By Nick Black, CEO at Apadmi
This year has seen the arrival of exciting and innovative technology. The launch of the iPhone 7 and iOS 10 are just some examples of how far tech can progress in a short space of time. And with 2017 upon us, the industry is already anticipating some of the upcoming trends.
Technology progresses at such a rapid rate that it can be difficult to predict where it may go next. There are some gadgets and forms of tech that have emerged in recent years that consumers may not have expected to one day be reliant on, and 2017 is likely to be no exception.
However, with leading brands promoting teasers of upcoming gadgets and tech, we can start to take a look at what we might be queuing up for in 2017 and the years that follow.
Smart voice activation
With the development of the smart home becoming increasingly popular, smart voice activation is also likely to feature heavily in upcoming technology. Google’s Assistant, Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa are some of the main players, and there are many challenger brands emerging on the market too.
And as the Internet of Things really takes off, voice control is only likely to become more widespread as consumers begin to expect to have all devices connected and controllable from one handset. As usual, CES 2017, the global consumer electronics and consumer technology tradeshow, is likely to feature some of the biggest and most popular tech, and it seems that voice activation is to be a hot topic at the conference. This spells a particularly exciting year for voice activation.
Amazon, undoubtedly one of retail’s biggest technology disrupters in the past few years, has marked 2017 as the year they will complete the first drone delivery in the UK. And it’s not just in Britain; Walmart in the US is reportedly eyeing drone technology delivery to help speed up its distribution of goods. With these major brands looking to deliver products by drone it is likely to be picked up by other companies, particularly as retail continues to be such a competitive industry.
Mainstream wireless devices
Wireless technology has been growing for a long time, and Wi-Fi is now an expected feature in the majority of public places or homes, but we expect it to become more widely used in 2017.
This year has seen Apple investing a lot of money to, somewhat controversially, remove wires from its headphones. There has also been more interest and development in wireless and high speed charging, removing the need for wires from some devices entirely. If technology history teaches us anything it is likely that it won’t be long before most other major brands, follow suit. Some, such as Samsung, already have this feature enabled, so in the coming year we will likely see the phasing out of traditional charging and headphone jacks.
Amazon Go style shop
Amazon has recently announced the launch of a new retail experience based in Seattle, which will open in early 2017. Selling groceries and various on the go foods, the store employs the same technology used in self driving cars to allow for “just walk out technology”. This means that automatic detection will register when products are taken from or returned to shelves, and customer can simply walk out of the shop with their purchases, which will later be charged to their Amazon account, no queues necessary.
With Amazon being such a major tech trendsetter, this could spell a huge shift for bricks and mortar shops in the West. And with our retail report finding that almost three quarters (68%) prefer to shop in store rather than online, maybe this new style of shopping could overtake online purchases.
These are just some of the key developments we expect to see next year, and while predictions can rarely be set in stone, it is clear that we have another exciting year ahead for technology.
Apadmi is a UK mobile app developer.