2016 was a year that saw both steady progress and revolutionary leaps in the tech sector. The Internet of Things came into its own, augmented reality changed the visual landscape of cities, and cognitive computing became a force that is impossible to ignore.
Here are our picks for the top 5 tech stories of 2016:
1) THE IOT
Companies such as Uber began capitalizing on the connected “things” of the Internet of Things in a major way: as a “service enabler,” Uber used connectivity to create profits out of pre-existing products and needs.
Connecting drivers and passengers (and, very soon, driverless cars) has also created a data gold mine that app developer partners are eager to access.
The visibility of the blockchain skyrocketed, and its transformative impact on the economy became clear.
By decentralizing records of exchanges of value, the blockchain has forced traditional banking institutions to take fintech seriously, and has created enormous opportunity for startups.
3) COGNITIVE AND AI
College students created an open-source AI in a day and a half to combat fake news on Facebook. Not only did this elevate the visibility of cognitive and artificial intelligence, it was a direct example of how technology can be applied to pressing social needs.
4) THE CLOUD
Development began to migrate to the cloud, signalling the inevitable democratization of development. Defying the previous expectation that cloud-based development limits flexibility in favour of shareability and scalability, developers began to turn to established services such as GitHub, Docker, and Atlassian JIRA, which have already made collective coding a practical reality.
How could we do a 2016 tech roundup without mentioning Pokémon GO? Proving that the line between games and serious technological evolution is a blurry one, the hit AR app showed enterprise, industry, and developers that people are ready to embrace augmented reality.