No one can predict how the future will shake out, but we can make some educated guesses.
Global design and strategy firm frog has released its 2017 forecasts for the technologies that will define the upcoming year. Last year, the firm correctly predicted that virtual reality would explode in popularity and that sensors in things like appliances and thermometers would continue to shrink in size.
Buildings will harness the powers of nature.
Around the world, large companies are leading the way in building solar-powered offices that don’t rely on fossil fuels.
Frog strategist Agnes Pyrchla expects the trend to continue in 2017.
Business bots are going to be huge.
In the way the communication app Slack has merged bots into its chat service, frog strategist Toshi Mogi believes entrepreneurs will use artificial intelligence to handle the logistics of running a business.
“The entrepreneur will commission an assortment of business bots to bring their vision to reality,” Mogi says.
Synthetic food will be in every grocery store.
Designer Andrea Markdalen sees two big changes in store for food.
The first is that plant-based proteins will gain popularity as a replacement for slaughtering live animals. The second is that tissues drawn painlessly from live animals will be engineered to create synthetic, lab-grown food.
Virtual reality will take over sporting events and concerts.
Instead of shelling out hundreds of dollars for a Kanye West concert in 2017, Piet Aukeman and Sonny King say virtual reality will finally make its mark in home entertainment.
Venues will be able to livestream entire shows for people who want to watch without leaving their living room. NextVR is already partnering with Live Nation to make the setup a (non-virtual) reality.
Sensors in important spaces could save us lots of headaches.
All types of rooms — living rooms, retail floors, hospital bays — will come embedded with sensors, say Chad Lundberg and Jud Holliday. These sensors will pick up information on usage patterns at different times of day, in different noise environments, and in different temperatures.
Autonomous vehicles will get a whole lot smarter.
With Tesla and Uber both vying to break into (really, create) the driverless car industry, frog creative director Matt Conway thinks we’re not far from autonomous vehicles saving us from ourselves.