Emerging Technologies to Watch in 2017 and Beyond

Disruptive and game-changing technologies are emerging all the time; transforming the world for both consumers and tech professionals. Which emerging technologies should we be keeping an eye on over the next few years? Which companies are paving the way for innovation?

If we think back just a few years – cloud, mobile, social media and big data governed the emerging tech scene. However, all of this previous innovation is now the standard of the tech world and of life in general.

What’s round the corner in terms of innovation as we look towards the next few years? Which companies are currently spearheading the emerging, disruptive technology landscape?

Emerging Technologies

IoT Software and Solutions

The IoT movement is really gathering pace with a huge IoT scene emerging in Europe over the past year or so, with a number of startups shaping the space as the amount of connected devices is predicted to grow twofold to 12.2 billion by 2020. In fact, London is emerging as a global IoT hub and a hotbed of innovation as startups look to pave the way.  

London startups such as EvryThng are leading the way with their smart products platform which has gathered a total of $34.8 million of funding since being founded. However, it’s not just startups in the mix; some of the biggest companies in the business such as IBM, Cisco and Oracle have made enormous recent investments in IoT technologies suggesting that pretty big things are on the horizon.

AI & Intelligent Agents

Artificial intelligence is probably one of the hottest trends in tech currently; changing the way businesses operate and how consumers interact. In fact, AI is likely to have an enormous impact on how many areas of society function - Chatbots, digital assistants and automated robotic processes are becoming increasingly commonplace. 2017 alone is likely to see massive developments in language learning, as well as duelling neural networks and there is lots of talk regarding AI’s impacts on a whole host of important industries including finance and healthcare.

There are many great companies involved with the emerging AI field, each promoting innovation within the many sectors that AI is impacting. You can’t discuss AI without mentioning Deepmind; a world-leader in AI research and its application for positive impact. Deepmind are on a scientific endeavour to push the boundaries of what AI can make possible through developing programs that can solve complex challenges without needing to be taught how.

Benevolent AI is a perfect example of AI being used for positive change – a company researching the ways in which AI can encourage pharmaceutical development for human diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Darktrace is another one of the UK’s leading AI firms; the world’s leading machine learning company for cybersecurity.  

Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality

AR and VR are set to see progressive growth until 2021 as the number of headsets are predicted to jump dramatically from the 10 million shipped in 2016, to 100 million by 2021. Of course, one of the main uses of AR and VR is within the gaming development industry – changing the world of gaming through overlays of digital information and experiences in the physical world using combinations of cameras and displays.

Improbable is an example of a company excelling in this; an innovative tech firm that creates virtual worlds for video games. Improbable has received recent investment of $500m from SoftBank showing that the future of VR looks very bright.

Cloud Native Applications

The momentum behind containerised, cloud-native infrastructure is undeniable; 2016 was certainly the year of the container. Cloud native applications are definitely one to watch as they become more and more prevalent, taking an approach to building and running applications in a way that fully exploits the advantages of the cloud computing model.

Pivotal is paving the way towards enabling a modern and innovative approach to cloud-native software development. Working with some of the world’s largest and most influential companies to optimise their business agility and transform them into cloud-native software companies.

Blockchain and the Rise of Bitcoin

Blockchain is currently garnering a lot of attention; big news in the tech world and throughout the finance industry in particular. Blockchain was originally born from the digital cryptocurrency; Bitcoin. Although Blockchain is now much more than just Bitcoin, the power of cryptocurrency is huge –with recent figures stating that if you’d bought $100 of Bitcoin 7 years ago, you'd currently be sitting on $72.9 million.

Although the future of Blockchain is pretty hard to predict, one of the big expectations is that it will be adopted by central banks and essentially, the future of global finance could be dominated by blockchain and cryptocurrencies in years to come. The company Blockchain is doing exactly that – using new technology to build a radically improved financial system.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the emerging technologies that you think are worth keeping an eye on! Tweet me: @GeorgeKallias. Don’t forget to take a look at the current Applied Technologies job opportunities.