No one can predict the future, but we know a trend when we see one. The following three areas have our spidey-senses tingling, and we are excited to see how they each develop in 2017.
1. Smart Home Applications
Smart home applications are creating endless possibilities to customize your home, and all of it can be done from your phone. This exciting industry has already started gaining lots of traction over the last couple years, but it’s sure to shine and break out in 2017. In a time where we like doing everything our phones, smart home integration was only a matter of time. Below are some of the most popular current Smart Home applications; but keep your eyes peeled - more applications are around the corner!
Home Security and Alarm Systems
From video cameras to shattered glass monitors; door sensors to night vision live monitoring, you can seal your home with smart security systems that will have you feeling safer than ever before. These systems are all administered from your phone, and are often equipped with rapid texting/notification services in the event something occurs at your home. There are lots of thoughtful and affordable options, so it’s no wonder people are jumping on board in droves. The best part of these home automation systems is that many integrate with each another, so you can often control multiple smart features from a singular, easy to use app.
The Big Players in Smart Home Right Now Are:
- Smart Home Hub: Hubs like the Amazon Echo and Samsung Smartthings have already splashed onto the scene with on-command versatility and excellent speaker quality. These gadgets are the 1st of their kind, and we can’t wait to see how they evolve.
- Smart Garage: Open and close your wifi-enabled garage from anywhere in the world, right from your phone.
- Thermostat: You can finally adjust your thermostat from the comfort of your own bed (talk about something we never knew we needed!). In addition to remote control of your thermostat, many smart thermostats allow you to set temperature timers, estimate how long until your desired temperature is reached, display the weather, and send alerts when your house gets too hot or cold– so you know if you have a furnace or AC issue.
- Lights: This is one of the more creative smart systems, and we hope it’s a sign of things to come! So far, you can smart-ify your indoor light system with timers and bulbs that change colors on your command. With the entire color spectrum at your fingertips, set a unique mood for holidays, parties, or just quiet evenings at home.
- Locks and Doorbells: Have a neighbor that checks on your dog while you’re out? Or dread unexpected doorbell rings? Visually confirm who’s at your door with your smart doorbell camera, and unlock the doors if you wish to invite them in with a simple tap on your phone.
2. Augmented Everything
You’ve likely heard of virtual reality glasses, like the Google glasses that recently made headlines. Prepare to see these types of headlines increase in 2017, as augmented reality technologies continue to advance. We are seeing this industry spawn into two main categories:
Augmented Reality/ Virtual Reality
This includes taking games and visual entertainment taken to the next level, like the Google glasses, video game headsets, and even the latest Pokemon craze. This technology is also integrating into the workforce for training purposes. Think nurses, factory workers, and other professions where virtual training increases confidence and skill before people actually start performing these important jobs.
This includes the use of digital technologies that integrate with humans at a cellular level (whoa!). If this seems crazy, you’ve already seen the first steps – and may even own one of them. Gadgets, like the Fitbit, already integrate and generate reports based on your body’s physical activity. There are countless other smart devices that track organic activity, like sleeping, breathing, and heart monitoring. Within the next decade, it’s likely we will see these gadgets go from hand-held to fully integrated into the human body. Though it’s unclear the progress we’ll see in 2017, the industry is hard at work right now making exciting advancements.
3. Heightened Security
New technology always brings more opportunities for hackers to do their thing. And let’s not forget, they continue to create increasingly sophisticated ways to infiltrate systems we already use and rely on (like email) to spread computer infections at an alarming rate. Expect more protections, especially from IT providers who care for your practice. Proactive staff training is no longer luxury for practices wanting optimal security, it’s now a necessity to prevent downtime that infections can cause. Expect measures from IT providers to help you stay ahead of the curve, and be weary of providers that don’t respond to the changing landscape. If you wait to step up your more thoughtful security measures until after you’re data has been comprised, you’ve waited too long!