Charles Foster's predictions for 2017 and beyond

2017 and Beyond – Four Predictions for Technology

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Now that this dumpster fire of a year is just about coming to the end, it’s time we look to next year and what we can expect.

This last year was interesting to watch as we saw huge advances in technology like VR, AI, and autonomous-driving cars. Microsoft made huge strides this year in clawing back to the top of the heap and shedding its history of terrible UI’s.

Amazon and Google are starting to compete in voice and AI tech, which will be an interesting battle to watch. Who will end up the winner?

We also saw some failures like Theranos and revelations about their tech not actually being real. That’s not to mention the scores of security breaches Yahoo and other companies faced.

So what can we expect for 2017? Time will only tell, but here are my predictions for what we’ll see in this next year and beyond. I could be way off, or I could be spot on. We’ll see.

My predictions for 2017:

The First VR Feature Film

Virtual reality has been a pipe dream for decades, but now we’re finally seeing advances in technology that make it possible. The first real consumer-level VR goggles shipping to customers this year and we saw a score of new content, including games and even a documentary company releasing short films.

Either in 2017 or 2018 we’ll see the first feature-length, either independent or major film released for the consumer market.

We’ll also see the first VR group viewing experience. What form that will take will be interesting to see. Will it be traveling exhibition or will one of the large theater chains invest in the technology?

Health Tech Has its Moment

The last few years have seen an increase in people focused on their health, whether it’s to gain an edge in business with nootropics, save time and effort with Soylent or Blue Apron, or simply wanting to be healthier.

In 2017 we’re going to see several companies start with an emphasis on being healthier and making healthier choices. I see three places where this will be:

  1. Knowledge / Information  (Apps, APIs, Data)
  2. Food Products (Beverages, Snacks, Entrees)
  3. Supplementation (Nootropics, Customized multi-vitamins)

2016 saw many of these trends emerging, and because of the successes, I believe 2017 is when they will really take off and become mainstream. We will see more companies start, messaging become clearer, and with smarter customers, these kinds of advances will become more mainstream.

Underwater Drones 

Consumer drones took over the sky and gave entrepreneurs a new business industry to focus on. Underwater drones will be the next frontier.

Just like in the sky, there already exist highly complicated, extremely expensive underwater autonomous vehicles, but they’re out of reach for the consumer or small business.

Within the next 5 years, I believe we’ll see new consumer and prosumer options in the underwater drone scene. People will start using them for fun, film, and checking on underwater structures more cheaply than hiring a diver.

Marketers Focus on Live Video, especially on Facebook

Facebook started experimenting with live video earlier in 2016, and for the most part it looks to be a success. Customers seemed to be genuinely interested in influencer’s live updates and even wanted to participate in live videos themselves.

Savvy marketers have already taken notice, and with their focus on Snapchat, Facebook will start taking some of that attention.

We will start to see more marketing using live video, especially on Facebook’s platform. We will start to see companies live streaming events, messages, shows and more. We’ve already seen smaller brands start playing with it, and 2017 is when larger brands will take notice, start experimenting and live video will grow up.

Renewed Focus on Voice Tech for Apple 

Apple has a bad habit of creating (or acquiring) something “magical” and revolutionary, then letting the tech stagnate as other companies innovate in their space.

We saw it happen with the iPhone in the smartphone space and now Google has a better, more fully realized UI in Android. (Of course, there are still issues, but the UX is arguably better).

When Apple bought Siri, they took a truly revolutionary app, integrated it into their operating system and then… it got worse.

Now Amazon and Google are eating their lunch in the Voice Tech realm. If Apple is smart and paying attention, we’re going to see a renewed interest and effort in making Siri do more than have snarky comebacks or give you the weather.

The fact that it can barely interact with any other app that isn’t the App Store or Mail is pretty sad. In order to more directly compete with Alexa, they will start to integrate the technology into Apple TV and Apple Home as a start, not to mention the ability to interface with other apps.


These are my predictions for where I see technology trends leading for next year and beyond, what about you? Let me know in the comments, and if you agree with me, please share this article on Twitter or Facebook.



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