There aren’t many ways 2018 could have gone worse for the tech industry. It felt like every week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and friends were apologizing for some major privacy blunder or platform manipulation. Self-driving cars proved they weren’t ready to hit the road and Elon Musk nearly self-destructed on Twitter. Electric scooters swarmed cities only to be vandalized in droves. Tech-stock peaks gave way to market tumbles.
The coming year brings the cleanup and a return to the optimism that technology is really good for the world. By that of course we mean finally playing the much hyped, much delayed Harry Potter augmented-reality game. Also eagerly awaited: 5G arriving in cities, Apple’s iOS getting a facelift and Disney launching its own streaming service. We’re predicting a year of fulfilled promises—including a possibly forced change in companies’ data-collection practices.
Here’s our annual roundup of the tech that will affect us in the year ahead. Our track record is pretty good, so you’ll want to pay attention.