Written by IEEE | January 3, 2017 | Updated: March 31, 2017
This past year was an exciting and important time for advances in many areas of technology, let’s explore some of the technology trends that have defined 2016.
This year demonstrated an increased need for advances in cybersecurity. With more and more devices in our homes, cars and offices, people are constantly connected, and as such, are susceptible to attacks. Data breaches were a regular fixture in 2016, with hackers targeting major companies and leaking sensitive personal information. With increased connectivity came a greater demand for cloud storage, additional concern of hacking and security. IEEE conducted a global survey about cybersecurity concerns and the results pointed to a need for engineers to build and design new methods for protecting data.
People have embraced making their lives “smarter” with technology that makes everything easier, and if 2016 proved anything about the IoT, it’s that it’s here to stay. IEEE offered its audience a tour of the home of the future in its Smart Home of the Future, and it’s possible that some of these these ideas may become a reality in the next year.. A focus of 2017 will be designing smarter connected devices that anonymize and truly protect data.
Advances in robotics have benefitted the world and will only improve in the coming years. All across the world, engineers have designed robots that can help with medical procedures, keep the military safe, clean up waste, build homes and more. IEEE designed an interactive map experience to explore where in the world robots are being built to help humans. Robots can help in so many ways and we see this field growing globally at a rapid pace.
Technology in the Summer Games
The Summer Games gained the world’s attention this year and with it, many new types of tech were unveiled. As the athletes competed, they were surrounded by all kinds of advancements in tech that changed clothing, timekeeping and ecommerce. We went back in time to explore the technology throughout the games in this timeline. By the time the next games happen, who knows what new technologies will be added to the list.
In the past, artificial intelligence was portrayed as a work of fiction only seen in movies, but in 2016 we have started to see AI in our everyday lives. Our timeline took a trip down memory lane to see how some of these imaginative movie scripts are slowly coming to life. AI intersects with both the IoT and robotics creating devices that are not only intelligent but helpful. From computer assisted surgery to robots with feelings, the world of AI will continue to expand in 2017.
When it came to new ways to experience an alternate reality, this year did not disappoint. We saw games like Pokemon GO introduce consumers to AR as players navigated through an app to to “see” and catch characters. Headsets from the expensive Oculus Rift to the DIY Google Cardboard became huge must-haves for people to experience VR, and the only device needed beyond the viewers was a smartphone. This technology had a great year, and continued advances will help it have an even bigger year in 2017.
IEEE has explored the advances in tech showcased at CES last year and is attending this year for a glimpse into the tech of the future. 2017 is bound to be full of new technology that will push the limits and we can’t wait to see what engineers, makers, scientists and others create in 2017.