Every year we see the launch of a lot of innovative and incredible technology, and 2016 has been no exception. Everything from phones, software and gaming experiences are being consistently revamped and developed. With 2017 here, Nick Black, CEO of Apadmi, takes a look at some of his main predictions for what the coming year has in store for the technology industry.
Many of the technology trends we see today may not have been predicted a few years ago. The incredible speed at which tech progresses means we can never be definite about what is likely to be the latest gadget that we will all be queuing up for.
That said, many of the biggest brands are building consumer anticipation for the year with some upcoming tech launches already in the calendar, so we can start to pinpoint what may kick off trends.
Deliveries by drone
Amazon has announced that 2017 will be the year it completes its first drone delivery in the UK. As Amazon is not only one of the world’s biggest retailers, but also one of the most disruptive technology developers, it is likely to start a trend among other retailers with the launch of drone delivery. These deliveries have already taken off in the US, where Walmart is reportedly looking into the technology to make for more speedy distribution of goods. In a fast pace and competitive industry like retail, you can bet that other stores will be scrambling to get ahead of the curve with the latest in deliveries once this takes off.
The rise of smart voice activation
This year we heard more about the rise of the smart home, and its growing popularity is likely to influence the development of smart voice activation. Voice activation technology can be used to control systems and hardware by simply speaking to it, which could make for an easy to use, hands free experience. This will be even more true when the Internet of Things begins to take a true hold of the market and consumers will expect entirely connected devices, which are controllable from a single handset.
While there are already some well-known forms of smart voice activation available from major brands such as Google’s Assistant, Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, challenger brands are beginning to want a chunk of the market too. You don’t have to take my word for it – the global consumer electronics and consumer technology tradeshow, CES 2017, is going to heavily feature voice activation at its conference, highlighting it as a hot topic for the year.
Just walk out technology
Amazon, the eternal trendsetter, has also announced that this year will see the launch of its new retail experience Amazon Go, a shop which will be based in Seattle. The store will make use of the technology used in self-driving cars. This means that detectors will register when products are removed from or returned to shelves, allowing customers to walk out with their purchases and be charged later to their Amazon account – also known as “just walk out technology”.
I would expect this to rouse some changes in the retail sector and put pressure on the industry to rethink more traditional shopping formats.
It has been a big year for wireless technology. Somewhat controversially, Apple invested considerable amounts of money in removing wires from its headphones, and other brands such as Samsung are also enabling this feature. Wireless charging is becoming more common, and it won’t be long before inconvenient and unsightly cords and wires are thing of the past for a lot of technology. With this in mind, I would expect a lot of key players to start phasing out features, which traditionally include wires in favour of a more streamlined look.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of predictions – but part of the fun of technology is how fast new trends can emerge and take hold. One thing that we can be sure of though is that there is likely to be more exciting innovation throughout 2017 and beyond.