5 of the Hottest Tech Trends of 2017

To say that 2016 was an eventful year is surely an understatement. According to the MIT Technology Review, the top ten breakthrough technologies for last year included: human immune system engineering, precise plant gene editing, conversational interfaces for smartphones, rocket recycling, co-education in robots, DNA app stores, the Buffalo SolarCity Gigafactory, the Slack short text messaging platform, Tesla car autopilot, and new Wi-Fi applicability modules.

However, the tech world is looking forward to even more exciting developments in 2017. We have come up with some of the expected highlights:

Alternatives to the Hub: Previously the hub was defined as a connection point for different devices which were linked on a single network, typically a Local Access Network (LAN). For a long time, it had been expected that the developments within the Internet of Things (IoT), or the internetworking of devices embedded with electronics (think: Smart Homes and Amazon Echo), would eventually be transferred to the operation of various hubs. It is anticipated that in 2017, the need for separate (but physically connected ports) on the hub will be replaced with wireless technology, which is more convenient and efficient.

Introduction of advanced AV Products: We already know that 2016 was a good year for Antivirus (AV) products, but we anticipate even better output in 2017. The leading products will perhaps be the McAfee AntiVirus Plus suite. Other notable picks include Webfoot SecureAnywhere, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, Symantec Norton AntiVirus, and Kaspersky Anti-Virus.

Increase in the number of wireless technologies: The need for portable convenience is likely to lead to an increase in the diversity of wireless devices and accessories. The market will increasingly demand self-contained and complete electronic devices. Therefore, you can expect SmartThings and Wink to replace the likes of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Z-Wave in 2017.

Dominant brands and service providers: All of the above improvements have to be led by somebody. Therefore, it will not be surprising if in 2017 we begin to see the dominance of brands such as Comcast and ADT. This, in effect, is a rejection of the centralization trends that were seen in 2016. For some companies like Demandware, Ingram Micro, and Blue Coat Systems, there was a loss in scale as well as economies as a result of the consolidations.

Home Technologies become mainstream: In 2016, the market produced many smart gadgets that were specifically designed for home use, including Lifx Color 1000 bulbs, BeOn Starter Pack security lighting, the SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell, Kuna Toucan smart cameras and Lutron Serena Remote Controlled Shades. If 2016 was the year of the piloted product, then 2017 will be the year of diffusing some of these products to a much wider market than before. Key highlights will include the introduction of the iBaby Monitor M6S, Amazon Echo service, and the Nest Protect smoke detector.

We know that there are other conceptual products that are bound to make their mark in 2017. These include the far-fetched concept of artificial food, as well as the widespread use of 3D technologies. The gap between the virtual and real world is going to be reduced. Drones may become the in-thing for those who wish to snoop. The emphasis is likely to be on technologies that mimic reality. State agencies and major corporations will seek to use the technological innovations in new and interesting ways. For example, face recognition technologies are likely to be used at border entry points and also in the war against terrorism, a case in point being a plan to use biometric recognition to protect the Australian border. This marks the intersection between the innovation of technology and the utility of developing tools that are important to the community as a whole.

Mark Williams
Mark Williams is a gadget guy.