2017 is the Year of Aces – AI, AV, AR!

3-D printing and Pokemon Go made headlines last year. What is it going to be for 2017? Here are the top techs that we think will be BIG this year

2017 is the Year of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Bill Gates recently called artificial intelligence “the holy grail that anyone in computer science has been thinking about”.

Research puts AI as a $5 billion market by 2020, growing from $420 million in 2014, thanks to the rising adoption in the media, advertising, retail, finance, and healthcare industries.

Some of the hottest AI technologies are listed below:

  • Natural Language Generation – Producing text from computer data, currently used in customer service, report generation and summarizing business intelligence insights.
  • Speech recognition- transforming human speech into language which is applicable for computers.
  • Virtual agents- Applications like Siri and Alexa are providing customers service and support by networking with humans.
  • Biometrics enable more natural interactions between humans and machines, allowing image and body touch recognition, speech and body language.

Businesses adapting the AI technology is estimated to have a significant growth from 32% to 62% by 2018.

Rise of Level 3 Autonomous Vehicles

Analysts forecast the global level 3 autonomous vehicles to grow at a CAGR of 23.08% during the period of 2017-2021.

One will be seeing Uber technologies’ autonomous cars running in the streets of California pretty soon as the authorities have permitted the company to test the vehicles. With Uber being one of the highly used business companies, this opens the way to mass-market adoption of autonomous technologies.

Vehicles like Audi A8 and Tesla Model X-3 are likely to launch the level 3 autonomous soon in the US and the UK with higher possibility of Cadillac CTS and Volvo XC90 following the footsteps. Also, Ford opted for fully autonomous cars over semi- autonomous ones this year 2017.

While it had been widely expected that a death from an autonomous vehicle would result in stricter regulations, this did not occur. Although the flexible regulations might increase opportunities for innovation, this could also lead to increase in number of accidents.

The launch of level 3 autonomy in the luxury segment will not drastically increase consumer usage, but it is the first step towards opening up the technology to volume brands in the same family.

Mainstreaming of Augmented Reality for B2B

The Pokémon GO phenomenon, although short-lived, brought augmented reality into mainstream awareness. Among the trends affecting startup business, there will definitely be AR and VR phenomena. It’s no accident that Facebook purchased production of the VR Oculus Rift headset. It is obviously anticipating that commercial media using the platform will be a 360-degree photo and video content. This year is going to use the similar use of technology in a different universe-B2B marketing.

Businesses are going to benefit from the AR technology in an extensive manner. Conceptual products are unveiled (and sold) at trade shows way before they are finalized and even produced. Organizations are getting to bring their ideas and concepts into various forms in front of the masses, with 3D models, images or information. What could be a better way than being able to give your idea a visible demonstration?

The experience of Pentair Water and its Hybrid DI water filtration system unveiled at two major international events, the Aquatech Show in Amsterdam and later at the Aquatech North America in Las Vegas is an excellent example of AR technology. Even though the system was more than a year away from production, the inner workings and technology were clearly displayed through the use of a virtual reality app based on computer animation.

Today’s successful B2B marketers are stepping out of the black hole of copy-heavy layouts and print-centric media trends and embracing digital marketing trends. One could call it the next ‘big thing’ of consumer stimulation, all thanks to the development of AR technology trends in B2B.


Sudeshna Nepal is a researcher with Frost & Sullivan. She can be reached at sudeshna.nepal@frost.com


Sapan Agarwal drives content and marketing for Frost & Sullivan. Sapan is based out of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and can be reached at sapan.agarwal@frost.com | +603 6204 5830

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