By Daniel Emery

A tsunami of new technologies has hit the online ecosystem over the last few years.

But what advances will we see in technology in 2017?

From automated systems to next gen security, the technological changes in business will improve profitability and alter the corporate landscape.

The first intense wave of change came with technologies which created what has become known as the third platform of computing.

This platform is made up of four pillars - social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) – and to date covers a global market exceeding $0.5 trillion.

Stepping into the future, the effect of technology on marketing should not be underestimated.

Whether it’s used to improve business efficiency or solve the world’s food shortage, emerging technology trends are both exciting and beyond what we could have imagined a decade ago.

Next gen security

The era of the complicated password will soon be at an end.

Next generation security systems are integrating biometrics – such as fingerprint, voice and iris recognition - with behavioural analytics like usage location and transaction patterns to help make bank accounts, health records, government databases and countless other stores of sensitive information ever more secure.

From Apple’s fingerprint readers to behavioural security platforms being introduced by the likes of Intel Security, the industry is racing to help us realise the possibilities.

Expect security to make life easier and safer in 2017. 

The Internet of Things

The internet has enabled interactions and engagement in ways which were not imagined even a decade ago. But the next wave is now upon us - machines are interacting with each other and triggering processes without human intervention.

This is the Internet of Things which links mobile devices, wearables, home automation devices, cars, and other gadgets to each other and the cloud.

IoT is frequently considered the next big growth market for hardware and software makers. Cisco estimates the number of connected devices worldwide will double from 25 billion in 2015 to 50 billion by 2020.

In 2017, instead of using a central hub, device manufacturers will focus on interoperability between themselves. This new computer technology might have the consequence of shrinking the number of directly compatible devices, but this shouldn’t matter.

Systems will exists to connect devices in any way you see fit, and then there are voice-controlled systems such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home.

3D printing

We will see the gradual influx of these machines into manufacturing firms, research labs and the even hospitals in 2017.

Consumer-grade 3D printers have been around for close to a half decade, yet prices are well above the level that most of us can afford. That should change.

A decent 3D printer can now be found for a few hundred pounds – a fraction of what they cost just a year ago. And new models will will drive costs down even further, making them more accessible to Average Joe.

It isn’t too far-fetched to think 3D printers will be the must-have gift for 2017.

And with that, the way we accumulate things will change. Who needs to buy stuff when you can just print it?

AI and Automation

We’re all aware of those automated customer service systems we get on the phone every time we need to contact a business.

Well it’s only going to get more commonplace this year. But automated systems will get better.

And online customer service will be automated as well, thanks to better AI and chatbots which understand context a whole lot better.

Smart devices will gain from increased automation, learning patterns and preferences to make better and more accurate suggestions and recommendations.

The discussion surrounding how far we’ll let automation run our lives will only get louder in the coming year.

Synthetic food

The world needs to think of ways to feed itself, and the answer might involve synthetic food.

Solyent is a high-profile example. While the nutritional powder has been around a few years, and has all the nutrients the average person needs, it is less than appetising.

But scientists are working on this. Others are working on growing foods, like eggs and meat, in laboratory environments.

Plant-based proteins are gaining popularity as a replacement for slaughtering animals. And as consumers are increasingly pushing for more cruelty-free and environmentally friendly foods, lab-grown food addresses that problem.

We’ll see a broader range of plant-based meat replacements in the supermarket, extending well beyond the vegan aisle, and they will taste better than ever.


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