Non-Profit Innovation and R&D Lab

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2017 Innovation Predictions

Phil McKinney

By Phil McKinney, President & CEO

Jan 3, 2017

It’s that time of year for me to give my innovation predictions.

My top three predictions for 2017 are:

  • Mixed Reality
  • IoT Security
  • Flexible Displays

Please take a look at the video where I elaborate on these three predictions.

Best wishes for a great year.


-----Video Transcript

It's that time of year for me to give the predictions of the top three innovations coming in 2017. Now, I've been doing these predictions for many many years and actually have a pretty good track record. I've made most, I've missed a few.  But also, I like to go out on a limb and give some predictions that kind of, maybe, push the envelope a little bit.

What's the number one prediction for 2017? It's around augmented reality, virtual reality, but more importantly, mixed reality. Mixed reality is really this combination of AR and VR where you actually see data and information that you can act upon. This kind of an experience is going to be really mind-blowing for people. It's really a great opportunity for content creators to think differently about the content they produce but also about the storytelling, the way of telling stories, and the way of making information interesting and actionable. So stay tuned, this is going to be a very exciting area. The first part of the year we're going to see more work in the hardware technologies. As we get into the latter half of the year, it's really going to be exciting to see some of this new content that is going to become available.

What's the second prediction? Second prediction is IoT: the Internet of Things is going to continue to be the hot area for 2017. Now, we've seen this introduction of IoT devices really explode in 2016. But one of the concerns that's really come out is security. The ability for hackers or people who are not friendly to be able to access IoT devices in consumers' homes has really become front-page news. So the question I have is, the technology is there, it's going to continue to expand, it's continued to be interesting. But as an industry, the security area has to be addressed before I predict broad consumer adoption of IoT devices. We're going to see IoT in everything from home security, home monitoring, heating, air conditioning, home appliances. We're also going to see some IoT devices and interesting areas like home health: healthcare devices that allow your doctors to monitor your healthcare, maybe after procedures or whatever, in your home and that just reinforces this one critical area which is around security to make this technology broadly available.

The third area is around display devices. Now, if you go back and you look at my predictions in previous years, I've talked about 3D the year it became a hot issue at some of the trade shows. We've talked about 4K. 4K high dynamic range (HDR) which is broadly going to be just a boon area for this year. In fact in 2016, in going into the holiday season, it became really very prevalent for people to buy these new kinds of TVs. What is left to be done in display technologies? What's left to be done is around flexible displays. Flexible displays being built on new kinds of materials such as this mylar, which is the backing material that's being used in some of the flexible displays that you'll see come available in the first part of 2017. This allows for displays to be manufactured that are one millimeter thick that literally you can attach to your wall as if it were wallpaper. What does this mean for the broad marketplace? When you have that kind of technology -- very low-cost but very flexible -- from the standpoint of how it gets used, we will see flexible displays on TVs as obvious, but also transforming things like whiteboards, collaboration technologies, technologies used in the classroom, advertising displays in retail and billboards. You'll be able to get these kinds of displays at such a low cost that you can literally transform every flat surface you see and turn that into a new kind of display for use of all kinds of ways.

So those are the three predictions for 2017. We have everything from the AR/VR/mixed reality, the Internet of Things, and these new kinds of displays.

Thank you!