By Beata Green, HeadChannel Ltd.
With a small device that fits into your pocket, you can have the world at your feet. 2016 did not revolutionise the world and you should not expect 2017 to do so either, but modern technology gives more possibilities than ever to more people than ever. If you want to make the most of 2017, get familiar with technologies that will probably influence the near future.
Even though we have all been hearing about the Internet of Things changing the way we live for years now, the only person who is really enjoying smart home technology is Mark Zuckerberg. The reason smart home technology is still not as common as expected is too many individual applications and little cooperation between them. However, big companies like Amazon and Google are becoming more and more interested in putting everything together and providing you with Jarvis firing fresh T-shirts at you in the mornings, and you might experience this in 2017.
Virtual Reality (VR) has been a hot topic since late 2014, but it still did not manage to rule 2016 as it was Augmented Reality (AR) that was on everyone’s lips along with one of the most popular games of our time, Pokémon GO. The reason is, again, the necessity for extra equipment when it comes to VR, while you can access AR from your phone. VR is said to be finally arousing the interest it definitely deserves as VR platforms are becoming mainstream (with Google’s Daydream and Samsung’s Gear VR) and it is Mark Zuckerberg who is making sure you’ll enjoy it. If you can use VR for fun, imagine what businesses can do with it.
Artificial Intelligence will probably not take over your job in 2017, but it definitely will transform your business. The only thing you need to do is trust it. There are two key areas researchers are said to be focusing on this year:
- data efficiency – AI requires huge amounts of data to analyse in order to become intelligent. Teaching machine learning systems how to do more with less data can work miracles for both individuals, improving the way personal assistants work, and companies, especially start-ups. Without the necessity of acquiring petabytes of customer data, they will be able to compete with their experienced colleagues.
- AI to AI interaction – if you don’t trust what AI has looked like so far, this is the moment when you freak out as teaching machine learning systems to communicate with each other may become a reality in 2017. You may benefit from that interaction not only as an entrepreneur (imagine having AI systems with different data source communicating), but also as a driver… or maybe self-driving car user.
Whether you trust self-driving cars or not, you’re most probably going to see more and more vehicles without drivers this year as Tesla is no longer the only player experimenting with this technology. Uber and Google, but also Apple and BMX are said to be running trials with their own versions of autonomous cars, but the most important change you’ll be observing this year is researchers teaching self-driving cars to communicate with each other which could make autonomous driving technology even safer.
Drones turned out to be the right hand of almost everyone on YouTube, however, that is nowhere near what they are actually capable of. Two of the biggest companies, Google and Amazon, have been experimenting with drone delivery in 2016, but it was Domino’s who literally dropped pizza from the heavens in New Zealand to their customers. Having not only pizza, but anything you wish delivered by a drone can become a reality in 2017, the only question is which company will start the revolution.
Even though there is a little chance you haven’t heard about these technologies in 2016, they may actually revolutionise the world this year. What you need to remember is that with technology becoming more and more open and interconnected, the threat of a breach or theft is becoming bigger and bigger. Sadly, there is no revolutionary security technology and that is why you need to stay extra aware.
Beata Green is Director of HeadChannel Ltd., a London-based bespoke software development company.