As we head into 2017, the technology ecosystem is going to see wholesale changes again. Most of the things that we knew will already be outdated. We have a completely new set of trends to look forward to and a bunch of new gadgets that will redefine user experiences as well as productivity. And while this is happening, the brains behind some of the well-known brands and some new kids on the block will be making their presence felt.
Apple’s next iPhone
There is great expectation that next iPhone (logically, it might be called the iPhone 8) will be a big generational change to mark the iPhone’s 10th anniversary. The home button could be gone, we might even get a curved screen and of course, a new operating system (OS) in tow.
Samsung’s new Galaxy
The question really is whether it can successfully erase the volatile memories of the Galaxy Note 7. It is expected to run the latest specs, a high resolution curved display and even improved camera. But the question remains—can it stay cool enough to not explode?
Windows 10 creators update
Sometime in early 2017, Microsoft will enhance Windows 10’s focus on new creativity and gaming experiences. This will include 2D->3D object creation, game broadcasting and 4K gaming. The Forza Horizon 3 game in 4K would be a good enough reason to splurge on a new PC!
Microsoft Surface Pro 5
The next Surface evolution will likely run the Intel “Kaby Lake” processor, and improved graphics. It’ll continue to be the benchmark for Windows convertibles and also an alternative to the Apple MacBook, and that ties in with the push towards making it even more enticing for enterprises.
Google Pixel laptop
It is believed that Google is working on a PC that will run its upcoming hybrid OS, which combines the goodness of Android and Chrome OS. Likely to be called the Pixel 3, it will have a 12.9-inch display, and the flexibility of a laptop and a tablet.
TRENDS AND EVENTS
Mobile World Congress 2017
In March in Barcelona, we could see the return of Nokia phones; it is confirmed that HMD Global will be making the phones under licence. Huawei usually has a strong line-up of phones to show, and with the P10, it’ll continue down that path. HTC also has a lot at stake.
AI will be more relevant
Mark Zuckerberg’s Jarvis artificial intelligence (AI) assistant isn’t a hobby project. AI is a part of our lives, more than we have noticed. It is gaining contextual intelligence: Facebook can recognize your friends in photos, Google’s Allo is proactively communicative and Netflix knows which TV series you should watch.
Consumer Internet of Things is here to stay
After many false dawns, smart home gadgets that you can control with your smartphone may become real now. Tech is becoming more affordable, and there may finally be some agreement on standards that allow interoperability. Google’s Android Things platform also indicates the next horizon of geeky excitement.
Cord cutting will take off
Netflix is here, and now Amazon Prime Video has joined the party. India is finally coming to terms with a world beyond cable and direct-to-home (DTH) television—always available, on your phones and televisions. In reality, 2017 could finally be the year when India adopts video streaming over conventional television.
Push for hybrid car tech
With the state of the environment becoming a serious concern, carmakers in India are expected to focus on hybrid technologies—mild hybrid and full hybrids. Maruti Suzuki India Ltd’s smart hybrid vehicle system (SHVS) and Toyota’s full hybrid technology is forcing rivals to consider similar tech for new car launches. Cleaner cars will go mainstream.
PEOPLE TO WATCH
Elon Musk, CEO and CTO, SpaceX; CEO, Tesla Motors
Elon Reeve Musk, the South African-born Canadian-American businessman, has promised that every Tesla car will be fully autonomous by the end of 2017. A semi trailer truck and a minibus will also be unveiled. Hyperloop ground speed transport project will get to test their human-scale pods as well.
Eido Gal, co-founder, Riskified
Riskified, an Israeli start-up, makes an e-commerce fraud prevention tool that will help companies and merchants in identifying and verifying the authenticity of online transactions. This gains even greater relevance globally, with transactions over the Internet spiking, particularly for shopping.
Travis Kalanick, CEO, Uber
Travis Cordell Kalanick’s ride sharing titan Uber is on track with driverless cab tests in Pittsburgh and San Francisco, except for the small matter of tweaking an algorithm that’ll stop them from cutting off cyclists. Then there is the potential initial public offering, which could be the biggest one of 2017.
Maureen Fan, CEO, Baobab Studios
The start-up, also called ‘The Pixar of Virtual Reality’, has VR projects lined up for 2017. The Invasion! story is available for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Playstation VR, Google Daydream and Samsung Gear VR. Asteroids! will be released at The Sundance Film Festival. It has raised another $25 million.
Carl Pei, co-founder, OnePlus
The Chinese smartphone company has big plans for 2017. First, it is expected to build on the excellent OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T smartphones with an equally excellent successor. No pressure, then! The company will also start production in India to meet local demand for its phones