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Things We Learned at CommonBond’s 2018 Fintech Trends Breakfast

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In 2018, Look Out For Bank-Fintech Partnerships and Big Tech

If 2017 was the year in which fintech grew up, 2018 will now require big banks to catch up — or miss out. Klein explained it like this:

“You have two things happening simultaneously: you have fintechs that are becoming ‘real companies,’ that are sustaining, that have garnered the respect and credibility of the market, inclusive of incumbents. At the same time, you have incumbents who have been sitting on legacy technology, who, if they do not get in the space in 2018 in some regard, or look and feel ‘fintech-y’ in some regard in 2018, they’ve missed the boat. 2015 and 2016 was about sniffing around the edges, 2017 was about digging deep, and 2018 — for the big companies — will be about entering in some capacity.”

The likeliest path for big institutions to join the fintech game? Partnerships. Consumer-facing bank-fintech partnerships may well be the name of the game this year, beyond the capital-facing bank-fintech partnerships already taking place.

In addition to big banks, keep an eye out for big tech to make major moves in the world of finance in 2018. “If you’re reading a lot in the space, you already feel it,” Klein declared. “You can already see the connective tissue happening if you’re really plugged in. And I think that’s going to hit kind of a mainstream consciousness in 2018.”

Don’t Expect to See Many (If Any) Fintech IPOs

All three panelists agreed: in trying to predict who might IPO next, you have to figure out which companies might be ready, and it takes a lot for a company to be ready to IPO. Hans Morris set forth four conditions needed for a company to go public: absolute size, valuation, governance change, and a broad investment thesis.

With all this in mind, which fintech companies are truly poised to IPO in 2018? According to Snitkof, there aren’t many that fit the bill. “One thing I would look for if you’re thinking about what companies are going to go public is: Who already treats their company as if it is public? Who has that framework in place, is already reporting like a pseudo-public company, who treats it like that? It takes a lot, there’s a big cost to that, but it’s part of a long-term plan if that’s your aspiration. I don’t see too many people doing that today.”

International Fintech Markets Are Booming

The U.S. might be fertile ground for fintech, but there are plenty of intriguing happenings in the international financial community, too. Snitkof identified three major points of interest for fintech around the globe:

The UK — “They’re a very mature economy, there’s really strong regulation but it’s also really clear and supportive regulation, so if you’re starting an alternative lender there, or a payments company, or a challenger bank — of which there are quite a few and some have done quite well — you know what regulators to talk to, you know what regulator to apply to, there’s a clear framework. They really want to help you.”

China — “You see massive, massive rates of growth in the tech companies there and every company you talk to, it’s kind of astounding because they are 10 times larger than their U.S. equivalent counterpart.”

Estonia — “Estonia is on the bleeding edge. … They’ve created this concept of ‘e-residency’ where you can become a citizen of Estonia digitally, an ‘e-resident,’ so you can open up a bank account there, you can incorporate a business there, without being Estonian. They’ve used their small size and nimbleness to create what they hope is going to be really fertile ground for innovation and that’s very interesting.”

Here’s What Won’t Change This Year: The Need for Humanity in Banking

Big banks, big tech, big finance… what about the consumers, the human beings on the other end of the smartphones and laptops? After all, fintech has its roots in creating more consumer-friendly experiences for consumers, and consumers continue to crave a sense of humanity in their financial services. Regardless of what year it is or what great technical innovation has taken the world by storm, people still want to be treated like people — and they really want to trust their financial institutions.

This year, keeping the consumer’s humanity in mind will be crucial for fintech companies. “Any successful, profitable fintech model over the past five years, banks are going to copy it,” said Snitkof. “Some will do a really good job of copying it, some will do a terrible job of copying it and it’ll be up to consumers to decide who they’re actually going to get served by, but it’s also going to push any fintech innovator to really innovate and think about what’s next to differentiate themselves from a brand that already has some pretty implicit trust and stability in customers’ minds.”

Which Customer Groups Are Next to Get Some Love From Fintech?

Finally, the conversation turned to identifying the most underserved communities when it comes to fintech. Who did our panel agree were fintech’s biggest untapped markets?

Baby boomers. Morris sees a tremendous potential in the generation of workers who are retiring now — but who don’t identify with the typical image of a retiree. “I went to all these 60th birthday parties and none of these people think they’re ready for walk-in bathtubs or whatever; they are kite-surfing and doing all these other things… The other thing that’s different about baby boomers is there’s lots of them and they have money to spend, and so the wallet is really significant versus many of the products we see. You’re focusing on, for example, asset management for millennials, well, they’re investing $100 and it’s a long time before that builds up to a profitable level… So, focus on older people. They’re just as digital.”

International students. With an eye toward the CommonBond realm of education finance, Klein identified an underserved market in international students attending U.S. schools. “I’ve been really wanting, hoping, searching for ways to serve that population ever since we were founded, in large part because we get a lot of feedback from the international community when we go to campuses and they say, ‘Hey, can you do anything for us?’ And we haven’t been able to really quite crack that nut just yet. But I wouldn’t be surprised if we did at some point. I don’t know if it’s 2018 or beyond, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re able to do that.”

Fintech Trends That Will Shape 2018

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Open Banking

Soon, the UE’s Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) will come into force. Banks will be required to share their API, that is, their programming interfaces to third parties. That will allow other companies to create tools and apps to manage financial operations of big and small clients. Those can be, for example, e-commerce or product comparison platforms.

In collaboration with the administration, banks are also working on Polish API, an integrated interface providing third-party companies with an access to the user’s account. The implementation process will be even faster, if Polish API includes creating a sandbox for the banks to test their solutions on fictitious data,

Blurred Lines

Micropayments are becoming a vital part of our lives. It is especially apparent in social media, such as Facebook, which have become mainly advertising or commercial services. “A trend I’ve been observing for the last 18 months is that consumers’ lives: the social, commercial and financial aspects of them, are all bound. They are provided by consumer-centric platforms that ‘blend’ into everyday experiences,” said Pat Patel, CEO Money 20/20, during Impact fintech’17. The next stage is marketplaces, where data, services and products can be purchased through new payment systems. In the following years, they will become commonplace.


Things don’t have to be that complicated. Machine learning, neural networks or autonomous machines are still taking baby steps, so they aren’t going to be immediately accessible. It’s the time to focus on big data analysis and text mining.

To help with that Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will be progressively introduced into processes that, up to this point, required a toiling and repetitive job. It is especially useful in the sectors of AML, risk management, sales, and marketing, as new regulations protecting consumers ( such as RODO) have been introduced.

Conversational banking

Technology becomes increasingly complicated. A regular Joe won’t easily find their way in the maze of new solutions for banking. That’s why chatbots will make all the difference, and their integration has already started. From now on they will provide us with all the necessary info and solve most of our problems, without a need for a human consultant. For now they will not be AI-based, but will be given scripts to follow, but it’s still a big step.


The insurtech sector has fallen behind, innovation-wise. Now, that the technology provides more advanced and reliable solutions, it’s trying to catch up. Data analysis and flexible pricing strategies have become a vital part of the insurance companies’ work. Next on the list are finding uses for distributed ledger and creating new products for shared economy.

Funding innovation

Startups don’t need to fret about money. New funding sources are appearing, both in the public and private sector. As much as 4M PLN will be distributed to innovative enterprises through various funds set up by PFR Ventures. Check out where you can apply here. For instance, Starter is for pre-seed-stage startups; PFR Open Innovation Fund is dedicated to SME companies which implement technological projects under the open innovation formula; and Koffi – for SME companies at the stage of growth, development/expansion.

“Watch China”

“Watch China,” were the words of David Rowan, editor at WIRED; and he’s right. Chinese technological leaders have created extremely successful e-commerce platforms, such as Alibaba or Tencet, based on dynamic data analysis and friendly interfaces. In terms of fintech, they are a huge competition for the rest of the world, and now they aim to expand. That should spur other countries to up their game and go big, or even bigger.


Everyone wants to use the blockchain technology, but somehow, no one really does. Big financial institutions are not too keen on the idea of decentralisation. This, combined with a lack of traditional benefits from scaling, successfully discourages further development of that technology.

ICO (Initial Coin Offering) is a small flicker of hope for blockchain. Perhaps it will result in more concrete projects, which will encourage people to use this technology.

Big players

Fintech is not only startups and dated financial institutions trying to upgrade. Technological giants, such as Amazon, Microsoft, or IBM, are also interested in entering that market. They design software or even whole operating systems for banks. There are also many incubators, accelerators, and CVCs, aimed particularly at large corporations, that help them branch out.


New verification systems are rapidly developing, and they are increasingly more complex. They don’t only base on audio or video (like iPhoneX’s facial recognition), but also on kinaesthetics (such as the pacing of your handwriting or even your thermal trace). Building those new solutions requires even more interdisciplinarity and coworking.

Regulations for innovation

Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) has launched the Innovation Hub programme this January. It helps fintechs with all things legal: laws and regulations, business models, product/service creation and management. What’s more, there are big chances of building a regulatory sandbox this year! Also, KFN and Prime Minister Morawiecki are working to transform the regulator into a dedicated department. Poland is the first to implement such a solution.

As you can see, 2018 will bring us a lot of changes! Poland’s fintech is developing at a really fast pace, and we will certainly implement a lot of revolutionary solutions in the years to come. So, stay tuned and let’s meet at Impact fintech’18!

Enterprise Tech Trend Predictions for 2018 and Beyond

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2017 was the year of disruptive innovation and 2018 will be about combining those disruptive tech innovations and putting them to work to fully experience their maximum business impact for enterprises. Taking into account the number of requests I received for a list of the enterprise tech trend predictions for 2018, I compiled six of the emerging trends that I believe will shape this year. This article will not only introduce potentially game-changing “new” technologies but also discuss what’s next with “now” technologies which have recently joined the established technology category.

Blockchain Will Continue To Evolve

Blockchain technology has been generating discussions since 2011, however, 2017 was the year when its real potential was unleashed. The reason behind this realization likely has so much to do with the drastic rise in the price of Bitcoin. What’s the next direction with this “now” technology? In 2018, blockchain will manage to spread outside of finance, including government, healthcare, manufacturing, media distribution, identity verification, title registry and supply chain.

In healthcare, for instance, IDC Health Insights predicts that 20% of organizations will have moved beyond pilot projects and will have operationalized blockchain by 2020. Speaking of vertical industries, the technology truly has huge potential to accelerate efficiency in the public sector. That being said, the initial point of bitcoin, for instance, was creating a tradeable currency which couldn’t be manipulated by governments. Therefore, it is hard to see how exactly this would play out but in 2018, we might see some governments adopting this technology as well.

In 2017, many capital ventures started hunting for companies that use blockchain technology in a creative and innovative way. In 2018, that exploration will come to fruition as we will see venture investors pouring big bucks into new cryptocurrency projects or blockchain startups. Good ideas are aplenty, however, because as Gartner agrees, many of the associated technologies will be immature for the next two to three years, blockchain investments may go through the same phase that artificial intelligence did. In the initial period of this technology taking off, we will witness some failed attempts that cause a costly waste of time.

Nevertheless, I believe, it will put us on the edge of our seats to watch how blockchain will continue to evolve from a digital currency infrastructure into a platform for digital transformation.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Hitting Mass Market

Although we have started to hear about the buzz for virtual reality more since 2015, the technology saw major improvement and penetration in the consumer market in 2017. Google has shipped more than 10 million Cardboard headsets since 2014, and it’s estimated to have sold between 2 million and 3.5 million Daydream devices in 2017 alone. Meanwhile, Samsung is on track to sell as many as 6.7 million Gear VR headsets this year, according to analysts.

As the swirl of AR/VR technology settled a bit in 2017, leaving a clear framework for the future, this year, it is expected to expand its footprints into the enterprise market. Targeted applications of VR and AR will start picking up speed but I do not think it will fully take off this year, at least not in the enterprise world. I predict it will reach that point in 2020. In fact, Deloitte LLP has a more specific prediction on the matter. “In 2018, there will be 1 billion AR apps on smartphones, and a billion users will create AR content at least once; currently 300 million users do so monthly,” Deloitte Vice-Chairman Paul Sallomi said in a statement. “By end of 2018, more than 800 million smartphones will have both an OS with dedicated AR support and sufficiently powerful hardware (CPUs, GPUs, DSPs and neural chips) to power them. Discrete app revenues for AR content and devices to be under $100 million globally in 2018.”


Blockchain in Financial Services

The technology that underlies Bitcoin will take center stage in the development of financial services in 2018. If 2017 was mostly about looking into the benefits of blockchain and testing it, 2018 will see the first major blockchains in financial sector. For example, Ernst & Young and Maersk will roll out a blockchain-based marine insurance platform.

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In 2018, the finance sector will leverage everything the blockchain technology has to offer, across most financial services. Blockchain-based securities trading will reduce costs, minimize complexity, and increase the speed of trading and settlement processes. Blockchain-based P2P and SME lending platforms will help financial institutions scale easier and more efficiently. Cross-border payments and mobile payments will become cheaper and easier, as blockchain significantly reduces the number of participants and payment delay. Additionally, smart contracts will gradually bring automation to the majority of financial services — from trading securities to lending and insurance services. Initial coin offerings (ICOs), custom smart tokens, and identity solutions will also remain in high demand.

Most importantly, blockchain brings the highest level of security to finance industry across the board. As a result, financial services providers and their clients will always be confident the funds are secure.

Mobile Payments and Transfers

Partly owing to the adoption of blockchain, the usage of mobile payments and transfers will continue to grow. More and more millennials use financial services, and they prefer a digital approach that includes mobile. They also expect a better and much faster service, with as fewer steps as possible (older age groups follow suit quickly). Additionally, the globalised business environment increasingly relies on instant international money transfers. The ability to send and receive funds across countries in a matter of seconds becomes a must in today’s competitive business world.

To succeed, financial institutions and companies will follow the steps of J. P. Morgan and create their blockchain-based mobile payment systems. In 2018, the world will also see more blockchain wallet apps that instantly allow to transfer and exchange cryptocurrencies while staying incognito. The number of blockchain-based online exchanges like KlickEx will also rise, as solutions like this allow to process cross-border payments in a matter of seconds.

Finally, the demands of millennial clients will give a push to more digital-only banks and instantaneous smartphone payments at checkout (with Apple Pay, Android Pay, or other).

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Artificial Intelligence in Financial Services

As the developments in the field of artificial intelligence continue to advance, and as more and more industries adopt it, the finance sector will follow suit.

The promise of AI is as big to finance as it is to any other industry. In 2018, financial companies will employ machine learning algorithms to detect fraudulent activities and potential hacker attack spots in FinTech software; use these algorithms to automate financial reporting, reducing processing time and human error; implement deep learning algorithms to quickly derive unexpected insights from Big Data and gain a competitive edge.

Finally, as the world continues to go mobile and stay busy, the need for more advanced financial consulting is growing rapidly. The solution comes in robo-advisors, which will be available mostly in FinTech apps. They will provide automated financial planning services driven by AI algorithms — for more solid, spot-on, and quick financial advices. Moreover, FinTech robo-advisors will allow younger and less financially savvy people to start investing.

Top eCommerce Tech Trends to Watch in 2018 and Beyond

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1. Enhanced Customer Experience

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) keep changing customer experience as we know it. Using AR and VR solutions a customer may take a virtual tour around a digital store, place the virtual products onto the real world objects and try on virtual clothes. For example, the new app by Ikea allows its users to visualize furniture in their homes using the mobile’s camera.

AR can motivate shoppers to buy as they get more enhanced customer experience. In short, implementing AR and VR can be the greatest shift in eCommerce technology since its beginnings.

One more trend that fits here is the rise of voice search. Humans can speak 150 words per minute vs type 40 words per minute. As the accuracy of voice search and voice recognition becomes more precise, eCommerce retailers should optimize their site content to be searched appropriately.

2. Blockchain Technologies

We will watch blockchain-based eCommerce platforms appear as a separate segment in eCommerce. OpenBazaar can serve as an example of a peer-to-peer platform where transactions are made through cryptocurrencies. Each action by the buyer or seller generates a block and ‘proof of work’ in the marketplace, based on which the other entity acts. The blockchain technology is already used in digital currencies and will continue to be used not only for payment transactions but in eCommerce apps as well.

3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning

Machine learning can contribute valuable options to eCommerce software. Intelligent algorithms become instrumental in customer segmentation and personalization. They help to identify patterns in customer’s web browsing and thus create huge possibilities for personalized recommendations. Implementing these technologies can boost sales up to 15%.

Order and inventory management can become more efficient with inventory forecast and predict market demands. Shipping software may benefit from anticipatory shipping algorithms which may predict shipping demand before an order is made.

Chatbots and the rise of conversational commerce present a separate distinct trend in eCommerce tech. In 2018 chatbots will widen their functions, from supporting customer service routine to more complicated personal shopping assistance. As customers are getting used to the help of AI creatures we will see more ventures developing chatbots for every possible purpose.

4. Automation software

eCommerce operations can be efficiently improved by using automation. Areas of eCommerce routine that need automation are order and inventory management, cart abandonment solutions, email marketing tools, accounting and bookkeeping and social media management systems. As the number of online shops grows, there will be a sizeable growth in demand for any automation solution for eCommerce.

5. Multichannel eCommerce

With so many different shopping carts and marketplaces, the future of eCommerce is multichannel. Selling across several channels is the matter of omnipotent importance. As more eCommerce entrepreneurs are employing multichannel selling strategy, there is a greater demand for software that can communicate with various sales channels via APIs.

If you develop eCommerce software, you may be interested in using API2Cart’s unified data API. It allows integrating your software solution with 35+ shopping carts and marketplaces, making the software truly multichannel. Don’t waste precious time, contact our expert today to get a free trial.

Here’s 9 small business IT trends you cannot ignore in 2018

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    1. Faster Wireless Broadband
      WiFi is awesome. We seem to not be able to live without. Wireless carriers continue to evolve their networks and 5G wireless speeds are coming, soon. We’ll see 4G speeds evolving and getting faster, while 5G launches in more areas. I’ve found that 4G cellular connection is pretty much as good as WiFi speeds. However, with 5G you won’t even be looking for a WiFi spot.
    2. Going Global
      Although local SEO has received plenty of attention from techies, the fact remains that globalization will be the dominate eCommerce theme in 2018 and moving forward. A customer living in Brazil who wants to find the most affordable big screen television will search worldwide on the Internet for the best deal.

      Local commerce will still represent the majority of small business sales in 2018 in niches such as grocery and automotive. However, for products like furniture, appliances, and pharmaceuticals, the marketplace will evolve into a virtual global store. Already eBay, PayPal, Alibaba and other companies are bringing our worlds closer and closer together.

    3. Expect Cyber Security to Get More Complex
      Most small businesses do not have the financial power to recover from a rash of identity thefts, malware, and other security exploits. After the Equifax hacking incidents that happened in 2017, a new focus on developing more intricate firewalls and other security protections have emerged from IT conferences held throughout the world.

      In 2016, more than half of all unwanted website intrusions targeted businesses. 2018 will be the dawn of a new era of more complex security tools for small businesses to combat the increased threat of security hacks.

    4. The Use of Freelancers Will Grow
      From developing code for a website to integrating apps into online marketing programs, small businesses will increasingly turn to professionals who offer their expertise on a freelancing basis. As more companies adapt their business models expect companies to warm even more to using experienced freelances in lieu of employees.

9 small business IT trends you cannot ignore in 2018

  1. Generation Z Customers Want Personalization
    Is it possible to combine information technology with a personal approach to customer services? The answer better be yes, because that is what Generation Z wants from businesses. Generation Z comes from the age demographic years between 1996 and 2010. By 2022, Generation Z will represent nearly 40 percent of American consumers.

    Business owners will have to accommodate the desire for more personalized customer service by merging automated systems with personal interactions. Personalized customer service also involves social networking posts and sending emails about upcoming specials.

  2. Huge Technical Advancements for Virtual Reality
    It seems like this trend has appeared on the list for the past five years. Is this really the year virtual reality takes off? Small business owners and operators should expect virtual reality to reduce training costs by implementing creative virtual reality technology that allows employees to develop skills at their preferred paces. YouTube supports 360-degree videos; you can expect demand for the technology to come from customers who want to explore how your products perform.
  3. Speaking of Videos
    You can humanize and personalize your brand by using videos in your marketing. All the social platforms support and encourage native video. No longer is it enough to upload a video to YouTube, you must now think about video on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can use video to share your thought leadership and educate a customer to a sale. You can also use video to showcase how your product or service can benefit a customer.
  4. AI will Be Important for Businesses
    Many business owners believe incorporating artificial intelligence technology with their IT platforms is cost prohibitive. However, in 2018, you cannot ignore the cost of not using AI. Around 60% of businesses already collect information by implementing artificial intelligence strategies.

    AI is here to stay and small business owners will fall behind if they ignore the critical technology. Many vendors such as Salesforce and Intuit are already using AI in their solutions to benefit their business customers. AI helps you gain more insight from data, respond better to customers needs and more.

  5. Branding Will Become Personal
    It used to be CEOs sat behind a desk all day and let their employees be the face of the brand. That mindset has changed dramatically, as CEOs have learned the importance of presenting their personal brands online. Consumers want to see the face of a company, and personal branding makes that happen. The same principle applies to small businesses, as savvy operators take to Twitter to answer customer questions and interact with potential customers in real time from their small business websites.

5 Tech trends we’re predicting for 2018

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1. Subscription-based models will soar

“From the cars we drive to the content we consume, digital services like Uber, Airbnb, and Netflix have made us less likely to own things and more likely to pay for access to them. Ownership is seen traditionally as a status symbol. But we’re seeing consumer attitudes shift as technology has made the subscription model cheaper and more accessible.

Movements such as The Minimalists and the subscription economy reflect user desire to have more flexibility, choice, and customization when it comes to product consumption – all on-demand and for finite periods of time. Video and music streaming services have offered this type of model for years, and now we are seeing clothes and food-based subscription services becoming more widely used, and even preferred.

This shift is a sign that in the near future we’ll see this trend move into more difficult sectors (such as finance, education, and government) as subscriptions drive customer retention by adapting to changing user preferences.”

-Kim Turley, Director of Technology, Beyond New York

2. Continued adoption of voice-driven interfaces

“2017 was a big year for voice-driven user interfaces, driven by the popularity of smart speakers like Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Home; Apple, too, has a horse in the race with Siri getting in the smart speaker game this year with the HomePod. With the major players all vying for a piece of the pie – paired with a greater consumer appetite for the convenience of voice control – in 2018 stands to see a strong uptick both in the number of available smart speakers and the power of the AI assistants that fuel them.”

-Jarrod Tredway, Client Strategist, Beyond Austin

3. UX will play a pivotal role with machine learning

“UX, and specifically the skillsets of UX experts, will play an increasingly important role in machine learning in 2018. When communicating machine learning complexity, a UX mindset is vital to articulate mathematical models and algorithms in a simple manner.

Similarly, think about the visualisations, dashboards, and other types of interfaces that’ll need to be created to untangle the ‘black boxes’ of deep-learning, automated decision-making. Researchers at Columbia University and Lehigh University are already exploring this with their tool DeepXplore. Their aim: Ensure machine logic outcomes are accurate, fair, reliable, and transparent.

What’s more, UX will be valuable in determining marketable use cases where AI can thrive using innovation methodologies and design thinking techniques. I mean, who wouldn’t want an AI-powered cocktail maker at their party, right?”

-Andy Shanley, Director of Experience Design, Beyond New York

4. AI will unlock creativity – and jobs

“As the focus around AI sharpens, we’re set to see the evolution of established job roles and the genesis of some new ones.

AI is already automating some of our mundane administrative tasks, and the combination of man and machine will signal a new era of creativity. By doing the heavy lifting, technology will free up our cognitive capacity for creative thinking and high-level problem solving.

But before the era of blended man and machine workforces hits the mainstream, enter a new breed of workers: the Trainer and the Explainer. The Trainer will be an integral part of tech-forward companies, coaching their bots and algorithms, and the Explainer will coach the C-suite on what exactly is going on – and we shouldn’t underestimate the significance of this role.
We’re predicting a new partnership, which will define the creative landscape, and a host of indispensable jobs that will usher in this new way of working.”

-Charlie Lyons, General Manager, Beyond London

5. More systematic analysis of qualitative research

“We’re predicting a rise in more systematic analyses of qualitative research.

New tools are already emerging that streamline the analysis of interview and focus group data. For example, one of our clients has a custom database of user research videos, marked with content tags and participant demographics. As such, you can query the database and say, “I want to see video clips of men, age 25-34, who experienced issue X during testing” and it will pull every relevant clip.

Similarly, user research platform, Optimal Workshop, recently released a note-taking tool for interviews called Reframer that supports tagging and tag analysis so you can run basic data analysis or tabulations once your notes are tagged.

Ultimately, the next logical extension is using machine learning or AI to parse qualitative research videos and recordings.”

Six Trends We Might See In Food Tech In 2018


News publications making predictions for the coming year is as much a holiday tradition as eggnog, mistletoe and avoiding awkward political fights at the dinner table. As we put 2017 to bed, let’s take a look at trends that we might see in food tech in 2018. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is filled with topics we returned to time and time again throughout the year.

1. Alterna-Products Will Get More Mainstream. With growing concerns over how meat and dairy impact our planet, there are a ton of alternative products coming to mass market:pea-based burger patties that “bleed,” plant-based shrimp, and coconut milk ice cream, to name just a few. And with investment from accelerators, the whole alterna-space is just going to get better and cheaper.

2. Virtual Restaurants Will Pop Up Everywhere (and Nowhere).
 Data driven food delivery services such as UberEATS have convinced some real world restaurants to open up virtual ones. These delivery only offshoots can experiment with new cuisines and menu items without the cost of adding additional square footage.

3. Meal Kit Shakeup. The prepared meal kit delivery market is going through an evolution as one of its pioneers, Blue Apron, had a rough year, and more focused services are blossoming around specific markets such as kids, or just sending proteins. Then there are hardware players like Nomiku and Tovala looking to bring their full stack food solutions that can be paired with sous vide machines or smart ovens into more houses. Oh, and then there is Amazon, which may make same day customizable meal kits a thing this year.

4. The Further Instagrammification of Food. The meals you eat can no longer just be tasty, they also have to pop off the plate to impress all your Instagram followers. As Restaurant Business points out, look for “rainbow colors, vertical deserts, smoking cocktails” to be on the menu next year.

5. Artificial Intelligence and Robots Rise Up for Real. Robots are already flipping burgers and now even your face can help you order (both at CaliBurger in Pasadena, FWIW). But robots and artificial intelligence will become more mainstream throughout the food stack next year. From agriculture to reducing food waste, and from food aisles to food delivery, the immediate future is about to get way more high-tech.

6. Amazon, Amazon, Amazon. No company had a bigger impact on the food space this year than Amazon. It bought Whole Foods, giving the e-commerce giant an instant, nationwide, physical presence to better facilitate grocery delivery. It partnered with AllRecipes for shoppable grocery lists and launched an in-home delivery service. And, oh by the way, it just sold tens of millions of Alexa devices this past holiday to make ordering that much easier. But the interesting thing won’t be what existing markets Jeff Bezos and company will exert its influence over, but entirely new categories Amazon will create (visual recognition in your garden!).

Top 3 Technology Trends For 2018, Which Will Be A Game Changer !

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1. Live Video Broadcasting & VOD(Video On Demand): Mobile Is Your New TV:

Traditional broadcaster who owns most of the rights for sports or any show for that matter are getting some serious threat from this Over-The-Top players . like Amazon, Netflix, Apple & Fb are all eyeing it as huge potential and are committing themselves to grab this with full hands. Amazon & Fb will be the largest player to fight for sports broadcasting rights. Various premier leagues pertaining to cricket, Football etc grabs millions of user attention, who love to watch the matches live on their mobile powerhouse. So this social media & eCommerce giants have started to invest heavily on getting all the popular shows & live sports events. Amazon with Amazon prime has already taken the huge leap forward and i believe it will rule the OTT game in coming year. Facebook with its FB live has started to experiment with videos and they will use its huge user base to buy some of those big events rights and use its platform to engage their user making huge profits for themselves.

2. Artificial Intelligence & Blockchain :

As a technology enthusiast and specially being fascinated byCryptos &Machine Learning stuff, I strongly feel that this virtual currency & virtual machine training stuff will continue to fire imagination of many technology giants like Alphabet, IBM, Amazon, Facebook & they will invest hugely to make human more efficient by doing less. It has already been started with all the intelligent chatbots being deployed in the market, Voice Recognition and Intelligent robots being employed within an organization & restaurant doing the work more efficiently than humans. NLP being employed to make machine speak human language

3. IOT will leverage Edge Computing To Make this World Look More Smarter & Connected Over The Cloud-

Having said that let me make you understand a bit about “Edge Computing”-

As per Wiki-

Edge computing is a method of optimizing cloud computing systems by performing data processing at the edge of the network, near the source of the data. This reduces the communications bandwidth needed between sensors and the central data centre by performing analytics and knowledge generation at or near the source of the data.

Edge computing pushes applications, data and computing power (services) away from centralized points to the logical extremes of a network.

I feel that many Tech leaders will employ this edge computing which in no way is the direct competitor to any cloud based model, to fast track their #IOT services, saving a lot of infrastructure cost for this companies and making them more smarter over the coming future in serving their consumer