With a new year comes new advancements in technology, and 2017 will surely include many impressive innovations. Let’s take a look at some of the tech that’s likely to gain momentum during the coming year.
- Virtual Reality
Although virtual reality was once a concept that was largely only familiar to people who could afford extremely expensive systems, the assortment of virtual reality headsets and associated equipment has become significantly broader. Now, the technology is much more accessible, and some people think 2017 could be the year when virtual reality breaks into the mainstream. In order for that to happen, however, manufacturers will have to figure out how to compel people who aren’t hard-core gamers to join in the fun.
- Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence has been a solid part of the technology landscape for a while, but analysts believe 2017 will be the year when artificial intelligence has an ever-increasing impact on society. For example, bots have already aided online shoppers and made it hard for them to tell if they were talking to real people or not.
Some experts also believe we’ll start to see evidence of rogue artificial intelligence in the year ahead, and it’ll be capable of hacking into systems previously thought to be impenetrable.
- Sleeker, Feature-Filled Gadgets
We may not see brand new, world-changing gadgets like smartphones and iPads in 2017, but only because tech is difficult to develop, and winning over large segments of the marketplace takes time. What we will likely notice are gadgets that make our lives easier, and in some instances, are quite a bit better than previous models.
In particular, you might be amazed at just how streamlined your favorite gadgets become over the next year. That’s especially true if they’re fitted with flexible printed circuit boards. These components, which are often used in smartphones, only take up one-tenth of the space occupied by most wired circuit board assemblies.
- Augmented Reality
In the latter part of 2016, we witnessed just how powerful augmented reality can be via the huge success of the Pokémon Go app. It allowed people to wander around their hometowns and score points by interacting with characters within the confines of a game, then going to real-life places to make progress in virtual environments.
Building off that momentum, people have made some truly wild predictions about what the future might hold for the augmented reality sector. Some think marketers could personalize the way we see our worlds and tailor them to our preferences. It’s also possible that when we look at people, we’ll see them alongside their social media profiles.
Augmented reality may have more practical uses too, such as making it easier for first responders to identify people who have called for help.
- Major Advancements in Driverless Taxis
Autonomous cars got even more attention than usual this summer when a taxi company in Singapore became the first in the world to offer driverless taxis in a limited trial. Company representatives hope to launch a full-scale effort in 2018, so they are especially eager to get feedback from beta testers.
In the United States, Uber has begun its own tests in Pittsburgh, and is leasing a track for experiments near the city’s riverfront. The initiative has the support of the mayor, who’s concerned about the number of daily auto-related fatalities.
Don’t expect to see driverless taxis in the mainstream in 2017, but feel confident there’ll be a lot of time and talent put toward making them common realities in the near future.
So, there you have them: Five tech trends that’ll likely simultaneously provoke our curiosity and bombard newspaper headlines. Now all that’s left to do is sit back and see which predictions come to pass.