The technological revolution is still going strong. Vast amounts of technology are now available to us, encroaching into all aspects of our lives. We are more connected than ever before, processing more information than ever before, and are able to access that information, instantly, from devices that can simply fit into your pocket.
Technology is constantly evolving; gadgets that were once the preserve of science fiction are now embedded into our everyday lives. Yet more are steadily making their way into mainstream use. From artificial intelligence, connected household appliances and advanced healthcare equipment, technology will continue to be a major focus in all facets of life in 2017.
Here, we’ve highlighted 5 trends to watch out for in the upcoming year:
1. Machine learning:
Although in 2016 machine learning has had very limited use, we can look forward to wider use in the future. Machine learning will transform all forms of consumer applications, through improvements in user’s experience of analytics apps to the use of previous purchase history to provide targeted recommended products. Machine learning will be the new norm in all aspects of technology in the near future.
2. Augmented and Virtual Reality:
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual reality (VR) have taken centre stage this year. Products such as Oculus Rift and augmented games like Pokémon Go have taken the market by storm. AR and VR create a different dimension between real life and the virtual world and we will be able to see more of their use in the technology, entertainment and medicinal sectors next year.
3. Internet of Things (IoT):
The IoT is a concept that not only changes the way we live but impacts the way we work too. To simplify, IoT is the concept of connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (Forbes, 2016). IoT will open doors to the rapid growth of intelligent systems and the seamless connection of devices. According to the Bi Intelligence report, by 2020 there will be approximately 34 billion devices connected to the internet and IoT devices will account for 24 billion.
4. Physical Digital Integration:
As the digital revolution progresses, the means to enhance the interaction between the digital and real world is increasing. We have already seen this relationship, with consumers being able to purchase products online and pick them up from the physical store (site to store purchasing). In the future, however, this relationship will be taken to the next level and will propel large companies to huge growth. For example Amazon has introduced Dash Buttons, enabling customers to re-order their favourite product at the touch of a button.
5. On demand services:
People are already accustomed to on demand services; all you need is your phone and credit card. Companies such as Uber have used this concept to disrupt well established markets – in their case, not just taxi journeys, but food deliveries too. We forecast that consumers will be more reliant on having services at their fingertips, and we expect a plethora of on demand service apps in the near future. This market has huge growth potential; once a business has established a well grounded base, it’s possible to use the same model to expand into different markets, in a similar way to Uber.
Digital transformation has morphed from a trend to a central component of modern business strategy (Forbes, 2016). Of course, there will be other innovations as we move through 2017, but these are the ones that we believe will have the biggest impact.
We look forward to the development of more technological breakthroughs in 2017 which will evolve and reshape the world we live in.