It won’t be too far of a stretch to call 2017 as a packed year in the development in tech: with new phones, new devices, and new processors coming out almost every year, it’s reasonable to expect a new innovation with every new conference.
But 2017 has also been a landmark year in trying to predict what exactly comes next in the field of technology, with real-life events constantly changing the supply and demand of the tech industry. While 2017 is nearing its end, there’s still time for some few surprises that could happen to the world of technology, online privacy and security – and more importantly, the people who use it.
Here are some of the tech predictions left for 2017 – some expected, some surprising, but all equally plausible.
The struggle in Silicon Valley
The United States is home to the biggest companies when it comes to tech, and the heads of these companies are currently at odds with the political ideologies of the government. While traditionally the government and the tech industry have been on very good terms, the issues surrounding the current administration’s use of tech – as well as the future of its development – will possibly be one of the greatest issues facing the tech world at the moment. It soon becomes a question of “how well can the biggest names in tech respond to an unpredictable political mandate?”
Device categories will become obsolete
We’ve all heard of the phablet and its variants, and while silly, they may herald a crucial shift into how we define and create our devices in the future. There’s always been a certain grouping when it came to devices that effectively locked one group out of the advantages of the other – say, a tablet versus a smartphone – but the continued release of such hybrid devices seems to indicate a trend to thin or shatter these distinctions altogether. As to how this would affect our attitude towards device use (with regard to online privacy and security, for instance) remains to be seen.
AR and VR
It’s important to distinguish augmented from virtual reality: the former superimposes an interface over a feed of your actual surroundings (think Pokemon Go) and the latter creates an entirely digital environment for you to interact with (think of your Oculus Rift). While VR is making a strong push for gaming, it seems more likely that mobile manufacturers will double down on AR, as it’s easier for their devices to integrate the feature. One of the biggest proponents for this feature is Apple, which has expressly indicated a much greater interest in AR viability with its Iphone X over VR compatibility.
The blend of human and digital work
Automation has been a looming question for a while now, and not just for the question of jobs. The benefits of full automation are undeniable: less room for human error, arguably better security, and the ability to endlessly repeat tasks. However, industries seem to be leaning towards assistance, not automation. This allows for the advantages that technology brings towards human tasks, but still leaves room for human input when needed.
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