New Year and new trends…
A quick look at all things gadgets and apps that are trending in the world of tech and a virtual peek at food trends that are set to rule our kitchens.
From the world of wireless
As smartphones continue to dictate your every move, check out what is set to get the trend clock ticking in the tech zone
For those who have made friends with Cortana and Siri much earlier, this trend will not seem new. But it’s the possibility of establishing friendship with the computer that alters the very premise of the earlier deal. In 2017, digital devices are expected to include not only sights and sounds, but also text and voice, opening up two-way communication with your computer.
Make way for long-distance drones, as major companies continue experimenting with the use of drones to deliver products. In fact, Amazon delivered its first package via drone, recently. People are also finding ways to use this technology for humanitarian work. There is, however, more work to be done, as companies would need wireless control via cellular networks.
Whether 5G becomes a reality or not, 2017 is expected to be the year of testing the technology. While one estimate expects it to be out in 2020, experts state that there are still many challenges facing the development of 5G.
Smart appliances or objects with intelligence are here to roost. High tech has made all things intelligent and even interactive. And, as the network continues to grow bigger, it will be Artificial Intelligence that will surround the environ in 2017.
Tech geeks expect virtual reality to reach masses, legitimately, in the New Year. The formation of the Global Virtual Reality Association is expected to unite all the big names in the tech zone. Concert venues will be able to live stream entire shows for people who want to watch without leaving their living room.
Pokémon Go, which became a rage with gamers, has demonstrated the potential of augmented reality in influencing consumers in meaningful ways. It is expected to grow overwhelmingly in 2017, with devices like ‘Here One’ exploring the potential of augmenting reality through sound. Apple has already unveiled AirPods, which is expected to lead to better audio experiences.
The New Year promises to be a year to get more vehicles without drivers on the roads. With manufacturers gearing up to build autonomous vehicles and driving up the market with competition, the results are very promising.
Get ready to welcome Wi-Fi-first networks like Google’s Project Fi and Republic Wireless, which are expected to become mainstream in 2017, following the debut of a Wi-Fi-first network from Comcast. These networks rely on a combination of cellular coverage and local Wi-Fi networks to provide cheaper wireless Internet connectivity.
What was life before apps came into this world…?
As you ponder over your reply and make a mental note of all the apps that help in the smooth functioning of your life, check out what the New Year has in store to add to your ease and comfort
Instant Apps from Google will enable Android apps to run instantly. These apps, which do not require to be downloaded or installed and which can be run with just a single tap, is set to change the app industry. It is about having an app just when you need it.
Artificial intelligence embedded within apps will be the norm in the New Year. What is more, most business applications will be integrated with some form of AI as a source of help in security, marketing or a host of activities. With advancements in machine learning, new systems are in the process of being developed that can predict human actions and understand conversational speak. Machines are expected to help us understand ourselves in several ways.
It is more about the integration of augmented reality into utility apps to derive more uses from them. For example, recognition of words/phrases could be used in messenger apps and the like, helping users to decipher a video, text or audio message with a popup of related actionable item.
Use of GPS has become easy on all mobile devices, opening the platform for location-based services (LBS), which are expected to give users real-time information or deals based on their whereabouts. Indoors mapping, location-specific payment portals, retail offers, security features, navigation, travel and the like are areas where LBS is expected to get implemented.
As businesses continue adopting mobile apps, there is expected to be a spurt of usage in the hospitality sector. 2017 will see a major increase of custom-made enterprise apps being developed for businesses. The use of tablets by enterprises is expected to reach 900 million tablets in the New Year. More businesses will also move towards mobile payment increasing convenience and ease of users.
Progressive Web Apps
With mobile apps getting infused into Internet, the New Year will see a rise in Progressive Web Apps that convert traditional browsing into websites with a mobile app format. Progressive Web Apps are web sites developed by business that have the quality and visual aspects of mobile apps.
With an overwhelming increase in the quantity of data in the smartphones, especially since it has access to other accounts, it is security that has become more crucial than every before. This is where apps with in-built security features can help; it should be prioritised, either at the API level or with a simple code to access the app itself.
Wearable technology trends to watch out for in the New Year
Hearables and smart earbuds
Real time translation earbuds are set to become a reality, following the wireless fitness tracking and coaching hearables that mobile companies have on offer. Doppler Labs’ wireless ‘Here One’ is expected to be the big release of 2017, providing augmented audio and noise cancelling to voice assistants and music.
The focus of fitness trackers is expected to shift from fitness to overall healthcare, as wearables become better and more significant. In the offing are wearable vital sign monitors for newborns, smartphone-controlled hearing assistance and smart bands that double as blood pressure monitors.
Stress wearables are getting bigger and better, with ‘Thync Relax’ leading the way. It is worn around the neck, creating a kind of mini massage. Apple and Fitbit are also offering haptic guidance and meditation apps.
The connected driver
Get hooked on to your car, literally. Major car manufacturers are exploring augmented reality smartglasses and in-car delivery. They are using watches and bands to monitor the stress and health of drivers, which means voice control of ones home from the car and vice versa.
Emotion sensing wearables
How you feel is the focus of emotion sensing wearables that are set to be a rage in 2017. With the launch of Zenta bracelet from Vinaya and the Feel wristband expected to come in the first half of next year, it wont be long before wearers can gauge how happy their happiness-boosting wearables can make them.
Advanced fitness tracking, which can track everything from the steps taken to the heart rate, will make 2017 interesting. Future trackers are expected to help measure even the sun exposure.
From the wrist to the entire body, wearables’ industry will make fashion smarter and more meaningful. Companies like Under Armor have already started investing in smart clothing; for example, Hexoskin, a biometric shirt with sensors woven into the fabric measures everything from steps taken, to heart rate, to breathing rate…
Good news for pet owners looking for ways to keep a track of their pets. Smart collars designed to track pets using GPS, will measure their activity level and even report on the wellness stats.
Personal safety devices, like panic buttons disguised as watches or necklaces, is set to infuse a sense of extra sense of security.
Check out what to eat and not to eat in the New Year, as some trends get set to rule the food industry
Veggie comfort food
Vegetarian options are set to get better and bigger in the comfort food section. Kale will no more be seen as the only healthy food option in the veggie world, as large range of seaweeds, which pack in more umami flavours for different broths are finding preference in the restaurants. The healthy dulse (seaweed) is being used as a salt substitute to add a briny tang to food or even snacks. With many food joints throwing the spotlight on vegetarian food, dishes like fried bread and vegan chocolate chip cookies are becoming popular.
Vegetable burgers that actually taste like meat and even bleed like real meat are in for 2017. Called Beyond Burger, it will be available in supermarkets as well as some restaurants.
On the other end of the food spectrum is the rise of artisanal butcher shops-cum-restaurants. This ‘butcher-to-table’ trend is designed to create drama for customers to sit and admire the preparation of food, from grilled steak to charcuterie.
Fast food chains are taking the concept of all-day breakfast to a new level with ‘Brunchfast’. This takes the trend of breakfast away from soft scrambled eggs or oatmeal to items like fried chicken, crispy chorizo and chimichurri.
If you have read that charcoal has detoxifying properties, you would be interested to learn that the messy black stuff is all set to become a major trend in the culinary zone. It is set to make its presence felt in dishes and cocktails, like the black charcoal-coconut ice cream flavour, which won a lot of attention recently.
Bowls on table
Eating from bowls will be big in 2017, as restaurants and take-away joints find it easier and faster to assemble a bowl than plated entrees. According to psychologists, holding a bowl and eating is said to induce mindfulness, helping diners to savour all the flavours and textures with every bite.
Nutritional yeast, the umami-rich vegan condiment, is fast becoming a trend, as chefs find ways to season dishes with it. It can be sprinkled on popcorn and other snacks as a creamy flavour booster; some restaurants are also adopting it as the substitute for Parmesan cheese in vegan Caesar salads.
Adaptogens is a natural supplement that is derived from plants, herbs, and mushrooms. In its ground form it is supposed to rid the body of stress.
Products from byproducts will trend in 2017. Food manufacturers are expected to create new foods from manufacturing products that are otherwise thrown away. For example, whey from yogurt will be used to create probiotic drinks, and the liquid left over after cooking chickpeas will be turned into a vegan ‘mayonnaise’. This will also see people cooking all parts of the vegetables, not just the pretty parts.
Coconut is set to become a super food, as it finds its presence felt in everything – from sandwich wraps to chips. No more is it only about coconut oil, coconut water and coconut milk; it will be seen in several avatars in 2017. For example, coconut flour, a gluten-free option, is said to be more easily digestible than regular white flour. There is also coconut sugar…
Kitchen equipment is getting high tech with manufacturers creating items like smart frying pans and camera plates, The Totalitea device, for example, can monitor sleep and provide with a cup of tea with added caffeine.
Insects are fast becoming edible items, as they become available in powdered form – for instance in pancakes. In fact some health food shops are now selling insects.
As grazing continues to blur the lines of traditional mealtimes, healthier snacks are set to become a big food trend. Sharing small plates will rise and so will low-sugar and high-protein snacks.
Alongside plant-based proteins, synthetic food or the so-called lab-grown food will gain popularity in 2017. There will be a broad range of new plant-based meat replacements.
Pickles and ferments
‘Gut health’ is the term to watch out for in the New Year, as gut-friendly foods are said to help with irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, fertility, immunity, low energy and libido. This brings the focus on to pickles and ferments.
Getting food wastage to zero is the top 2017 trend that all restaurants are expected to get behind. Even in homes, the trend is expected to shift towards cooking smart with leftover ingredients and buying in season.
Big changes are expected to rule the condiment section with new tasty dips like beet salsa, habanero jam, black sesame tahini and even ghee.
Flexitarian is the new food buzzword, which is used to define someone who is semi-vegetarian. This definition is expected to encompass a personalised nutrition or even define a diet that cannot be categorised definitely.
Turmeric lattes, or golden lattes to be specific, will be a big trend owing to an increased interest in anti-inflammatory foods. The latte is made with turmeric, coconut oil, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, honey, and unsweetened plant-based milk.