2017 sounds as futuristic as any recent year and there are new gadgets in the home that are connected to the Internet, but they are self-sufficient and automated. The workplace is filled with robots, and everyone will be able to manufacturer their own items with 3D printers. Food may be completely different as well; synthetic food is just around the corner.
More Home Automation
When you see IoT, you should think of wireless things. IoT stands for Internet of Things. Anything can be an Internet of Things. For example, lights. Internet-connected lights can be installed in the home. The lamps, ceiling lights, and floodlights can be connected to a home network or connected via Bluetooth to mobile devices.
Thermostats are automated as well. Several heating and cooling companies offer smart thermostats. They automatically lower the temperature when you leave the home to save energy and they automatically raise the temperature when you arrive at home. You can remotely activate a smart thermostat as well with a mobile device.
Door locks are networked as well. More home builders are installing networked door locks that are controllable over the Internet. They can be opened from a distance in the home as well. For example, if you are watching TV and someone arrives at the door, you can unlock it with a remote control or your smartphone.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Gaming is More Prevalent
2017 will have more augmented and virtual reality applications and devices. Oculus Rift is one example. It is a virtual reality headset designed for gaming, but it has other applications as well. It can be used to watch 360 degree movies (spherical videos). It also has several social applications including AltspaceVR. It lets users share a virtual space with spatial voice communications. Objects in the virtual world are like real-world objects; users can interact with them. There are industrial applications of Oculus Rift as well. Architectural firms are using the headset for design projects. The company was bought by Facebook for $2 billion.
The most popular game in the world was an augmented reality game called Pokemon Go. It had over 100 million downloads.
Workplace Automation and a Robotic Workforce
The workplace may not have any workers in 2017. Several companies are using robots instead of humans. It might sound impossible, but people have to compete with robots for work. The online grocery store Ocado and Amazon have warehouses run by robots. Only a few human workers are needed to run it. In the short term, workplace automation will lead to unemployment, but in the long term, people may not have to work. Everything will be done by machines.
More Synthetic Foods
Processed foods had a bad reputation. Synthetic foods such as Soylent, a nutritional powder, sound dreadful. In 2017, however, it will be more appetizing. One company trying to make synthetic foods more appealing is Beyond Meat. They produced pea protein, beet juice, yeast extract, and something resembling coconut oil for burgers last year. Impossible Foods is another company that makes synthetic foods. They produce a plant-based burger.
More 3D Printing
Anyone can manufacture objects in 2017. Just buy a 3D printer. It’s affordable. It only costs a couple of hundred dollars.