2017 laid a comfortable jet-stream for 2018 to move into, and left almost like a base for advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, advanced app development tweaks by mobile app developers, deep learning and other technologies of tomorrow. We have already been seeing tech giants like Amazon, Google, Microsoft etc. that have been up to something in 2017, and have been eagerly awaiting the reveal. However, these are not the only enterprises that had surprises ready for us. And now, as we are way into 2018, it is time we take a look at what kind of digital initiatives had us waiting, and whether they measure up to our expectations or not. Here are a few incredible advancements we have seen in the digital world in 2018: Amazon Go Store The pace with which an e-commerce business like Amazon has ascended to at par with the digital world is just unbelievable. In the past few years, Amazon has come up with a series of uber-innovative products such as Alexa, Echo-dot, Amazon Pay, e-commerce mobile app development etc., and now, what we have from Amazon is a next-generation grocery store that doesn’t require you to queue up and bill your purchase in order to check out. Yes, just walk into the store and walk out with what you pick. But wait for it, for the science behind how Amazon makes it happen will truly amaze you. Hundreds of cameras, infra-red sensors, computer-vision cameras and more advanced tech gazing at you to track your every move, and basically see what you pick off the shelves. A temporary record of what you pick is maintained, and as you walk with your purchase, your Amazon Pay account linked to your Credit Card would deduct the amount for that. Simple, right? So can you walk into the Go Store yet? Well, not all of us, because it has been opened in select places for trials. Read a Book, Without Opening it Opening an ancient document without damaging its contents has always been a challenges in archaeology. Often, the ancient documents found in excavation sites are damaged while being opened due to the delicate condition they are in, and even a little twitch can sometimes result in loss of years of research and analytics to locate these types of scriptures. But no more, because researchers at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have devised a new way to assist personnel in archaeological field to read an ancient document or scripture, without opening it. The technology which allows a person to do that is called X-ray computed tomography, which uses X-rays to scan the tomography of the text to intelligently estimate the content of the document. Coin-sized Robot Those who fear big medical equipment, and believe it to be the sole reason behind why they wouldn’t ever go for surgery, have a good news; the equipment just got way smaller. A joint effort from Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, has given the world a microsurgeon robot that goes by the name Millidelta, for the simple reason that it measures up to a millimetre. Millidelta is small, in fact, small enough to fit your pocket, but then that doesn’t limit its functionality, as it has piezoelectric actuators that allows the robot to move its arms and joints to execute operations with high precision. The basic technology behind Millidelta is Microelectromechanical Systems also known as MEMS, which allowed them to build a robot from simple pieces of metals. Is ‘IoT Software-as-a-service’ for real? Indeed it Is! The misconception that IoT is like a unicorn that will take form one day and will enlighten our digital world is long gone, as we have seen many tech players prove the arrival of IoT with the technologies they have already integrated with it. Microsoft’s entry into the world of IoT to improve it is an obvious step, and had to take place with a bang. Well, the ‘bang’ is here, and Microsoft has unveiled its IoT Software-as-a-service or IoT Saas to help industries reap the full-fledged benefits of IoT. Microsoft revealed IoT Saas in a public preview and built it with the help of Italian solution’s provider Solair, which it acquired in 2016. Solair IoT solution integrated with Microsoft’s Azure IoT platform, and that is what gave us the world’s first scalable IoT Saas solution. So these were some of the amazing advancements that have been unveiled just in the beginning of 2018, which speaks a lot about what this year has in store for us. The world is anticipating such smart solutions with an emphasis on artificial intelligence. So, it would be an interesting thing to see the digital enterprises would conform to our expectations.