10 Tech predictions for 2017

10 Tech predictions that you need to know about in 2017 from Inc.com

1. 5G wireless

All eyes are on 5G in 2017. This faster, more reliable, and more pervasive next-gen wireless signal will make smartphones and tablets even more valuable. Speeds as high as 1 Gbps (or even up to 10 Gbps) could change how video-conferencing on mobile works.

2. Virtual reality

Virtual reality hit some bumps last year, especially when the Oculus Rift didn't ship with controllers and is now the subject of a lawsuit. However, the Sony PlayStation VR debuted late last year and the games are outstanding, the setup is easy, and it works without a high-end PC. The games will only get better (and maybe we won't get as sick).

3. Augmented reality

Along with VR, it's close cousin is also going to be big in 2017. Augmented reality is a digital overlay on top of the real world, and it's been around for years. However, companies like Acer, Lenovo, and especially Microsoft will launch augmented reality headsets in 2017 to help with training, sales demos, and more.

4. 3D scanning

We are still waiting for 3D printing to become accessible for the masses, but 3D scanning already is. At CES 2017, an HP rep scanned a shoe in 3D space by holding it in front of a camera on the Sprout Pro G2 computer. Anyone can do that, and the results--a fully 3D rendered image--worked perfectly.

5. Chatbots

About halfway through the year in 2016, chatbots that can handle your travel plans or tell you the weather became hot. In 2017, they will get much smarter, possibly telling you how to spend your money more wisely or even monitoring your health when you are on a diet.

6. AI

Related to chatbots that can book a hotel room? AI will also become much more persuasive. Our prediction is that almost every app we use, even Word and Photoshop, will have have some form of AI. Actually, it's not a prediction--they already do.

7. Connected cars

It's not clear whether fully autonomous cars will debut in 2017. After all, there are still quite a few issues to resolve with state regulations and safety approvals. But cars connecting to each other and the street lights? Audi already demonstrated how that will work.

8. AI in the home

There is also a big trend with smart home technology. Apps have normally allowed us to turn the lights on and lock the door, but AI will look for patterns in our behavior and offer to take care of those activities for us, saying a lot of time punching icons in an app.

9. Phones go wireless

This prediction is also an easy one. Cases from companies like Mophie already allows you to place the iPhone on a pad to charge without cables. Many Samsung and Google phones also charge this way. In 2017, I'm expecting Apple to unveil (or at least hint at) another form of wireless charging, as this article suggests.

10. Alexa goes big

Amazon Alexa is already pervasive--you can lock your car by voice, have the assistant read a book, and even ask the bot to close your garage door. In 2017, Alexa will show up everywhere on gadgets but also at the bank, your local grocery store, and in your car.

Read the full Inc article here