Posey's Tips & Tricks
My 2017 Tech Predictions Revisited: How Did I Do?
From AI becoming more mature to Microsoft's augmented reality advances, Brien's predictions from the start of this year were right on the money.
For the past several years, I have used my final column of the year to make tech predictions for the upcoming year. As much fun as it is to make those predictions, I think that it is just as much fun to look back on the predictions from the year before to see how many of those predictions came true. So with that said, let's take a look back at my 2017 predictions.
Home AI Grows Up
The first prediction that I made last year was that AI would mature. I think that I definitely got this prediction right, although it wasn't a difficult prediction to make. Today, AI seems to be tied into countless consumer devices, including home automation systems. Not only is AI now a mainstream technology, the AI trend shows no signs of slowing down.
Microsoft Continues the Trend of Hardware Innovation
The second prediction that I made last year was that Microsoft would be introducing more innovative new hardware. I based this idea on the fact that in the subsequent months, Microsoft had introduced innovative hardware devices such as Surface Dial and HoloLens.
I think that I can definitely claim to have gotten this prediction right. In 2017, Microsoft introduced its mixed reality headsets and some really cool hand controllers to go along with them. Furthermore, Microsoft introduced a new Surface Book with an oversized screen. This Surface Book supports mixed reality, and even works with the Surface Dial in the same way that the Surface Studio does.
If all of that is not innovative enough for you, then there was one hardware announcement that cannot be ignored. At the 2017 Ignite conference, Microsoft stunned its keynote audience by revealing the quantum computer that it has been working on.
Microsoft Announces HoloLens 2.0
My third prediction for 2017 was that Microsoft would announce HoloLens 2.0, and that the second-generation HoloLens would cost less and have a much better field of view.
Although there is no HoloLens 2.0, I think that my prediction still came true for the most part. As previously mentioned, Microsoft recently released its mixed reality hardware. Although mixed reality and augmented reality are two different things, there is a lot of overlap between the two experiences. In fact, much of the software that is designed to run on HoloLens can be run within Microsoft's mixed reality environment. Like the HoloLens, the mixed reality hardware can even create 3-D holograms.
I own a Samsung Odyssey HMD mixed reality headset, and have found that its field of vision is far superior to that of the HoloLens. Furthermore, the price is much lower. The display and a pair of hand controllers collectively sell for about $500. Hence, Microsoft has essentially created a HoloLens alternative that sells for a lower price and that has a better field of vision.
Microsoft Products Target Ransomware More Aggressively
My fourth prediction was that Microsoft would be more aggressive in its fight against ransomware. I think that this prediction also came true. This year's Ignite conference focused very heavily on Microsoft's recent security efforts. Furthermore, Microsoft has been rebranding many of the security features in Windows 10 in a way that implies a connection to its anti-malware software. For example, the Windows Firewall is now the Windows Defender Firewall.
Augmented Reality Goes Mainstream
My final prediction was that augmented reality would go mainstream. In my 2017 prediction column, I explained that I thought that smartphone apps would be created that would allow users to point their phones at an object and receive pricing information, reviews, et cetera. Today we have visual search engines such as CamFind that do exactly what I predicted. Nailed it.
For the first time ever, all of my predictions have more or less come true. Let's see how I do with my predictions for 2018.
Brien Posey is a 16-time Microsoft MVP with decades of IT experience. As a freelance writer, Posey has written thousands of articles and contributed to several dozen books on a wide variety of IT topics. Prior to going freelance, Posey was a CIO for a national chain of hospitals and health care facilities. He has also served as a network administrator for some of the country's largest insurance companies and for the Department of Defense at Fort Knox. In addition to his continued work in IT, Posey has spent the last several years actively training as a commercial scientist-astronaut candidate in preparation to fly on a mission to study polar mesospheric clouds from space. You can follow his spaceflight training on his Web site.