If 2016 introduced us to major technologies that made us either swoon or disappointed, 2017 is more of a step sideways. Perhaps many of us are already eyeing the new iPhone model, or how Samsung will redeem itself after the Note 7 fiasco. Can augmented reality go past beyond the novelty of Pokémon Go? Will the manufacturers ever get tired of attaching the term ‘smart’ in every gadget? Therefore, this is going to be another massive year for technology. We are not sure as to how far we will go given the lows of 2016.
Most expected events of 2017
10. Google Cloud Next
March 8-10 San Francisco, CA
This year’s conference will bring new ideas and give you the opportunity to engage with experts, industry executives, IT decision makers, partners, developers, customers and important Google engineers who are going to create the future of cloud development.
9. Forbes 2017 CIO Summit
April 23-24,2017 in Half Moon Bay, CA
This conference gathers the world’s leading Chief Information Officers and the main topics of discussion will include,security, artificial intelligence, innovation labs, revenue growth driven from CIO innovation efforts and others.
8. Smart Home Summit
November 15-16 in Silicon Valley, USA,
The conference focuses on bringing together important decision makers that are looking to take the smart home from a niche prospect to the savvy consumer into a mass market reality through partnership and collaboration.
March 20, in Hannover, Germany
This conference is focused on bringing together important IT decision-makers and managers and creating the ideal space for cross-industry knowledge transfer.
6. Mobile World Congress Shanghai
June 28, Shanghai, China
It’s the biggest mobile event organized by the GSMA which is held each year in the hub of Shanghai, China. The conference brings together the worldwide mobile industry from C-level executives and the tech-savvy costumers to connect with new technologies and products.
5. Microsoft Ignite
September 25, in Orlando,Florida
This conference gives the amazing opportunity to learn the industry insights and have direct access to product experts everything in one place.
4. TechCrunch Disrupt
September , in San Francisco, California
TechCrunch Disrupt is world’s leading authority in debuting revolutionary startups, introducing new technologies and discussions about what is in the top of mind of the top industry’s key innovators .
3. Amazon re:Invent
November 27, in Las Vegas, Nevada
The conference has the main focus to provide connections between sponsors and attendees. Also sponsor have the opportunity to share the space with cloud-technology providers, product leaders and expert Amazon Web Service engineers.
2. IP Expo Europe
October 4-5, London, UK
It’s the only enterprise IT event that brings under the same roof all the key players, with information’s across the entire technology stack and all the key product launches, solutions, demos and education seminars.
March 19-23, in Las Vegas, Nevada
IBM InterConnect brings the opportunity to have access at the most advanced cloud technologies on the market.
Most expected gadgets
Do you remember the promising concept of modular phones? Yes, Google Project Ara was already suspended last year. The wearable industry suffered a steep decline if we’re talking about unit sales. Samsung Galaxy Note 7 also reminded us that a simple mistake can cost you an entire line of smartphones.
Let’s not bleak here. After all, we are about to deliver what we think the general direction 2017 will take as regards to technology.
Surface Pro 5
Microsoft will redeem what it lost to Apple, they say.
Whether the former is riding on a string of great gizmos or hiccups on Apple, everyone is excited about Microsoft’s updated version of the Surface Pro. What’s even better is they don’t even have to do much to retain the goodwill.
A better battery life, a bigger and crisper screen (4K is the new mainstream) and USB-C – these are not much for a Microsoft product. Long story short, Microsoft only needs to improve its existing (and excellent) product line up. We will only wait if they can do just that.
This is a win-win scenario for Microsoft and for the customers. The latter gets a better product, and the former can impose pressure in the market right now.
Apple and other tablet and laptop manufacturers will also prompt to step up their game. Just like the new iPhone, Surface Pro also marks a milestone with Microsoft. Mark your calendars as this will be released in Spring.
Samsung’s Redemption with Galaxy 8
Samsung had the stellar Galaxy 7 series and sold a lot of midrange phones in 2016. However, these are overshadowed by the menace that was called Galaxy Note 7. Of course, the firm is still steadfast but the poor unit is too much for their reputation. Samsung needs something to redeem itself in 2017. Fortunately, the tables might begin to turn with the Galaxy S8.
We do not have to wait for so long since the Galaxy S8 will be unveiled on February. Both versions of the S8 are rumored to feature a curved display. However, the larger one may finally unleash 4K display – and it says much for a smartphone. We will not expect much with the design. Samsung Galaxy S7 is already one of the most gorgeous phones in the market right now. They can remove the fingerprint friendly back though.
We are curious as to how far Samsung can take its innovativeness while taking safety in consideration. Camera performance and processing power are expected to be even better. There might be another trademark feature to that Samsung unit. We just hope they landed it safe this time.
Galaxy Note 8 is poised to redeem Samsung from the Note 7. In addition, the South Korean mogul has also taken interest with virtual reality. It already laid out plans. We will only have to wait until February. Now that’s something.
The New iPhone Model
Apple always creates a buzz whenever it releases a smartphone. Regardless of its name (iPhone 7s or iPhone 8?), the tech giant is bound to deliver something grand in September. After all, this year marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. Everyone’s expecting Apple to do something special to commemorate this event.
Well, we know that Apple is a good teaser when it comes to their upcoming products. Then hey, they delivered most of the time. Who was not gaga over the revolutionary upgrade from 3G to 4? Or their massive jump to large smartphone market? The new iPhone is likely not an exception.
Speculations indicate there is going to be a major jump in iPhone’s design, features and specifications. A curved AMOLED display will be favored over their trademark retina display. The new iPhone may also totally ditch the home button and the headphone jack. Well, this is a perennial rumor but this gizmo has (finally) a bezel-less screen. Moreover, the new iPhone will utilize wireless charging, possible AR power and a sloped glass back.
Nonetheless, we all know Apple will likely take baby steps if the new gizmo is an iPhone 7s. Yet it is hard not to get excited as to what the company has in store come September 2017. They must be into something big.
The New Nintendo Switch
Do you think handheld consoles are losing its steam? We hope you’re not since this is Nintendo’s favorite plaything for the past years. Plus, gizmo aficionados are also looking forward to what the company will add to this already excellent handheld console. As expected, they aim to take higher grounds in 2017.
For the uninitiated, Switch is Nintendo’s console after the Wii U and the first handheld one since the New Nintendo 3DS. In other words, Switch feels like a hybrid gaming device. You may also use it as a traditional console aside from its usual handheld function. This makes Switch a game changer as compared to its peers.
However, it also means Nintendo has to cut some slacks in order to make this a reality. Switch may lose power in its handheld mode but that’s a minor flak. The gizmo might even bring Nintendo back to the pinnacle of gaming world. It also helps that the rumored price is at only $ 249, a fairly affordable one for consoles.
What’s the best thing about this entry? We are not going to wait for long – this will be released in March 2017.
VR Headsets for the masses
2016 was the year when virtual reality was materialized as standalone concept. However, it had limited reach because of the prices. Hopefully, 2017 will be remembered as a year where these become household names.
Various manufacturers like Acer, Asus, HP and Dell are bound to release their own Windows 10 versions later this year. Tagged as “mixed reality head-mounted displays”, their prices range from $ 300 and above. That says a lot, since their counterparts (Oculus Rift and HTC Vive) are far more expensive at $ 600 – $ 799. These may compromise some processing prowess, but lower priced VRs mean more accessible entry in this market.
Even better, Samsung Gear VR ($99) and Google Daydream View ($79) are already forcing the prices of the VR down. Hence, 2017 might bring solid but relatively affordable VR headsets in the market.
VR as an Entertainment Device
As of now, VR headsets are nothing more than gaming gizmos according to VR manufacturers. Gaming and VR are a lovely couple, but can they expand their scope as a competent entertainment device?
Imagine watching a movie or watching a live sports event using your VR headset. Probably it is akin to a 3D theater, only more naturalistic. Since more people from different fields now experienced the wonders of VR, they might have already discovered means on how to utilize VRs.
Fortunately, the revolution is already on going – Qualcomm and Power Rangers will face a show down for a better VR experience come CES 2017. The NBA now offers a weekly game shown live in VR through its League Pass service.
Let us say 2017 will boast better, richer, and diverse VR content. It is only a matter of us getting ready with the revolutionary change.
Microsoft Project Scorpio
Microsoft already had a success with Xbox One S in 2016, but Project Scorpio positions itself to surpass it in 2017.
If the rumors are true, Project Scorpio is going to redefine what consoles can do at this point. By now, it is already getting tons of positive hype. Native resolutions of up to 4K, HDR support and high-end VR capabilities – who will not swoon at these features?
Even greater is Project Scorpio is your typical console judging by the price. According to Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox Division, Microsoft intends to keep this powerhouse gizmo at a console price point. Now that’s some good news for gamers. Mark late 2017 in your calendars because it’s the rumored release date of Project Scorpio.
The Explosion of Augmented Reality
Do you still remember Pokémon Go? Yes – the runaway app of 2016 made the biggest headline since Candy Crush. Who wasn’t smitten back then? The premise of bringing these pocket monsters through augmented reality in real life was cool. Although its novelty has worn off since then, it signaled the start of AR finally becoming mainstream.
Chasing the success of Pokémon Go, 2017 sees for more game and app makers to venture into AR to create their version of mixed reality gaming. At best, they might tap smartwatches (because feeling like an agent is awesome) to bring a new level of experience. Augmented reality is becoming a thing in smartphones too.
The gargantuan Lenovo Phab 2 Pro was the first phone equipped with Google’s Tango AR technology, It was released in 2016 and its AR functionalities are just fun to tinker. Luckily, more Tango-enabled handsets even in entry-level ones are out in 2017.
Microsoft, on the other hand, has already made a mark in AR revolution. The HoloLens viewer and Windows Holographic OS were out to select users this year. These two might be relatively expensive but responses are overwhelmingly positive so far. Riding on Microsoft’s AR vision, the company might even bring a price-friendly Hololens version in May 2017. Apple is also considering to venture towards augmented reality – so this year is an extension of AR’s success in 2016.
What will happen to Smartwatches?
You know, smartwatches held such promising potential and a catalyst to replace its analogue counterparts. Smartphones worked big time, so this technology might too. However, people still prefer the nonstop traditional ones in the end. In fact, 2016 witnessed how its sales plummet and smartwatch makers seemed to lose interest with the technology. Peeble got it worse. The once Kickstarter darling kicked off the dust.
Nonetheless, facing difficult times must also squeeze every ounce of creativity in the side of manufacturers. They can trim what they think is bloated, polish the looks and launch more ambitious products in the market. Android Wear 2.0 is out in early 2017, courtesy of two undisclosed flagship smartwatches according to Google. Should this OS bring things people can’t live without – wearables might find a resurgence.
Perhaps they need to find a harmony between functionality and fashion. Moreover, they need to fix the stigma that these smartwatches are more akin to toys than real watches. Handle the two and this year may redefine the perception towards these gizmos.
Home Products, Only Smarter
2016 was the year where the term smart is plastered to many everyday gadgets. Amazon Echo became the mascot for smart speakers, and Google Home began reshaping your perceptions at home. If you think manufacturers already hit a wall in this innovation, think again.
Fridges, appliances, thermostats – name them all. It seems like Microsoft has plans to bring Cortana, its virtual assistant to these gadgets. Their logic goes like this – if it has screen, Cortana will probably find its way to these.
Following Amazon’s success, Apple is rumored to launch a smart speaker. However, Apple is also known to witness the string of new releases, then create an improved version later on. What’s even cooler with this rumored Apple speaker is it may have emotion-sensing powers. To be honest, this is great and a tad scary at the same time. Who knows? Apple might surprise us with a new set of products on its 10th anniversary.
If only we can have a sort of holographic AI at home, that will be totally awesome. What do you think of the upcoming technologies in 2017? Voice your thoughts in the comments!