The world has changed far more in the past 100 years than in any other century in history. The reason is not political or economic but technological—technologies that flowed directly from advances in basic science.
Stephen W. Hawking
Every decade in the last century has seen more and more significant changes because of technology. These alterations are beginning to occur so much more rapidly because humans are beginning to better understand machines and machines are beginning to think like humans. While in the past few years the world has seen the transportation industry evolve with technology like Uber, the medical industry evolve with keyhole surgery technology, and the financial industry evolve with technology like PayPal, the future is still likely to hold even more shocking evolutions. Here is a glimpse at what to expect from technology in 2017:
1. Virtual Reality And Augmented Reality
AR and VR were ushered into well-known existence in 2016. However, they weren’t widespread. Yes, there was Pokemon Go and Oculus Rift, both of which were widely positively received. But 2017 is really going to be the year that these two technologies take off.
Augmented Reality will likely be the standout star. This technology is precisely why companies like MOZR are getting more and more customers looking to develop creative new AR apps. It’ll be used to improve toys, games, retail and work. And it will likely outshine VR because everyone already has the necessary hardware for it–their smartphones. Windows has already started to dip their toe into the AR possibilities with Windows Holographic, and it is expected that Apple will follow suit in 2017.
But don’t have low expectations for Virtual Reality. 2017 will be the year when it is transformed from a play-thing for the curious into a widely used tool that transforms the mundane. Facebook has been making big strides with it over the past year and they are also promising exciting advancements for anyone who has a few basic pieces of VR hardware. In general, though, VR will begin to be integrated in movies, concerts, games, television, and even art.
2. Artificial Intelligence
The world has slowly been filling up with an ever-widening array of automated technology and artificial intelligence–think the customer service systems that have been annoying people for years. On a much more advanced level, think about the built-in buddies that everyone now has in their phone (i.e. Siri). But this year, things are going to take off.
Smart devices are going to begin learning people’s patterns and preferences. Microsoft, and possibly Apple, will be releasing smarter devices for around the home. But most forms of machine learning and artificial intelligence are going to happen behind closed doors. It will simply be implemented into all of our technology to make it better serve our needs. In 2017, AI will essentially become the new normal of all technology.
3. Internet Of Things
We’ve had the technology for this for years. There are various appliances on the market that connect to the internet and supposedly make your home more interconnected. So why hasn’t it taken off? Because while the appliances are ‘smart’, they don’t tie into other appliances–in other words there has been too little collaboration between companies on this front. But in 2017, Apple, Amazon and Google, among other big names, have made announcements that they will be stepping up to the plate.
With better Wi-Fi, routers, and bandwidth possibilities, 2017 is going to be the year that IoT becomes perfected. It is more reliable than a centralized hub, which if it goes down will bring all of the appliances down with it–yet another reason that the Internet of Things failed to take off like it was predicted to in years past. So this combination of better internet and better collaboration and interoperability is going to bring about a new birth for the Internet of Things.
4. Physical/Digital Blur
It has already begun with the introduction of AR technology and Cloud offerings from the likes of lightcrest, but 2017 will see a major shift in what the world looks like. Digital retailers will become more physical and physical retailers will become more digital–and the same goes for the rest of the digital and physical worlds. For example, Amazon plans on opening storefronts, while Walmart is promising to offer more digital features. Navigation maps will become more specific, showing shoppers where to find various items in a store. Smartphone cameras will be able to analyze the objects that are picked up with their camera. In other words, these two worlds are going to collide in a much more obvious way than ever before.
5. Big Data
Big Data has been a buzzword for a few years now. Ever since companies and governments gained the ability to gather mass amounts of information and store it, it was seen as a resource. The problem, though, has always been how to effectively and efficiently analyze that data and turn it into something useful. With the advances made in programming and machine learning, this problem is slowly disappearing. Companies like Spotify are humanizing data and turning it into viral marketing campaigns. This will likely only continue and grow. And consumers should expect the benefits of understanding big data to seep into and advance every industry, from medicine to sports to art. One company that’s already providing users insights on the big data across social media is NUVI.