It would be too naïve to say that we could live without technology today. Well, to be honest, we probably cannot afford to. Many of us rely on technology out of necessity and convenience. It is the alarm clock on our smartphones that wakes us up in the morning; it is the fitness tracker that records our physical activities and reminds us to do a little bit of cardio after work; and it’s our phone’s digital reminder that alerts us about today’s meetings.
There’s no doubt that technology is here to make our lives simpler, hence increase our productivity. To kickstart your new year, we invite you to take a closer look at major technology trends in store for 2017.
“Technology, like art, is a soaring exercise of the human imagination.” – Daniel Bell
, American Sociologist
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
The idea of Augmented and Virtual Reality has been around for years, and in 2016 we witnessed how this visionary technology became a global obsession. Many big names in the likes of Oculus, Samsung and Google have released their VR Headset and earned many positive reviews.
And who wasn’t smitten by the Pokémon Go phenomenon? This AR game from Japan was touted as a ‘real game-changer’ that blends a player’s real environment with virtual objects, creating both wonders and an interactive experience. In 2017, the trend will continue on a grander scale. There will be many improvements for VR Headset in terms of visual and auditory aspects. It’s not just home entertainment that will be fundamentally changed by the emergence of Virtual Reality. Other fields like sports and fashion will also be graced by the beauty of VR.
Smart Home Tech
Did you ever dream to walk into your home and turn on the lights and television only by saying ‘the magic words’? Well it’s not a dream anymore as smart home tech is slowly but surely infiltrating our lives and changing the way we live. Last year, we were left mesmerized with inventions like Google Home, the voice-activated speaker powered by Google Assistant, and Robotic Vacuum Cleaner, which lets you sit back while it does household chores.
This year, expect more thrilling creations for your home, such as 4K television, which gives you an astonishing lifelike experience, and Smart Plugs from iDevices that will turn on plugs, appliances and other tools using your smart devices. Apple is also taking a part in this trend through its HomeKit software, which lets you control things such as smart locks and lights from your iPhone or Apple Watch. Apple HomeKit also uses home automation device that can be controlled via voice recognition technology. Chances are, you’ll find yourself controlling everything from the comfort of your couch!
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Personal Assistant
Personal Assistant applications have been around for a while now, but we can surely expect more improvements and innovations in the near future. Google Home is a good example of how AI personal assistant can be extremely useful for modern society.
Recently, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was reported to have built his own AI personal assistant named Jarvis that can be controlled with facial recognition and a smart lock, just like what Tony Stark did in Iron Man movies. Jarvis acts as a virtual butler that serves its ‘master’ all day long – from waking him up in the morning to turning the lights off at night. Judging from the popularity of the idea, it is safe to assume that AI personal assistant will still be a major tech trend this year with more and more improvements that continue to fascinate us.
Drone Delivery System
Drone is a big invention that is highly applicable for various businesses – from video and photography to the most recent one, for delivery. In late 2016, American e-commerce company Amazon made its very first drone delivery service in England. This experiment was followed by 7-Eleven, the world’s largest convenience store chain, which made its fist drone delivery in Nevada.
With drones, customers can get their package delivered to their doorsteps, making transactions much more convenient. These experiments signify a bright future of drone delivery system. Alphabet, the parent company of Google also has plans to make commercial drone deliveries in 2017 as part of its Project Wing, a commerce system that can deliver anything – from consumer goods to medicine – using automated aircraft.
Self-driving or autonomous cars is probably one of the most exciting technology inventions we all look forward to. As it is capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input, driverless car is a dream come true for those wanting to escape stressful driving conditions.
While news about self-driving cars has been circulating for years, it’s only in 2017 will we finally witness bolder moves from some of the world’s biggest automobile manufacturers. This year, real-world customers of Swedish automobile Volvo will be using 100 self-driving Volvos on Swedish public roads. That, as Waymo, the vehicle brand under Alphabet, gets ready to roll out 100 units of its autonomous minivans onto US roads. Self-driving car technology is still being perfected and it may take more time before we see this sophisticated invention enter the Indonesian market. Just be ready, these things will cost you an arm and a leg!