Evolving IT in 2017

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Evolving IT in 2017

The advancement of technology is in a near-constant state of change. Regardless of application, media, or function, the tech we depend on is growing. Software companies are updating in a regular fashion to remain viable in an extremely competitive market. Equally so, physical technology continues to advance as computers become stronger and faster, while the physical space they need to work in becomes micronized. Within most of our lifetimes, computers have gone from clunky novelties to the indispensable and omnipresent tools we use in nearly every aspect of our lives. Each year, a handful of advancements make the cutting edge of tech move a bit further forward. Every couple of years, an innovation comes along that represents a massive leap forward for a field. As such, being aware of the newest tech is the first step in remaining relevant for technology, IT, and business.

Consumer Tech

One trend to be aware of is the expectations of the public. The idea of a centralized tool that does everything for a person is starting to lose incentive. Even the cell phone, which has become a combination of so many former devices as a one-stop device for news, games, contact, and so many other functions is still improving but is not expected to do more. Instead, people are leaning toward the idea of automation. The burgeoning field of automatic devices such as a self-driving car are being made more science fact than fiction. The interest in devices that can do things for us rather than be available is gaining attention on several fields. Another device that may be taking off is the evolution of current tech. The Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED) televisions are gaining attention as the next evolution in monitors and screens. Rather than be a revelation, this may be a comfort as this reaffirms that tech doesn’t have to be new. The OLED is being favored for the better picture quality it can provide.

One aspect both advancement and innovation will have in common is user interface. This brings in two major points of interest for 2017. The first is the rise of voice search. Devices like Alexa from Google or Cortana on Windows 10 are perfect examples of the growing interest in using conversation to search as opposed to a keyboard. Phones use voice to text often, and the inclusion of such into both computers and dedicated platforms show the convenience and commercial viability of a system you can talk to. Such can drive interest in systems that recognize speech and processors that can approximate what is called fuzzy logic. Think of that like word association. With the myriad of languages and slang available, a system must both learn how its user speaks and what their lexicon can mean for searches. What people immediately understand is not always easy for a computer. This gives rise to the second aspect in computer interface. Intelligence.

Mankind has yet to create a fully viable artificial intelligence (AI), but we can make programs that are learning like one might. Instead of tempting any disaster movie, the very real prospect of virtual intelligence (VI) is something that people can use. Incapable of independent thought, but fully able to interpret and work with a user as if the system was thinking. Such programming skill can be viable in any number of areas where humans and machines interact. A VI could anticipate needs, help monitor systems, operate machinery, or help you remember where you put your keys. As systems are interconnected, computers become more able to network and run more devices. Having a VI act as your virtual butler or assistant can give you the convenience of one without having a person on the payroll.

Local and Interface

Another area that is gaining attention is the rise and growth of virtual private networks (VPN). Any moderate business or greater understands the value of a localized, secure, and dependable network. However, the benefits of such a system encrypted for protection are not unique. Analysts are expecting this to go from being a niche and business term to something far more broad and expected idea. More people across the world are paying attention to the privacy and security of their data, and a VPN can help shield that information far better than most current applications.

One final area many are paying attention to is the idea of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR). In the past, tech like the Google Glass tried to work with AR on a large scale, and such did not fare well. However, the idea is again gaining attention. The concept of AR and MR can overlap. Both involve superimposing computer generated details on a real view. All use the same technology, and the applications of immersing in a augmented or completely virtual world are staggering. Education, travel, gaming, and a host of other companies are learning the benefits of having access to a system that can turn into a whole new experience. The technology and programming for such endeavors are still being developed, making this a growing and exciting area to be both aware of and prepare for.

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