AI Gets Serious
December 26, 2016
artificial intelligence to the Internet of Things (IoT), far-reaching
innovations are unfolding in virtually every technology sector around
the globe, continuing to change the way consumers, businesses and
machines interact while also spurring the next revolution in tech market
IHS Markit surveyed its leading
technology experts, who represent various industry segments including
advertising, automotive, connected networks, consumer devices,
entertainment, displays, media, semiconductors, telecommunications and
others. These analysts were asked to provide their informed predictions
for the global technology market in the New Year.
The Top Seven Technology Trends
for 2017, as identified in this IHS Markit report and listed in no
particular order, are as follows:
Trend #1 – Smart Manufacturing
Accelerates With More Real-World Products
- Companies use IoT to
transform how products are made, how supply chains are managed and
how customers can influence design.
- Example: look for
automation/operator tech firms to release their own Platforms-as-a
Service (PaaS) offering in the cloud as they compete to offer and
own IoT projects for the industrial market.
Trend #2 – Artificial Intelligence
(AI) Gets Serious
- Already, personified AI
assistants from a handful of companies (Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri)
have access to billions of users via smartphones and other devices.
- However, even bigger, more
profound changes are on their way as levels of human control are
ceded directly to AI, such as in autonomous cars or robots.
Trend #3 – The Rise of Virtual Worlds
- After several years of hype,
the operative reality behind virtual, augmented and mixed digital
worlds is set to manifest more fully in 2017. The technology for
augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will advance
significantly as Facebook, Google and Microsoft consolidate their
existing technologies into more exhaustive strategies.
- New versions of VR-capable
game consoles featuring 4K video and high dynamic range (HDR) will
also create the medium for high-quality VR content, even if
availability will be limited for the next few years.
Trend #4 – The “Meta Cloud” Era
- Communication service
providers plan to deliver a new wave of innovation, allowing for a
single connection to the enterprise and acting as a gateway to
multiple cloud service providers. IHS Markit refers to this as the
- In 2017, new offerings will
become available from traditional Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
vendors, coupled with expanded offers from the likes of IBM, Amazon
and— most notably—Google via its Tensor chip. Watch for the
development and deployment of more specialized silicon in the next
Trend #5 – A Revolution in New Device
- The development of the
consumer drone is the closest example of a product type evolved over
the past few years that has quickly gone mass market. 3D printers
and pens are heading the same way.
- The next set of new devices
may well materialize at the boundary of cheap 3D printing and
inexpensive smartphone components to create completely novel device
types and uses.
Trend #6 – Solar Still the Largest
Source of Renewable New Power
- The next year, 2017, will see
photovoltaic (PV) technology retaining—and confirming—its position
as the planet’s largest source of new renewable power.
- More than a quarter of all PV
capacity added worldwide in 2016 and 2017 will be in the form of
solar panels. The growth of solar can be attributed to sharp drops
in the cost of PV systems, combined with favorable country policies
toward new renewable power.
#7 – Low-Power Technologies Extend Reach to Inaccessible IoT Devices
- The first batch of low-power,
wide-area networks (LPWAN) will go live around the world in 2017 as
an alternative to short-range wireless standards such as Wi-Fi and
Bluetooth. LPWAN technologies will connect hard-to-reach, IoT
devices more efficiently and at a lower cost, dealing with
challenges stemming from range limitation to poor signal strength.
As a result, opportunities will open up for telecom providers to
support low-bit-rate applications.
- In turn, the increased
availability and low cost of LPWAN technologies will drive
connectivity for smart metering, smart building and precision
agriculture, among many other applications.