The new year is upon us, which means new technology is coming down the pike.
Last year saw the launch of a nearly bezel-less iPhone, fantastic new games like “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” a stunning (and not exploding!) Galaxy Note 8, and the ultra-loud Google Home Max – but the tech world isn’t slowing down in 2018.
In order to prepare for the exciting year to come, members of Business Insider’s tech team weighed in on what they’re most looking forward to in 2018.
From new VR headsets to flagship phones, here’s the tech we’re most excited about:
Oculus Go / Oculus Santa Cruz
Steven Tweedie, deputy editor:
“Oculus Go is Facebook’s upcoming standalone headset, which will be its first to not require a gaming PC or Samsung smartphone – everything you need is contained in the headset itself. The relatively low price point and enclosed design should make casual VR use more of a thing, and should get more people trying out the medium, which is exactly what the VR ecosystem needs right now.
“The tracking will still be limited compared to the Oculus Rift when it comes to the level of tracking, but it comes with a motion controller and Oculus’ library of games, which immediately gives it an advantage over other entry-level headsets, like Google’s Cardboard or Samsung’s Gear VR.
“Facebook’s Santa Cruz headset will be the high-end alternative to Oculus Go, in that it won’t require a PC or smartphone, but it will have a more robust tracking solution, allowing for people to lean down and around in addition to rotating their head. It will also feature hand controllers similar to Oculus’ Touch controllers for the Rift. Oculus says Santa Cruz will be given out to developers in ‘early 2018,’ but there’s no firm launch date for the consumer edition.”
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9
Jim Edwards, editor-in-chief of Business Insider UK:
“I was a Note 5 user, and I considered it the most fun phone I’ve ever had. The stylus and the drawing app are much, much more powerful than you think they’re going to be. The ivory-gold edition was also the most beautiful phone I ever used … until I dropped it and put a big crack in the glass back.
“Anyway! One rumour is that Samsung will give the Note 9 a dual, or foldable, screen. I have no idea what this might be useful for, but one thing I like about Samsung’s flagship products is that they are not afraid to add some crazy new thing to a phone, just to see what happens.
“If Samsung puts a bigger battery in the Note 9, or does something to make the battery last longer, that’s going to make the Note 9 very tempting for me.”
Microsoft’s hinged tablet
Edoardo Maggio, tech reporter:
“I’d like to see some entirely new product, but I don’t expect that to happen.
“If it does, however, I think Microsoft will make the biggest splash. I think at this point it’s safe to assume that this Courier-like Surface [tablet]does exist, and we can bet that Microsoft will want to make sure it’s a heavy hitter.
“And, considering their past few years in hardware, I’m not just excited, but pretty sure it might be a real bomb!”
Improvements to the Mac
Steve Kovach, senior tech correspondent:
“Apple is expected to release a new Mac Pro, the first update to the product in over four years. It will be a demonstration of whether or not it’s taking its core group of power users seriously.
“Meanwhile, MacBooks could use some improvements, especially when it comes to problems with the keyboard.A spec of dust can ruin your $US1,500 MacBook? Come on. Apple is losing the high ground when it comes to desktops and laptops.”
The Harry Potter game and “Red Dead Redemption 2”
Ben Gilbert, senior tech correspondent:
“The Harry Potter game from the people behind ‘Pokémon Go.’ After ‘Pokémon Go’ absolutely took over the world in 2016, I’m excited to see if Harry Potter can do the same. What does Harry Potter even mean in a Pokémon Go-style game? I have no idea! I’m anxious to see what it looks like!
“And ‘Red Dead Redemption 2.’ Every few years, Rockstar Games releases a new game. Sometimes it’s ‘Grand Theft Auto,’ and sometimes it’s something else. In 2018, ‘Red Dead Redemption 2 is the big game,’ and it looks excellent. It’s the game I’m most excited to play in 2018.”
Dave Smith, deputy editor:
“I got a Belkin wireless charger for my iPhone X and I love it. Wireless charging, in general, is just better and much more convenient compared to physically plugging a cable into your phone.
“That said, wireless chargers could be better. Most wireless chargers out there have a relatively small surface area, are somewhat finicky (even the Belkin charger won’t charge the phone unless it’s precisely in the middle of the pad), and can’t accommodate charging multiple gadgets. Apple’s AirPower, announced in 2017 but coming in 2018, sounds like it solves all of these problems, and will be the ideal way to charge all of your Apple devices, including your iPhone, Watch, and AirPods, at once.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how AirPower prioritises charging multiple gadgets at the same time, but I’m more excited about the implications of Apple making a wireless charger. Hopefully this will encourage competition in the space, create a proliferation of wireless chargers everywhere, and maybe even spark some innovation in the battery and wireless-charging space.”
Apple’s follow-up to the iPhone X
Avery Hartmans, humble tech reporter:
“When Apple announced the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X simultaneously, it put itself in a tough spot in several ways.
For starters, Apple backed itself into a corner with its naming convention. Will the next phone be the iPhone 9, even though we already have the X? Or will they shift entirely to Roman numerals and go with the iPhone XI?
On top of that, will there continue to be two devices released each year – a more conventional, mass-consumer model and a high-end, futuristic device? If so, it’s anyone’s guess how they will top the iPhone X.
The 2017 iPhone releases left me with more questions than answers, so I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2018.”