In an age when technology develops at a galloping pace, we are constantly speculating the next big breakthrough. We have reached a point where it is impossible to imagine the absence of technology; It is a driving force for progressing medicine, culture, science and the economy. As it is already 2018, we’ve decided to review the previous year for it’s most notable (and our favorite) innovations. Let’s take a look at 5 of the most memorable digital and technological achievements that made 2017 a very special year.
5. ‘Smart Home’ systems
Those who watched ‘Back to the Future Part 2’ remember Jennifer’s future house with some Sci-Fi enhancements. It seems that artificial intelligence is finally catching up with popular fiction’s expectations of the future. Tech giant ‘Amazon’ introduced Alexa, an echo speaker that is operated by voice commands and provides digital assistance from creating shopping lists to controlling devices around your home. Google Assistant can perform similar tasks, but is able to recognize up to 6 voices!
4. Self- Driving Trucks
In 2017 Otto introduced the first self-driving trucks. The proposed advantages are coordinated movements, less fuel consumption and aid for truckers to complete their routes. However, as the technology is only being tested by several companies it is a matter of time to find out whether computers on the road are a good or a bad thing!
3. Snapchat Specs
Snapchat gained its popularity back in 2017 by not only simplifying its interface but also creating new fun features such as voice filters, stickers, and sound effects. For those who are social media savvy, Snapchat released spectacles with built-in cameras. By pressing a button on the front of the glasses you can record a 10-second stream of what you see with a 115-degree field of view; a second press will capture a 30-second stream. A ring of LEDs around the camera will light up and let those around you know you are recording.
2. VR Tracker Device
The first mention of a VR device was in a Sci-Fi story written in 1935 by Stanley G Weinbaum called ‘Pygmalion’s sunglasses’. Nowadays virtual reality devices are affordable and areas of their applications vary from recreational to military trainings. With the brand new HTC Vive tracker device, the user can not only transport themselves into virtual reality but also take a prop! This makes gaming a lot easier and more involved as the controlling process is replaced by real-world actions.
1. Affordable 360-Degree Cameras
Microsoft first ventured into omnidirectional cameras in 2007 with RoundTable. RoundTable was used for video conferencing to cover all attendants at the same time. In 2017 this technology had popularised and already started to change the way in which we document our surrounding environment. The possibility to produce such videos/images became technically and financially accessible for users in 2017. Instead of spending $10,000 it became possible to find a decent 360 camera for $499.
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