10 tech trends that will define 2017
Breakthrough technologies will continue to transform businesses and consumer experiences
No one can predict how the future will shake out, but we can make some educated guesses. Global design and strategy firm frog has released its 2017 forecasts for the technologies that will define the upcoming year. Last year, the firm correctly predicted that virtual reality would explode in popularity and that sensors in things like appliances and thermometers would continue to shrink in size. Get ready to step into the future.
Buildings will harness the powers of nature
Around the world, large companies are leading the way in building solar-powered offices that don't rely on fossil fuels. Frog strategist Agnes Pyrchla expects the trend to continue in 2017.
Business bots are going to be huge
In the way the communication app Slack has merged bots into its chat service, frog strategist Toshi Mogi believes entrepreneurs will use artificial intelligence to handle the logistics of running a business.
Synthetic food will be in every grocery store
Designer Andrea Markdalen sees two big changes in store for food. The first, plant-based proteins will gain popularity as a replacement for slaughtering animals. Second, tissues drawn painlessly from live animals will be engineered to create synthetic, lab-grown food.
Virtual reality will take over sporting events and concerts
Instead of shelling out hundreds of dollars for a Kanye West concert, Piet Aukeman and Sonny King say virtual reality will make its mark in home entertainment. Livestream shows for people who want to watch without leaving their home will be mainstream.
Sensors in important spaces could save us lots of headaches
All types of rooms -living rooms, retail f loors, hospital bays -will come embedded with sensors, say Chad Lundberg and Jud Holliday. These sensors will pick up information on usage patterns at different times of day, in different noise environments, and in different temperatures.
Autonomous vehicles will get a whole lot smarter
With Tesla and Uber both vying to break into the driverless car industry, frog creative director Matt Conway thinks we are not far from autonomous vehicles saving us from ourselves. With the right technology, multiple cars could `talk' to one another and reduce the chance for crashes.
Virtual reality will be used as part of therapy
VR as therapy is something of a repeat from frog's 2016 list; only this year, the company expects it will become so immersive that it could rewire people's brains. There is already research that shows VR can help people overcome their fears and PTSD.
Doctors will have huge data sets to make medicine more precise
In the future, as medical records become entirely digitised and uniform between facilities, strategy director A l lison GreenSchoop be lieves precision medicine will only improve. Doctors will be able to look up much more local data, such as water quality in your zip code, to gain insight into a disease's source, not just its symptoms.
Sounds will hold our attention like never before
Sounds start playing a much larger role in the future too. Instead of controlling your cooking device by manually selection options in an iPad app, you might be able to articulate commands openly in your kitchen. Companies like Here One already try to help people personalize their sonic experiences.
Machine learning will teach us about ourselves
According to frog senior strategist Rebecca Blum, machines can help us understand ourselves in a variety of ways. Algorithms that automatically write prose might teach us about creating writing. Scientists could continue learning about the brain based on how complex neural networks store new information