What we are expecting in 2017
Despite the fact that best predictions are matters of probability rather than certainty, Indeema is going to emphasize the trends of IT area, which continues growing in the due 2017.
Gartner predicts $3.5 trillion (Get it? Trillion!) outlay on IT sector in 2017 that shows about $ 943 billion investment growth the global business is to spend on innovations of the IT sphere. It means the rise of the machines is to be transformed from an aspect of sci-fi into the actual digitization of the world.
The IT trends worth mentioning are not equal in the impact they have on the humanity. However, each of them will definitely participate in changes we will notice throughout 2017. We bet, due to the IT events and phenomena of our present interest the world will become obviously different in the next 12 months.
Fight for customers attention: VR vs AR
Both Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality will continue changing IT products’ interfaces. Both technologies push users to interact involving them into a mixture of a digital content and the solid actual reality. By their very nature, VR and AR are too breathtaking to be ignored by large investments even though the value of their practical appliance remains ambivalent in some cases.
VR technology represents the deepest level of immersion into the digital content users may perceive. However, it requires a specialized hardware beyond the smartphones that is still expensive. And this is the main disadvantage VR has in the race with AR. From the revenue standpoint, any VR startup is to be profitable per se. This is clear enough for Samsung, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and other IT giants actively promoting their VR headsets in the market. Sony integrates VR to their standard Play Station 4, Microsoft does the same for their XBOX. The forecasts predict about 184% growth of VR systems’ sale in 2017. Sounds great, but it will hardly cover even 1% of the global population actually.
AR is another pair of shoes because the mass adoption of the technology is much easier with already existing smartphones along with proliferating AR applications. Google moves the industry further by offering AR-ready smartphones that do not require an app. Needless to say that the interactive digital content is more accessible with such a solution. About 20 million AR devices sold and 2.5 billion AR apps downloaded are expected for 2017.
Indeema developers have gotten their hands on the technology releasing the Zombilization AR game, which will be available soon at app stores. The game is the result of the successfully arranged Hackathon we described in our previous articles.
Christmas/New Year AR Case: following Greenpeace conceptions not to cut living trees, let’s consider an idea how to bring joy to children during winter holidays. A small toy Christmas tree is to act as an AR marker. A relevant app working with smartphone cameras shows a huge “live” Christmas tree with swaying branches covered with snow, squirrels scurrying among branches and some fairy tale characters appearing here and there. From the technical standpoint, the app is simple to develop and deploy. However, both children and adults would be amazed a lot by the app during the holidays.
The general point and one of the most important business drivers for both VR and AR technologies seem to be the Gesture Interface enhancing developers to realize the human-machine interrelation by means of silent communication through body language.
Indeema believes that the most exciting challenge for VR/AR designers and developers is figuring out how our augmented future is to look like both on and off screen.
See also: AUGMENTED REALITY - GAMES ON THE EDGE OF VIRTUALITY
Scary AI is enlisted
Indeema predicts a new direction in business will appear in 2017. It is time to for cloud-based Artificial Intelligence platforms to act “as-a-Service”. Everybody is familiar with different marketing “as-a-Service” models: “Software-as-a-Service”, “Process-as-a-Service” etc. The current stage of the machine learning and AI technologies will follow the business logic engendering the “AI-as-a-Service” general framework divided into several derivatives like “Machine Learning-as-a-Service”, “Big Data Processing-as-a-Service” and so far.
The highly developed AI-based and machine learning computing capacities are to be offered to lease out for different applications. Logic would suggest e-commerce platforms appealing to chatbot services to humanize their business in a larger extent.
Gathering and displaying data as a data analytics service looks like a promising trend able to make even Google Analytics archaic in a near future. The advanced aesthetics in data visualization will make the new intuitive analytics tools highly demanded among modern fastidious customers.
However, the main and the most expected appliance of the Artificial Intelligence seems to be the further modernization of the voice assistance services promoted and developed by Google with Google Assistant, Apple with Siri, Microsoft with Cortana, Amazon with Alexa, and Samsung with Viv. Hundreds of billions invested in the service by the global IT giants hint at a rapid and fascinating evolution of wearable gadgets we hold on our wrists and in pockets.
See also: BRAVE NEW BOT
Modifying IoT into the Internet of EveryThing
The connectivity of different devices is taking an endemic form whereas such trends as Smart Home and IIoT keep developing worldwide. The tech mainstream requires everything to be connected with literally everything. This is a trend of the Digital World where the M2M (Machine to Machine) communication is compulsory. It seems we will soon collect data of everything possible beginning from shipping containers up to toothpicks.
However, 2017 would hardly be the year of the IoT mass occupation due to some objective obstacles the main global hitters including Apple, Alphabet, and Samsung are still facing. The standards and security issues should be finally settled before the commercial success of the IoT turns the trend into the Internet of EveryThing. Otherwise, the army of bots and IoT devices conscripted by hackers for DDOS attacks will leave Smart Home and other interconnectivity solutions penetrated with the present IoT vulnerabilities.
Along with the further improvement of the security of IoT gadgets, developers are to figure out the new more profound approaches to app development. The innovative IoT apps should provide the larger scope of functions than simply turning off and on the light or heating to allow customers feeling really comfortable while using IoT devices.
See also: THE SMART HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT
Clouds, Twins, and Beacons
The nearest future of the humanity will definitely consist of not human beings only. People’s digital identities created for acting inside the cyberspace, especially in the social media, are widely accepted and developed by the Internet users. The trend is obvious enough to represent even weird and futuristic forms of digital avatars quite shortly. Whereas the digital twins’ phenomenon becomes a norm among people, the similar trend will soon come to things. As the number of the digitized and intelligent objects and gadgets is constantly growing, their cloud-based virtual twins are logically required. Such digital twins of things are useful for experimenting while the real conditions can be emulated without a need to jeopardize the actual physical assets.
It was rather strange for us not to find a wide positive publicity of some cloud-based solutions appeared in 2016. Indeed, Office 365 from Microsoft represents the next level of cloud services for enterprises. We suppose 2017 will be the year of cloud services that are to stop competing. The clouds complementing each other in order to fight premise frameworks look like a logic trend of shifting workflows to pure digital.
The new promising trend gaining momentum rapidly is the real world data aggregation or the customer tracking or Beacons. The advanced marketing approach combined with clouds and wireless technologies allows tracking customer behavior within the real world interactions. A beacon itself is a small coin-sized battery-powered hardware transmitting data via Bluetooth. For example, Starbucks using different beacons gathers multiplied data about how customers behave in cafes, which product is most popular, and what disturbs customers most of all. Besides, through beacons it is possible to send targeted messages to customers from their local cafes.
Like almost all tech innovations, beacons may seem suspicious and even sinister from an ethical viewpoint. Some can recognize beacons as a shadow of the Big Brother covering humans with totalitarian control. However, the evolution of the current post-truth society into the new post-fake one is hardly possible without data aggregation and analytics. We accept the Beacon technology enthusiastically with a hope to see how information is to be filtrated in order to separate the wheat of truth from the chaff of fakes.
Thinking beyond existing technologies always lead designers and developers to innovations capable of transforming society in varying degrees. The apps and gadgets looking weird today will become mundane tomorrow. As digitalization of the world is unavoidable, the ones looking for successful business should thoroughly track the most promising trends of IT industry. Indeema will keep watching how the current tech achievements organically flow into the basic practices of 2017.