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2017 will see the emergence of several common themes in the technology sphere. The evolution of “smart,” from the personal assistant interfaces increasingly acting as our conduit to the digital world, to smart devices becoming so integrated in our businesses and lives that they become a commodity.

The AI Personal Assistant

2016 saw the big names in technology laying the groundwork to gain control of the emerging primary digital interface, with Google launching the Google Assistant, Apple moving Siri across devices and Amazon debuting Alexa. Each of these companies will build on their unique strengths throughout the year as they pursue strategies that will give them greater presence across devices.

Intelligent Apps

Intelligent apps have the potential to change the workplace by making everyday tasks easier (prioritising emails) and its users more effective. However, intelligent apps are not limited to new digital assistants – every existing software category from security tooling to enterprise applications will be infused with AI enabled capabilities. Using AI, technology providers will focus on three areas — advanced analytics, AI-powered interfaces. By 2018, most of the world’s largest companies will be using intelligent apps to refine their offers and improve customer experience.

Connected Living Solutions

In 2016 Apple Home on iPhone home screens, the launch of Google Home, and an expansion of Amazon Echo brought together separate smart home devices into cohesive ecosystems. Amazon Echo is currently the most user friendly, but the next year should see strong improvements in Google Echo and an Apple Home device launch.

IoT Sentient Tools

As IoT goes mainstream, companies will turn their focus to sentient tools. Sentient tools are aware of their context, environment, and social interactions. As technologies such as cloud-based AI, collaborative robots, and ever-more sophisticated machine-learning algorithms begin to converge, we will start to see the emergence of these capabilities in smart cars, homes, and manufacturing.

Adaptive Security Architecture

The evolution of the intelligent digital mesh and digital technology platforms and application architectures means that security has to become fluid and adaptive. Security in the IoT environment is particularly challenging. Security teams need to work with application, solution and enterprise architects to consider security early in the design of applications or IoT solutions.  Multilayered security and use of user and entity behavior analytics will become a requirement for virtually every enterprise.

Drone Deliveries Take Off

A convenience store order marked the first commercial drone delivery in 2016. With Amazon expected to complete its first drone delivery in the UK and Walmart expected to begin deploying them in the US this year, 2017 will be a turning point for the skies.

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