Never in the age of civilization, has technology become so pervasive, so complex and so intertwined with our lives, such that we almost cannot do without technology. Technology has become the greatest enabler and also become a powerful weapon either for good or for evil. The rapid changes in life and in business that has become the norm as a result of technology is set to continue in 2017 driven by the leading tech trends.
IoT and Smart Home Tech
Smart home technology has slowly been trickling into our homes, driven by smart LED TVs from top brands like Samsung, LG and Hisense. Smart audio visual technology will take up a larger chunk of home appliance purchases in 2017 and beyond. This trend will expand to other appliances like connected microwaves, stoves and refrigerators. In some cases such devices, will be remote controlled by your smartphone! Too much competition between top brands and almost non-existent collaboration between competitors in this space remains a huge challenge. Hopefully some synergies among competing brands will become evident going forward, which will provide more choice to consumers on which brand to purchase.
AR and VR
2016 witnessed massive mainstream adoption of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality technologies. This was driven by the release of Oculus Rift and the subsequent of purchase of the the parent company by Facebook, global release of Samsung’s Galaxy VR headset and a couple of other branded headsets. Thousands of downloadable apps followed, with the most popular AR app being Pokemon Go.
The market is ready for AR and VR, and we’ve already got some early-stage devices and tech for these applications, but it’s going to be next year before we see things really take off. Once they do, you’ll need to be ready for AR and VR versions of practically everything—and ample marketing opportunities to follow.
Machine learning has taken some massive strides forward in the past few years, even emerging to assist and enhance Google’s core search engine algorithm. But again, we’ve only seen it in a limited range of applications. Throughout 2017, we expect to see machine learning updates emerge across the board, entering almost any type of consumer application you can think of, from offering better recommended products based on prior purchase history to gradually improving the user experience of an analytics app. It won’t be long before machine learning becomes a kind of “new normal,” with people expecting this type of artificial intelligence as a component of every form of technology.
Automation driven by artificial intelligence is set to become the mainstay across many industries in 2017. With manufacturing leading the way, driven by robotic machines that handle most assembly line tasks previously done by human beings, we will see increased deployment of robotic devices in fields like mining and health care. As a result of large scale automation in the workplace we’ll start seeing some jobs disappear altogether, however such technological advancements will open up new work opportunities for a redundant workforce
Big Data (visual, empathetic, qualitative)
Big data has been a big topic for the past five years or so, when it started making headlines as a buzzword. The idea is that mass quantities of gathered data—which we now have access to—can help us in everything from planning better medical treatments to executing better marketing campaigns. In 2017, we expect we’ll see advancements to humanize big data, seeking more empathetic and qualitative bits of data and projecting it in a more visualized, accessible way.
Mobile devices have been slowly adding technology into our daily lives. It’s rare to see anyone without a smartphone at any given time, giving us access to practically infinite information in the real-world. We already have things like site-to-store purchasing, enabling online customers to buy and pick up products in a physical retail location, but the next level will be even further integrations between physical and digital realities.
Thanks to brands like Uber , people are getting used to having everything on demand via phone apps. In 2017, we expect this to see this develop even further. We have thousands of apps available to us to get rides, food deliveries, and even a place to stay for the night, but soon we’ll see this evolve into even stranger territory.
Technology is a constantly moving target, often difficult to predict its direction, however major trends always point us in the way things are set to go. Whatever the case may be, 2017 is set to be an exciting year in the world of technology!
At LGIT Smart Solutions, our mission is to equip you with the skills that you need to use technology to your advantage in any business field you may be. Discover the training, certifications and courses we are offering in 2017, by visiting our website www.lgit.co.za