Smart investors constantly try to track the next new thing. Really smart investors track the next new thing everyone will actually buy.
Here are a few of the tech innovations (and the companies behind them) that experts say will gain the most traction in the coming new year.
Related: TESLA – WHAT’S AHEAD FOR 2017?
Mobile Video Ramps Up
As more and more consumers watch live streaming video on their smartphones and other devices Facebook Inc.’s (NASDAQ:FBC) Facebook Live and Instagram, Twitter Inc.’s (NYSE:TWTRC) Twitter Live and . others will gain in popularity. The new year will see all the major social networks trying to become everyone’s personal television network of choice.
Cellular carriers have noticed the video revolution and want to encourage heavy users to increase their data buckets. T-Mobile U.S. Inc. (NYSE:TMUSC) and Sprint Corp. (NYSE:SC) have led the way by offering unlimited plans. Verizon (NYSE:VZD) continues to maintain that customers don’t need unlimited data plans but pressure from nearly everyone else may cause the company to change its tune sooner rather than later.
Glasses After Google
Four years ago Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ:GOOGC) Google Glass was the future of personal computing. Now, not so much. That doesn’t mean the concept of computerized glasses died. It just changed. After all, if Pokémon Go taught the world anything it was that augmented reality could be popular.
Then came Snap Spectacles. These $129 sunglasses take Snapchat videos ranging in length from 10 to 30 seconds, which can be posted on the users Snapchat account. Not only is the use of Snap Spectacles expected to rise in 2017, glasses that project pictures into your field of vision such as Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFTC) revamped HoloLens are expected to gain in popularity as well.
Conversations With Speakers
The proliferation of Echo and Echo Dot from Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZND) and Amazon’s assistant, Alexa, will grow in leaps and bounds if predictions hold true. People love the idea of talking to an inanimate object, getting information and advice and controlling home devices all without getting up from the couch.
Look for others like Microsoft and Google to up their game as well when it comes to speakers that listen and respond. And look for more devices that can be controlled by Alexa and others including home appliances, entertainment systems and others. One source says Amazon will introduce a version of Alexa with a 7-inch touch screen this year.
Facebook Faces The Facts
While it involves technology more than it creates a new device, Facebook is expected to finally admit it is a news source (for many people at least) and take steps to stop the spread of fake news on the social media site.
Exactly how the company will accomplish this is uncertain but the best guesses so far indicate it will be a mix of technology and good old fashioned fact-checking by humans. As technology becomes a bigger part of our lives, Facebook’s innovations when it comes to fact versus fiction may be the most important advance in technology of all.