Technology is developing at a rapid pace every year, and 2017 is no exception. With the year still young, insiders are predicting several transformative technology trends. They understand the risk to their credibility by doing so, as even the most innovative thinkers make fantastically wrong predictions.

After all, top-level executives at one time predicted the telephone wouldn’t last, people would get bored of TV. As recently as the 1970’s, entrepreneurs predicted that there was no reason for people to have a computer in their home.

Virtual Reality is Here to Stay in the Construction Industry

Seeing the successful implementation of virtual reality (VR) among architects has prompted leaders in the construction industry to take a closer look at it. The technology surpasses what is currently available to them with three-dimensional graphical data and Gantt charts. VR allows any contractor to view a job site and predict what it will look like by the following week. The data it provides enables construction workers to discover and resolve issues with the project in advance. In addition to saving time and money, VR will prevent accidents and on-the-job mistakes.

Robots Equipped with Artificial Intelligence Set to Become More Mainstream

The technology market will continue to see a huge influx of artificial intelligence (AI) in 2017. While it’s too soon to predict where the biggest gains will come from, industry experts can confidently state that image recognition and processing is a clear stand-out. This type of AI offers everything from automated driving features in cars to labeling people in photographs posted to social media.

Natural-language processing is expected to be huge this year as well. It enables devices to respond to the spoken word by analyzing voice and sound. One practical application of natural-language processing is the ability of people who speak different languages to communicate with each other in real time. The device would automatically translate what one party said before the other party formulated a response.

Hardware Will Use Less Materials Than Ever

Technology thought leaders predict the continuing trend of dematerialization. The first implication for this is that new hardware will weigh less and have a thinner, sleeker appearance than it has in the past. With stretchable electronics already making their way to the market, the growth of wearable technology will only get more explosive. In fact, a leading futurist predicts that all products will be computer-based eventually. This includes everything from clothes and shoes to temporary tattoos for health monitoring purposes.

More Industries Will Take Advantage of Generative Design

Generative design and simulation allow companies to see available manufacturing options that have already been vetted by a computer. This eliminates the uncertainty of whether a product is viable before investing the time and resources into developing it. A partition separating airline crews from passengers is a great example of this. Airbus used generative design and simulation to create a partition 45 percent lighter than any other partition currently on the market.

When it comes to technology, the future looks brighter than ever. It won’t be long before people will wonder how they ever lived without these advances.

[Image Credit: Pixabay]