Well, now that the year 2016 ended and 2017 started, it is time to check in brief about the technical advancement that we made this year. Undoubtedly, this year we saw some of the best gadgets while some others were not that cool. We will have a brief analysis of all the aspects of technology that the tech biggies explored this year. So let’s find out which technology made it tremendous this year and what can we expect from that genre in the coming years.
The commercial drone (UAV) technology
It is one of the most important technical gadgets that boomed this year. There was a massive hype regarding the drones in 2015. That excitement generated $155 million for the development of drones. But 2016 didn’t see much enthusiasm about the drones. The FAA released the first set of rules about the drones. It allowed the commercial drones to finally hit the skies in 2017 without waiting for a lengthy permission period. Another important factor is the hardware for development of these drones is finally permitted. According to an estimation of Forbes, Chinese drone manufacturer DJI will have $8 billion and controls for 70% of the hardware market for drones.
There are other contenders too. They include 3D robotics. At present, for 2017 we are hoping to have the best hardware and software support for drones deployed with advanced sensing. There are also chances for drones in real estate business too.
Intelligent applications in technical gadgets
Presently, customers have to depend a lot on the software applications. The reason is, the software apps offer genuine insights, real-time data update with predictions. And this is what makes the intelligent app. But in reality, you can call very few apps to be that quick and accurate at least till 2016. The core problem is data and not the algorithms. If the companies want to have the apps perform well, then the companies with machine learning must figure out how they can acquire clean, unique, proprietary and workable data sets. It will help in training the machine learning models.
The companies have to focus on such vertical integration data, learning models and products that develop the best data network effects to feed a learning loop. It is a great opportunity for all the companies. Especially the companies that are focused on specific industries like Healthcare, retail, legal and construction business. They have to build up the higher quality domain expertise at a faster rate. It will help in acquisition and labeling of relevant data which is critical to developing accurate and a useful machine problem solver.
The virtual assistants
And now comes the chatbots or the virtual assistants. Some horizontal chatbots help you with any forms of requests. Developing NLP and intellectual capabilities for all tasks can be a long and slow training process. The voice activated home assistants like Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant and Cortana has limited usability irrespective of large training data. Amazon realized this, and this is why it announced the software which powers Alexa is now available for the developers to create their chat bots. The developers who are designing the conversation is now feeding Lex’s data model.
Microsoft followed this similar announcement for Cortana. The encouraging feature about the vertically oriented chat bots is they are applying machine learning, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing in a specific and narrow way. It is easier than training a bot to recognize and act accordingly on a finite number of lexicon and circumstances.
Blockchain will also expand in coming years
Blockchain has to happen, and it will occur in 2017. A lot of companies like currency, real estate, music, and cryptocurrency have already started taking up Blockchain for transfer of assets. It makes a smooth peer-peer transaction facility for bypassing the traditional intermediaries like credit card companies, the banks, and any other government financial institutions. Thus the process is not slowed anymore, nor there are security threats and no increased transaction cost. Some are of the opinion that Blockchain technologies can be a bit disruptive for sharing personal information and assets on the Internet.
It is also true that Blockchain’s path is mainstream adoption and it will give rise to different infrastructure opportunities with new APIs and protocols for ease of adoption. For instance the use of R3 which is presently used in 42 banks for creating the technological base layers of various systems that include Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple to talk to each other and facilitate the global payment transfers.
Apart from machine learning, we also saw marvelous works in the technical gadgets world of Automatic cars. The different technology demonstrations from Uber, Lyf, BMW, Tesla, GM and many other startups intrigued us. Google went almost in formatting a new company called Waymo for the driverless car technology. Nearly all the main vehicle manufacturers are focusing on the release of driverless fully automatic cars in the next five years. Lyft also said that they would offer complete autonomous rides in next five years.
But the companies have to focus on the core problems like the sensors. For instances, the Tesla auto cars faced crash when the cameras are not able to detect a white truck and bright sky. There are also edge cases because of construction, weather, pedestrians and different environment circumstances. But the immediate next year might not be the one where automated cars can solve the issues of in-car technical gadgets. It will take a bit of time for the companies to bring out full solutions the tech issues.
Also Read: Best Smartphones Of 2016: Our Best Pick
Augmented reality and virtual reality
This segment needs a lot of improvement. At least a minimum of three years is necessary for the audience to accept the AR and VR fully completely. The consumer adoption is still based on “mobile first and then low-end tech.” Speaking of which, the Google Daydream, Samsung Gear, and Snap Spectacles gained popularity, but audiences could not get accustomed to those very much. Also, the price was too high for ordinary people.
2017 is going to be a year of a lot of technical gadgets including the AR and VR devices. These technical gadgets need a lot of improvement and innovation. The core industries like engineering, sciences, real estate, education, and manufacturing will also receive a lot of advanced technical gadgets in 2017. So basically this is overall what we have seen this year and what we expect 2017 to be working for the tech biggies. Stay tuned for more!