year in the fall, industry pundits begin to speculate on which technological
innovations the coming year will bring. The rapid pace of development in the digital age makes each year’s potential more exciting
than the last, and the innovations that 2017 will bring are no exception to
below are five trends that professionals can expect to influence business and
product development in 2017.
1. Mobile continues to gain
the early 2000s, the trajectory of mobile usage and development has
skyrocketed. In 2014, the number of global mobile users surpassed the numbers
of desktop users. In May of last year, Google announced that the number of
searches conducted via mobile devices surpassed the number conducted via
desktop. Research shows that of those who own a smartphone, as many as 87
percent say that their phone is always at their side.
of this is on track to change in 2017, as tech sector pundits predict that it
will be another big year of growth and development for mobile technologies.
Recent data indicates that within the next three years, smartphone users may be
6.1 billion strong—or more than 80% of the world’s population. Expect to see
more in the way of app development and mobile marketing for businesses, as 75
percent of all Internet use is expected to be conducted via mobile devices in
the coming year.
2. Virtual and augmented
reality find footing.
in the development of virtual reality (VR) has been something of an ill-fated
pipe dream since companies first began experimenting with it in the late 1980s.
The technology of the time did not provide innovators with the tools needed to
realize their ambitious visions, and interest in virtual reality waned. Instead,
it was the Internet that drove the technological revolution from the 1990s on.
a growing number of products from the last year have begun to re-energize the
potential of virtual reality, including several products that incorporate
augmented reality (AR) technology. VR headsets developed by some of the biggest
names in the tech sector have garnered the interest of gaming devotees. At the
same time, augmented reality has generated excitement through apps like
Niantic’s wildly successful Pokémon Go. Experts see the possibility that 2017
will be a year when more startups enter the market using AR- and VR-focused
technologies to provide innovative services to customers. Companies may also
find targeted applications for AR and VR in functions like marketing.
3. Artificial intelligence
extends its reach.
technologies like IBM Watson have already shown us what artificial intelligence
is capable of accomplishing, even in its early stages. As of October, IBM
employees diagnosed with cancer will have the opportunity to access Watson’s
new suite of oncology applications, ushering in a new age for both healthcare
and AI. The use of artificial intelligence is nothing new, but expect 2017 to
be the year that businesses across all industries begin to find uses for AI
within their operations.
indicates that the coming year will see more development of machines capable of
moving past the limitations posed by rule-based problem solving. In its place,
experts anticipate technology that can learn, adapt, and operate with ever-greater
independence. While AI is expected to affect every market, the business
services, advertising, and media and entertainment industries are anticipated to
rank in the top 10 sectors that will embrace its adoption and use. By 2020, the
market for artificial intelligence could be over $5 billion, up from just $419 million
two years ago.
4. Our tech tools will get
conjunction with the growth of AI, 2017 is slated to bring advanced forms of
tech tools that benefit from the intersection of artificial intelligence and
the Internet of Things. Virtual assistants are expected to grow in both use and
capability as they become able to synch with external products and applications
in a way that hasn’t been possible before.
items that previously acted as stand-alone smart products will begin to have
the capacity to connect with other IoT-enabled items, paving the way for
collaborative decision-making between technologies. The applications for these
innovations will prove useful in many settings, including the home, the office,
within factories, and even within the medical field.
5. Stronger investments in
coming age of digital connectivity via the Internet of Things has been labeled
the “digital mesh,” and it’s bringing a heightened degree of security concerns
with it. Increased communication and touchpoints between technologies and
devices means there will be more opportunities than ever for hackers to obtain
private data. Because of this, 2017 may be a year characterized by even greater
levels of adaptive security architecture than seen in 2016.
aspect of the 2017 digital frontier will be especially important to businesses,
as US consumers continue to be concerned with the way companies are handling their private data.
Businesses that wish to remain successful will need to remain vigilant and make
sure they have technology leaders who can adapt quickly in the face of new
threats that emerge from the digital mesh. New technologies like User and
Entity Behavior Analytics may help close some of the security loopholes left
exposed by so-called perimeter solutions.