Top Tech Trends for 2017

There is no doubt that the technology sector has once again brought huge innovations to the table this year. Here are 11 top technology trends that graduates entering the work place should know about and be on the lookout for in 2017:

Personal Drones

Drones have been cited as a top future technology for a number of years, with uses from delivering pizzas to filming documentaries. As they have become more affordable and easy to use, could 2017 be the year they really take off? Their versatility means that they’re ideal for situations requiring specially trained operators – including search and rescue and infrastructure monitoring. Don’t be surprised to see drone experience to be requested in emerging technology roles.

Humanised Big Data

Although ‘big data’ has hovered around the top technology trends list for several years –will 2017 see big data go mainstream? Far from being the preserve of geeks, ‘data skills’ have become a key part of almost every tech job in the UK. In 2017 we will see much more focus on the ‘human element’ of big data, looking at the skills needed to understand where data came from and how to decipher it.

Internet of Things…Still

2017 is expected to bring a resurgence in connected excitement and an increase in the number of emerging technology jobs mentioning Internet of Things (IoT) skills. Big connected home launches last year from the likes of Amazon and Google show that we are getting closer to all of our technologies being connected and will soon get to see real examples of the IoT in action.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality March On

When people think of future technology, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are often what comes to mind. And in 2016, Pokémon Go and Samsung’s ‘Gear VR’ gave us some real examples of what this might look like. Many Christmas adverts also helped show us what we can expect from marketers in the coming year, and we can expect VR and AR to make their way into the workplace this year.

Top Tech Trends for 2017

Image: Adobe Stock Library

Mobile Payment Revolution

The power of mobile shows absolutely no sign of abating and our desire to use smartphones to make our lives easier will only increase, especially in how we pay for things. Amazon, for example, launched a check-out free offline grocery store where customers could ‘just walk out’ – paying via the app. Those working for retail brands will see mobile payments as one of the top tech trends they need to respond to.

Personalisation is Key

The amount of data that is now available has driven an even more sophisticated consumer who wants items and experiences that are personalised to them. In 2017, we can expect brands to take this technology trend to heart and increasingly tailor experiences and advertising to individuals.

Artificial Intelligence Coming to Fruition

No need to worry, the robots will not be taking over in 2017 (we hope). We will however, see artificial intelligence (AI) begin to touch lots of areas of our day-to-day lives and an increase in demand for related skills in emerging technology roles. AI assistants are likely to be more commonplace in 2017 with many even able to mimic human empathy and answer complicated questions.

You only have to look as far as this year’s CES (Consumer Electronics Show) to spot an array of AI powered smart speakers, drones, personal robots, smart toothbrushes, fridges and much more to realise the scale. And, there are even calls for businesses to take AI more seriously, with Baidu chief scientist, Andrew NG, claiming that there is a need for a new role – the Chief AI Officer.

Wearables: Make or Break Time

These took a bit of a beating in 2016, with big technology analyst firm Gartner revealing that a third of smartwatches and fitness trackers are abandoned by their owners. Despite this, there are still lots of big launches expected in 2017, with devices showing increased functionality. Specific developments in the use of wearables, such as in the healthcare space to deal with stress, temperature, and blood pressure will also give the devices more longevity in 2017. In workplaces across the country we may all be expected to use them more and more in our everyday tasks.

Embracing Biometrics

Biometrics have become an integral part of cybersecurity, from user authentication such as iris scanning at airports to access control to security facilities with fingerprints. Reliability and affordability are most likely to define them in 2017. With customer permission, businesses will also be able to find out more about their needs and preferences, allowing them to tailor communications and advertising more accurately. This will create better outcomes for the business as well as the consumer, meaningless spam and more targeted outreach.

On Demand Economy

Many of the future technologies that are being touted for 2017, have been inspired by our ‘on demand’ culture where we want to access goods and services as and when we need them. VR technology for example, will help people participate in workplace training at their own convenience without travel or extra expense. We may even see the rise of an ‘on demand’ economy, with businesses changing their work patterns and supply chains to make sure new customer expectations are satisfied. Graduates entering the workplace at this time are likely to need to change their expectations accordingly.

As tomorrow’s graduates look to emerging technology roles for inspiration on the skills they should be learning, these emerging tech trends for 2017 should provide some inspiration on where to focus their efforts. With many future technologies that have been talked about for a number of years set to finally come to fruition, it’s an exciting time to work in the sector.

Self-Driving Autonomous Cars

While the idea of the self-driving autonomous vehicles has been around since the 1920’s, it’s only in last few years that we’ve seen massive inroads into it becoming a reality. Again, this has become even more apparent at CES, which is slowly becoming an automotive show, with the volume of car and technology manufacturers, from Honda to NVIDIA, showcasing their latest driverless cars. With huge budgets being ploughed into the technology, and driverless cars already being tested on UK roads at the end of last year, 2017 is shaping up to be the year of autonomous vehicles.

How many of these top emerging technology trends do you think will last?

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