No matter how you’re recovering from 2016, we can all agree that the year provided us with a lot of new developments. In news, sure — politics, trade, international relations — but in technology, too.
A fun, straightforward mobile game brought augmented reality, a 10+ year-old technology, onto the global stage. The “Internet of Things,” previously a bit of tech industry esoterica best known as the reason your coffee maker needs your Wi-Fi password, was finally integrated with consumer lives in a meaningful way.
Now that we’ve put 2016 to bed, we thought it might be time to discuss areas in which we see major developments ahead in 2017 at home, in the office, and on the road in-between.
An evolved workforce
Mobile apps are entertaining, but augmented reality is revving up to augment the workforce in a much more integrated and useful way.
In a workplace application, AR headsets, like DAQRI Smart Helmet™, can pull from massive amounts of enterprise data and place key information right into the user’s field of vision, like a living, dynamic computer interface that exists in the physical world with you.
What’s more, lightweight devices such as DAQRI Smart Glasses™ are prepared to take the medical, aerospace, and architecture industries by storm, supplying augmented work instructions and interactive features that supplement various work scenarios.
This sounds like the stuff of movies (and to be sure, it is), but one study comparing workplace instructions taught by AR vs. more traditional, desktop-based instructions found that trainees taught via AR worked 30% faster and made 94% fewer mistakes.
The real ultimate driving experience
Automotive Head-Up Displays, or HUDs, are already available in vehicles today, but the 2016 iterations were version 1.0. These were simple light projections that tell you how fast you’re going and offer lane departure warnings.
What’s coming in 2017 has exciting new features.
This year’s big step forward, DAQRI Automotive HUD, will bring full color, 3D holograms at varying depths onto the road. So for the future of driving, holographic directions can appear out on the actual road to show you, for example, where exactly to turn in GPS navigation.
While the auto industry topic of late, fully autonomous vehicles, is still years away from becoming the primary means of transportation, the use of holographic HUDs is much more immediate and will revolutionize the way we drive now.
Smart House, but real
Everyday appliances are finally going to get their act together in 2017.
Incremental advances over the last few years have pushed modern appliances to go online. A networked printer, for example, means being able to print an invoice from your smartphone while you’re still a full block away headed home so that it’s ready and waiting when you get there.
Several major tech companies have started shipping home personal assistants as well. Soon you’ll be turning on lights before you get home from work, changing thermostat settings, firing up the streaming service of your choice, and ordering a car when you’re ready to go back out. No screens required, just command and it is so.
With the right technology in place, this could be more than just a 2016 trend, but a meaningful inclusion in the home, as consumer inertia subsides and everyday people start buying and networking these things.
A smarter, more connected world
The common thread across these trends is that technology is continuing to enhance what people already do, but this time with a more direct connection and without a smartphone.
Mobile computing has revolutionized our day-to-day for the better part of a decade, but as sophisticated computers advance in cars, in homes, and at the workplace, your ability to achieve greatness will only increase, which we think is great, because unlocking human potential is what we’re all about.