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3 key technology trends for your business in 2017

Technology continues to develop and an incredible pace, and we’re seeing several exciting ideas merge together. As we head into the New Year, let’s take a look at 3 of the key technologies to look out for and use in your business.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The big buzzword as we headed out of 2016 was Artificial Intelligence (AI), and this is only set to increase in 2017.

A couple of well-known AI devices that come to mind are Amazon's Echo and Google's Home, but AI seems to be popping up everywhere - even in a toothbrush!?!

However, AI is definitely here to stay and will only get more powerful and pervasive as time goes on. Regardless of your business, this is likely to make a big impact on your customers and how you interact with them in the coming months.

Chat/Bot User Interfaces (CUI/BUI?)

Linked with AI is the use of bots or chat-style interfaces for interacting with customers. As messaging apps increasingly become the method of communication across platforms, people are familiar using chat to interact with businesses. 

The likes of Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Allo (with Google Assistant) etc. have spearheaded this, but it's starting to appear in applications that would be expected to follow the traditional "desktop" approach. One of the best examples I've seen is Habito, an online mortgage-broker that uses a chat-style interface to determine requirements and results for a mortgage application.

The use of chat interfaces (and the AI-powered bots behind them) is only set to increase.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

Last year saw lots of activity around virtual and augmented reality, and there's no sign of this letting up. Major players such as Google, Facebook and Samsung are developing VR/AR platforms. VR provides an entirely immersive environment, whilst AR allows digital information to be projected onto the real world.

For example, with AR you rather than following directions, you could project a route onto the path ahead to navigate around a city.

As VR and AR technologies are refined and become more mainstream, expect to see businesses of all types finding new and creative ways to use them.

Looking Beyond 2017

As you can see, technology and software continues to innovate at an increasing pace. As the devices we use become more transparent, and we expect to be able to connect and interact anywhere, it is the apps and software that will help your business stand out amongst the crowd.

Blog supplied by Chris Blunt at Plymouth Software. Plymouth Software provide consulting and development for business owners and organisations building software products with Ruby on Rails.

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