As 2016 comes to an end, we've asked our top technologists to share their predictions and insights about the most disruptive tech trends that lie ahead. As part of our Tech Trends 2017 series, Colson Hillier of Verizon Advertiser Solutions shares his predictions about how our connectivity will accelerate in the coming year.
1. Connectivity will be embedded in (nearly) everything.
Most of us rely on a smartphone as our primary conduit to the internet, at least when we're mobile. But we'll soon have connectivity in, appliances, clothing—in basically every sort of device or component of our lives. When that happens, it will not only democratize the way we engage with information, but how we engage with each other and businesses.
For example, when I'm driving home and I haven't had time to think about dinner, or how the kids are getting to soccer practice, and ensure that I'm prepared for my meeting the next day, my only option is to pick up my phone and voice text my wife to see if she needs me to pick anything up, call a friend to confirm the carpool. One of the elements of embedded connectivity will be the automobile. The car will be connected to my calendar, address book and local restaurants where I might want to pick up dinner. I can have a conversation with my car that takes care of those three to-do list items in a way that's more convenient.
2. Artificial Intelligence will get smarter, fueled by big data.
Once we have embedded connectivity in every aspect of our lives, the idea of using a search bar or an application in order to interface with the internet will be disrupted. We will no longer consume 80 percent of our internet through applications that we download from an app store, but instead the internet will be embedded into our lives in a way that provides what we call a conversational interface. So if you think about how this can change something as easy as doing the laundry, for example if I'm holding a baby and I'm trying to change the cycle on my washing machine, I'll do that with speech instead of pushing buttons.
This leap in AI will be fueled by the belief that big data is essentially the exhaust from a connected world.
If I'm using a Samsung connected washing machine, it knows how often I run the machine including how much detergent is in an average container, so it will be able to drop-ship my preferred brand of detergent based on the washing machine's actual and predicted use. As artificial intelligence gets better and better, it will become more of a push model than a pull model. Rather than the consumer having to pull information out of the internet, the device will surface information and recommendations that are relevant to consumers based on what it knows.
3. Apps will become more open and integrated.
We’ll also see a level of interoperability across apps that are siloed in today’s world. Most apps, currently are geared toward specific use cases. GrubHub for ordering food; Uber and Lyft for getting rides. When you have a more open and integrated way to bring all of these services into one simple user experience, the intelligence that sits behind these interfaces can help bridge the information in a way that's much more consumer friendly.
Take the car app as an example, if I'm in an Uber or Lyft, headed to the airport I might want to catch up on the latest breaking news, get my gate and boarding pass information. If I am going to dinner I may want to make a reservation. You can think of an infinite number of ways you might thread together that ride with the rest of what I’m trying to get done that day. By having better intelligence around the user and what they're trying to accomplish, as a function of all this data, the platforms that sit between audiences and services will be able to essentially steady it out for the user and join these different vertical applications. The platforms that connect the brand and the consumer will be the ones that are in the best position to help create great user experiences in a way that's seamlessly integrated into the consumer’s lifestyle.
Leading these disruptive trends in 2017 requires the best talent. Our technology team is looking for people who push the boundaries in core areas, such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and Network Engineering.