Tech Trends We’re Watching in 2017

Now that the stockings are hung, we’re midway through Hanukkah, and the Grinch has already stolen Christmas, we’re looking forward to the New Year. What wonders will 2017 bring us? With recent advances in artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR), and the Internet of Things (IoT), there is much to look forward to. Here are a few tech trends we’ll be keeping our eye on in the new year. fireworks2017 5. Mobile, mobile, mobile For years, we’ve “harked the herald angels” of tech trends that have touted every year as “the year” of mobile. As mobile devices proliferate, we can expect mobile to be a trend that continues to dominate for the foreseeable future. In fact, this year Americans spent 50% of their digital media time on smartphone apps (comScore). As the world moves more and more towards mobile phones and tablets, hardware that makes our devices more useful will come into its own, which leads us to number four on our list. 4. More drones for work and play Flying cameras, quadcopters, or consumer drones, no matter what you call them, drones are heating up and are rapidly becoming mainstream, both among consumers and for commercial use. Aside from drone racing and recreational drone play, earlier this year Amazon revealed details on their much-anticipated drone delivery program — shrinking delivery windows down from hours to just 30 minutes via its Amazon Prime Air service. We also expect to see more use of drones to protect electrical workers, miners, police officers, firemen, and even insurance claims. If you haven’t seen Dancing with Drones, you might find it entertaining — we sure do. We’ve included a roundup by PCMag of the best drones that will be released in 2017. 3. Reality is virtual It seems that everything is virtual since Pokémon GO kicked off earlier this year. Beyond demonstrating the popularity of capturing innocent creatures for fight club, the augmented reality app has proven that these technologies can be adopted by the masses. Whether you’re remodeling your home or flying a ship through the vast emptiness of space, AR and VR are here to stay. 2. IoT Physical objects and services will be even more connected in 2017. In fact, with Verizon’s completion of the first live, over-the-air LTE CAT M1 call, our connected devices are becoming quicker much like advances in Bluetooth technology made our accessories, like Onyx, faster with more stable connections. In addition to consumer applications (smart home gadgets, health trackers), enterprises and industries are starting to deploy IoT technologies, with the healthcare industry leading the way. We are excited to see more advances in industrial applications; using IoT to help grow palm trees and monitor equipment and fleet readiness were a few interesting things we saw this year. 1. Voice-activated AI As developers, banks, medical services and even cities continue to add more and more skills to Amazon Alexa’s hefty database, we anticipate a brighter future where boring, trivial tasks are simpler to execute and more automated so that we can go live our lives to the fullest. With Google, Microsoft and other giants building up their virtual assistants and voice services, we can expect to see a lot more voice-powered advances in 2017. Now that Santa has time to Netflix and chill with Mrs. Claus, what tech trends are you watching in 2017? Will it be the year that robots finally take over the world? Let us know by tweeting to @OrionLabs or posting on our Facebook.