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2017-techoutlook

Things in the tech world are constantly changing, our engineers and technicians are continuously reading, training and working to keep up to date on the latest innovations in technology to best serve our clients. So we thought we’d run through some of the tech trends for businesses and consumers for the coming year.

Artificial Intelligence
As artificial intelligence has become more mainstream, several companies have begun using AI for a range of different things. From personal assistants like Siri and Cortana, home assistants like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, and even using AI for advertising placements like Facebook and Google.

A lot of the uses for AI currently and in the more recent past have been for sifting through and organizing all the data companies and websites collect. It makes sense that this trend will continue in 2017. Companies will be using AI to sort through data to improve products, like Siri, Cortana, Alexa (the Amazon Echo) and the Google Home, boost customer experiences, and help businesses make hiring decisions. The Future Today Institute’s 2017 Tech Trend Report details how businesses have found AI to be useful in determining the personality traits of applicants by analyzing their social media profiles along with their resumes, and they expect this trend to continue to grow.

Virtual Reality
It’s expected that in 2017 more and more companies will join the VR game. Currently most of the major players you would expect have made their way into this market. Google has the Google Daydream View, Microsoft has the HoloLens, Samsung has the Gear VR, and Sony has the Playstation VR. But in 2017, virtual reality has a more mainstream trajectory and could very well find it’s way into most every part of our lives, like sports, shopping, amusement parks, and even social media… remember Facebook bought Oculus Rift for $2 billion.   

Security
It’s no secret that old school computer security tactics aren’t working anymore, and it takes a lot more than before to keep all your data and information safe. With all of the different data breaches and cyber attacks this year, like the DDoS attack back in October, it can only be expected that in 2017 we need to be ready for more sophisticated attacks. Unfortunately, as our security gets tighter, it prompts cyber criminals to work smarter as well. As we prepare for any incoming attacks the next year could see a larger move toward facial recognition and biometrics in two-factor authentication systems for businesses and government agencies.

Privacy
Back in June, Apple showcased its newest OS update, which included “Differential Privacy” features. This was essentially the answer to Apple’s dilemma between placing an importance on privacy and still needing to collect data to continue to learn and improve upon their software and devices. Differential privacy, though based on complicated algorithms, comes down to this: your data is still being collected, but it’s also being scrambled so that Apple, or whichever company is using this algorithm, doesn’t know that it’s from you specifically. As awareness to what is being shared and reservations to share anything at all increase, there’s a good chance that more and more companies will begin to implement these algorithms into their data mining process. Another possible trend in the privacy sphere over the next year involves drones, and how they’re being used for surveillance with little to no oversight. The next year could prove interesting in terms of legislation and guidelines imparted on drone owners, and government agencies using drones as well.

Intelligent…everything
From apps, like Uber, to refrigerators – everything is connected. Your bathroom scale can be connected to wifi, and now personal Assistants like Google Home and Alexa are connecting every aspect of your home to the internet. Even IBM’s Watson is working to bring instantaneous answers and support to businesses and their clients, but how much is too much, and how much can we keep safe? A major trend with these devices in 2017 will be developing the software and tech to keep them from being hacked. It’s easy to see that we have been developing at a pace that’s almost impossible to keep up with, and it’s unlikely that development is going to slow, so we are going to have to get smarter and more efficient at figuring out how to protect our devices and our data.

Big Data
Okay, okay, we know this isn’t a new trend, it’s actually been listed on the FTI yearly trend report for 7 straight years, but it’s ever evolving and continues to be of importance. Businesses are continuing to collect, decipher and use data at an alarming rate – one that companies are having a hard time keeping up with. 2017 projects a need for more and more data scientists that we don’t necessarily have, which means, like we discussed above, more AI usage. Over the past year, consumers have also become more aware of what they’re sharing and how it’s being used, which has lead to more weary and cognizant patrons of the internet, all of this combined leads to a pretty good chance that over the next year, even years, we could see more and more legislation on companies and how they collect and use all of the data they have.

Check back next Friday for our 2016 Year in Review post where we detail all the major trends we saw throughout this past year!

Happy New Year from IT Freedom!