Nairobi News


6 Things to watch out for in the tech world in 2017

By PETER ODUOR January 5th, 2017 2 min read

The year 2017 promises to be a good one for those in tech, and for tech enthusiasts and consumers. Here are a few tech innovations and inventions that are expected to dominate 2017, some of them were launched in 2016 or before.

1. Driverless Cars

Elon Musk’s Tesla tested their driverless cars in 2016. According to his plans, mass rollouts should be expected in 2018. Tesla is not the only company that has been entertaining the idea of driverless cars. Telecommunication giants Google and Apple have been at it too, alongside car manufacturers like Toyota, BMW, Nissan and Audi among others. Most of these companies have a 2020 deadline to rollout mass production. 2017, will be the year the conversation about the ethics and laws governing driverless cars take center stage.

2. Virtual Reality technology

Seeing your unborn baby before they are born in virtual reality – Oculus Rift will do that. Want to go anywhere on earth without leaving your house? Google Earth VR will take you there. Want to re-live World War Two as if you were there? Virtual reality will make you part of history. Virtual reality sex? Available. Virtual Reality technology is ready and expected to go mainstream in 2017. Although the prices of the headsets are high, firms that make them like HTC Vive, PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift promise an experience that you don’t want to miss out on. Areas like entertainment, healthcare and education are set to benefit immensely from virtual reality technology.

3. Drones that deliver goods

Amazon made its first drone book delivery in December 2016 in the UK. The delivery took 13 minutes after the customer clicked ‘order’. A report released on 2nd of January 2017 by tech company Report Linker showed that even in its infancy as a tech trend, delivery drones are popular with customers, with 47% saying they are interested. It is expect that delivery drones will become part of most companies in 2017. France has already enlisted the services of delivery drones for national mail service intended for special courier services.

4. The continued rise of music and video streaming as paid downloads fall

Music and video streaming services are expected to dominate 2017. Starz, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Video, Showtime and HBO Now are already dominating a field that will likely see new entrants. The popularity of music streaming or movie/video streaming is rising even in new and unlikely markets like Africa. As streaming dominates the market, paid digital downloads are expected to reduce.

5. Dominance of Artificial Intelligence

Smart fridges and smart dish washers that can witness a crime and be called to the stand? Robots that can read facial expressions and emotions in your voice? A house robot, to replace house maid? An artificially intelligent robot judge to sit through human rights trials at The Hague? It is all coming, because it has been proven in tech labs to be possible. In the tech sector, conversations about artificial intelligence will dominate 2017. Most of the conversation will be about the place of AIs in warfare, in medicine and the ethics about their relationships with humans.

6. Cyber Security

The US just expelled Russian spies accused of interfering with the last US elections that saw Donald Trump clinch the White House. Among other charges, they were accused of engaging in cyber-attacks in the US. The conversation about cyber security has been going on for a while, but recent international political events indicate that 2017, will be the year that debates on cyber security, personal rights, surveillance and regional/world peace will dominate not just the tech world, but politics and business too.