Technology changes fast, 2016 saw the introduction of new ideas and more widespread adoption of some existing technologies. But what does the year ahead have in store? Here are my top technology trends that could dominate 2017.
Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology used to superimpose a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world. Virtual Reality (VR) is a three-dimensional environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by using special electronic equipment. Two well-known examples are Oculus Rift, a popular VR headset and the viral VR game Pokémon Go. AR and VR already have a foothold but are about to explode into new areas, as Jayson DeMers has written on Forbes.com, “you’ll need to be ready for AR and VR versions of practically everything – and ample marketing opportunities to follow.”
There have been some massive strides made in machine learning in the past few years.
Development of more advanced algorithms will see machine learning get better across the board, increase usage in many more business and consumer applications and create big advances in user experience. Soon machine learning will become the ‘new normal’ as people expect it to be embedded in every type of technology.
Automation has already made an impact, but we will see advances and wider adoption of the technology make more human exclusive tasks into tasks done automatically by software. We’ve already seen robotic journalists, automated insurance calls and ChatBox, 2017 will be the year we see automation spread to more industries. On the positive side, productivity could skyrocket in a number of white-collar jobs but there is also the danger that we may see some jobs disappear altogether. Improvements may come faster as automation is combined with machine learning, this year has the potential to be a landmark year.
Humanized Big Data
Big data has been a hot topic for some years with the benefits as widespread as planning better medical treatments to helping create more effective marketing campaigns. But increasingly the challenge is for organizations to adequately analyse these vast data sets to gather true business insights. Big data’s greatest strength and weakness is its quantitative, numerical foundation. This year we will see advancements in humanizing big data to gain empathetic and qualitative insights and by projecting it in a more visualized and accessible way.
What are your predicted technology trends for 2017? Let me know in the comments below!
Margaret Kelly, Marketing Assistant based at K2 Partnering Solutions HQ in London.