Although many will remember the year 2016 negatively, it has laid the foundation for some impressive technology trends that will mature to perfection in 2017. From Augmented Reality to Smart Home, a wave of innovation awaits us this year.
In 2016, virtual assistants moved to our living rooms, artificial intelligence started to sing and the digital world merged more and more with our everyday lives. I have reported on many trends, but so much more has happened. What was considered science fiction many years ago has now become reality. As a futurist and Innovation-Profiler, I look forward to seeing the trends that can make impressive changes in all areas of our lifes and I look forward to seeing how they will take shape in 2017.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Trends
In 2017, the virtual and real world will become even more blurred than it has been in the past. From navigation in the car’s windshield to much better digital glasses, there are a lot of developments in the starting blocks. The patent applications for Augmented Reality contact lenses and innovative display technology alone show that we are heading for an exciting time.
“Virtual reality is the first step in a grand adventure into the landscape of the imagination.”, Frank Biocca, Taeyong Kim, Mark R. Levy -- Communication in the Age of Virtual Reality
Many companies will also enter the VR, MR and AR markets. Through the success of Pokemon Go in 2016, they have recognized the potential of augmented reality technology. Therefore, the marketing and process cycle of companies is increasingly being augmented. Virtual reality will also change. The social component will play a large part, as Mark Zuckerberg with his Social VR shows. Current investments by automobile giants such as BMW or AUDI, but also by media companies such as Disney, Axel Springer or Time Warner show that virtual innovations have a future. It remains exciting how the companies want to inspire their customers.
Connected Smart Home Approaches thanks to the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things grew out of its infancy last year. We have already intensively examined the advantages of the connected world, but the area in which most developments are likely to take place in 2017 is the Smart Home. As the household appliances of increasingly networked household appliances open up new possibilities for developers to enrich the household digitally. The CES 2017 in particular will provide exciting insights into the living environment of the future:
Home Trends at the CES 2017 (source: Consumer Reports)
Artificial Intelligence and the rise of the Chatbots
Automation is nothing really new in our times. Especially in industrial manufacturing, robots and artificial intelligence have long since conquered the processes. The next logical step, however, are the chatbots. While in 2016 some companies were still experimenting with some of them, the Messenger Bots from Facebook and Co are on their way to revolutionize customer service.
Chat-bots -- computer assistants that know you (Source: The National)
But chatbots are not the only artificial intelligence application that will be of great importance in 2017. According to some AI experts, artificial intelligence systems will achieve an even wider acceptance among the population. Devices such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home are increasingly simplifying the life of users.
3D printer for the modern household
One of the most important trends in the new year will be 3D printing. According to initial forecasts, the prices for high-quality printers are set to fall rapidly in 2017. If the 3D printer becomes affordable for every household, its chances are almost as good as its applications…
17 Incredible 3D Printed Objects (Source: Talltanic)
The areas listed are just a few possible trends that are expected in 2017. It remains exciting how our industry and economy, but also our private life will change with technology and innovation. I am looking forward to having many of the trends in the innovation profile! I wish all readers a happy new year and an innovative and exciting 2017!