6 technology trends for 2017

Are you keeping up with technological innovation?

Just a few years ago cloud technologies were considered cutting edge, and these are now driving many technological advancements around the world. You can find so many devices and gadgets on the market nowadays and this is growing at a rapid pace.

Gartner identifies several trends which could give an insight into competitive advantage in the future – with advanced machine learning, intelligent apps and intelligent things all helping us to be smarter and many tech companies investing in AI driven and voice interactive home assistants.

So, what technological trends will we be seeing more of? Here’s the suggested top 6, starting with a much used trend in day to day life already:

1: AI and advanced machine learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced machine learning (ML) such as deep learning, neural networks, natural-language processing (NLP), are being used as these new technologies are at a more advanced level than traditional machine learning. You’ll find AI everywhere, whether you realise it or not!

“The more advanced techniques move beyond traditional rule-based algorithms to create systems that understand, learn, predict, adapt and potentially operate autonomously,” states Gartner.

2: Intelligent Apps

Intelligent apps unsurprisingly have the capacity to fundamentally transform our daily life and workplace.

Some intelligent apps, such as virtual private assistants (VPAs) such as Microsoft’s Cortana, or Apple’s Siri perform human assistant functions and making everyday duties pain free.

David Cearley, VP of Gartner, cites “Over the next 10 years, virtually every app, application and service will incorporate some level of AI.”

3: Intelligent Things

Intelligent things such as sensors and devices are increasingly exploiting AI and machine learning technologies and so deliver advanced behaviours and interact more naturally both with their surroundings and with people.

New intelligent things are similar to intelligent Apps in that they need AI and machine learning to function – examples are drones, autonomous vehicles and robots – and these will be increasingly embedded into everyday things.

The increasingly popular Amazon Echo, as another example, is a simple speaker connected wirelessly to an assistant powered by AI and machine learning – it provides information, sport, weather and many other services controlled by your voice.

4: Virtual and augmented reality

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), transform the way individuals interact with one another and with software systems and this has already advanced in 2016 – such as Pokemon Go, and the release of Oculus Rift.

The head-mounted display (HMD) you see for VR is a display device integrating projection technology exploring the virtual world,  worn on your head as glasses or helmets.

Oculus Rift (VR) and Microsoft HoloLens (AR), enable more sophisticated immersive interactions. AR and VR devices are going to be emerging for practically everything and businesses will be able to use the virtual world to simulate scenarios of business critical emergencies that wouldn’t normally occur to be used eg as training guides or also mobile VR, either for marketing (to deliver personalized product experiences), or as a tool to communicate with employees.

5: Digital Twins

Gartner has predicted that organisations will begin to invest quite significantly in digital twins – a cloud based virtual representation of a physical asset.

“Within three to five years,” Gartner has predicted, “hundreds of millions of things will be represented by digital twins. Organizations will use digital twins to proactively repair and plan for equipment service, to plan manufacturing processes, to operate factories, to predict equipment failure or increase operational efficiency, and to perform enhanced product development.”

Digital twins could eventually become a substitute for the combination of skilled individuals and traditional monitoring devices and controls (e.g., pressure gauges, pressure valves).

6: Conversational Systems

A conversational system uses a conversational interface, currently focusing on devices with microphones and speakers, such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon Echo. However, it is forecast that people and machines will be able to communicate across a wider range of mesh devices (such as sensors, appliances and IoT systems), providing an immersive and continuous conversational experience.