, which incorporates both Google Wallet and Android Pay. There’s also Apple Pay, not to mention a number of services reaching the mainstream that allow mobile users to replace traditional banking services, such as Venmo.

App developers like Guaraná Technologies have been making mobile payments more accessible through app development. Mobile payments are going to be key to turning mobile apps profitable.

#5 Bitcoin was a Bubble

The collapse of Bitcoin prices that came early in 2018 never reversed. The cryptocurrency has been on a downward slope ever since, and that has crypto-enthusiasts feeling deflated. Blockchain technology remains an exciting, nascent technology that could change cybersecurity and financial transactions forever, but 2018 taught some people an important lesson in investing.

2018 was a year in which seeds were planted, boundaries were broken, and lessons were learned across the tech sector. It means even more exciting developments await this year.

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Editorial Officer, I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.

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