As the unopened windows on our advent calendars begin to dwindle, and sales signs start to pop up all over the high street (yes, let allow ourselves to say it: ‘they get earlier EVERY year!’) it is a great time to look back at what happened in tech last year and what may lie in store for the year ahead.
While some new phones were bursting into flames and Apple were continuing their war on wires, what else was going on with tech in 2016? And what is in store for 2017?
Internet of Things
In 2017, The internet of things will continue to permeate our lives and our homes. Amazon and Google have both released home assistants, and Apple looks ready to follow suit shortly. Using the devices, families will find it more plausible to turn their home in to a 'smart home' where temperature, lights, music and much more can be controlled from a central hub, or using connected remote devices.
Autonomous vehicle technology has come on miles this year (sorry) and in 2017 it may make it into our everyday lives. Amazon are ready to start rolling out a self-piloting drone delivery service that will deliver certain items to eligible locations in less than 30 minutes. It may even be possible that the first driverless vehicles are seen in roads in some guises. Perhaps not on public highways just yet, but in certain closed environments they may start to take over low-level jobs. For example, in large outdoor facilities, some companies are close to implementing autonomous vehicles to transport raw materials across site using controlled routes.
Tech Security in 2017
Hacking has been in the news prominently recently, with all the allegations surrounding the US election. However, it has implications that reach much further. Evolving malware such as the Mirai botnet continues to threaten our security and privacy in more critical ways. It feels as if a sensational security scandal is overdue, and with the well-known but poorly addressed vulnerability of standard passwords in IoT units, security may well be pushed onto the agenda once more in 2017.
PC Sales Continue to Struggle
The desktop computer was officially placed on the endangered species list in 2016 as PC shipments continued to decrease. Tablets became more prominent and affordable than ever and mobile phones became ever more influential (more internet searches are now made on mobile devices than on desktops.) This is a trend that is sure to continue as more smart TVs and home assistants began to appear in living rooms, and take over ever more of the tasks we used to use PCs for.
VR, AR and Everything In-between
In the future, reality is virtual…or augmented…or both. The release of HoloLens, oculus rift and HTC Vive has brought VR into the mainstream, while Pokemon Go dominated the summer zeitgeist and showed the potential that augmented reality has to engage a widespread and diverse audience. Recently, speculation has increased that Apple could be poised to enter the VR /AR space in 2017. This, combined with the announcement that an update to Windows 10 in Spring or Summer will contain holographic software, indicates that this is going to be more accessible than ever, and open up possibilities in many walks of life.
No matter what happens, the world of technology is sure to continue at the same fast pace, with the potential to surprise us when we least expect it.
From all of us at Printware we wish you a very happy and successful 2017!