If there ever was a debate, it is over; technology dominates our modern world, and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Both business and home owners have a vested interested in knowing which trends will be important in 2017, so that they can plan ahead and decide what they want to do about these trends as they grow.
Smart Tech and the Internet of Things (IOT)
More and more smart items are entering the market. From wearable tech that tracks all sorts of data to an oven that you can turn off from the living room, the Internet of Things has become our reality. This technology has been available for several years, but only recently have big players in the tech industry – such as Apple, Amazon, and Google – entered the market with tools that can tie everything together.
Voice recognition tools that allow you to make sure the oven’s off, play your favorite music, and adjust the thermostat in your house will probably speed the adoption of smart technology in the home and workplace.
Increase in Cybercrime
Various types of cybercrime, including phishing, ransomware, and cyber espionage, have been on the increase in recent years. Hackers are able to sell information and accounts on the black market, making cybercrime an even more profitable venture than it was in years past. Card-not-present fraud is also continuing to spike.
The Internet of Things may also present a risk to home and business owners. After all, your refrigerator hardly has the same security tools in place as your computer or your smartphone. Because your internet connected items generally share access to your home network, this can potentially put your entire network at risk.
There are not yet new strategies for individuals to protect themselves from these attacks. Keep virus software up to date, don’t click on suspicious links, and screen email carefully.
Machine learning is a particular aspect of the concept of deep learning, which is its own subset of the field of artificial intelligence. In machine learning, computers are fed vast amounts of information to allow them to learn to better anticipate human behavior.
Last year, we saw machine learning begin to work with Google’s core search algorithm, and the voice recognition capabilities of Siri, Cortana, and Ok Google are all examples of this usage in day to day life.
Machine learning is still considered a subspecialty of a subspecialty, so it will probably be some time before the average programmer can clearly put forward their thoughts on the topic. Experts expect to see an increase in machine learning usage this year, however, starting with the biggest companies who can afford to implement the technology.
Over time, this will bring down the cost for smaller, more individual applications.
Everything On Demand
People have discovered that they can use apps to get the things they want when they want them, and they are enjoying it. While many point to Uber as the first place this happened, Netflix, cable On Demand, and streaming music sites certainly laid the groundwork for the idea that we should be able to get what we want when we want it.
Many restaurants now use apps to let customers place delivery orders, and more physical stores allow you to purchase in an app and pick up your product at a store. Every sign points to this trend continuing, as customers continue to appreciate the ease of getting things done on their schedule instead of the store or restaurant’s.
Expanding Automation Options
When economists first started talking about the effects of automation on the marketplace, they spoke more about manufacturing jobs. Recent years, however, have seen automation make inroads into customer service, especially with more customers looking for chat functions instead of phone calls.
While initial attempts at providing automated customer service were clumsy, more recent attempts have been more effective.
There has been a talk of automation moving into the fast food industry, and Amazon continues to test automated drone deliveries. Many aspects of our lives may move closer to automation in 2017. As a society, we will need to decide what we are comfortable automating, and what we believe continues to need a human touch.
As both businesses and individuals, there are many trends in technology that appear to be gaining momentum. Predicting what trends will be most momentous is always challenging, and these are just a few of the various upcoming trends to watch; what trends have you seen gaining momentum and impact in your industry?