We have once again reached the time of year when it is good to look back on what happened in the last twelve months.  This site being the blog it is, I think a technical retrospective is an essential part of planning for the year ahead.  We will find new opportunities and trends to watch.

Bots and IOT

The Internet of things has started to hit home.  I mean literally, not just figuratively.  We now have competing devices on the market and in increasing numbers of households that allow us to be connected at any time by saying Google, Alexis, or Siri.  The tools are just getting started in what they have to offer and open a whole new interface world.  Everything to this point has been visual and required a click of keyboard or mouse.  IOT is rapidly giving us that “home of the future” where we can talk to it and have it respond.  When you combine this with bots (well-defined bits of logic that can handle dialogue), we are likely to see an explosion of new technical features in the years ahead.

Digital Capture and Recognition

We are still getting used to fingerprint scanners on our phones and laptops.  Nevertheless, facial recognition is here on the same devices.  When you combine the baked in GPS technology in many devices with facial recognition and electronic payment options it begs the question of whether wallets and paper money will be phased out.

Digital recognition has improved quickly.  However, capturing digital images has kept pace.  We now have 3D and 360-degree image capture available in many devices.  When you combine these two advances, you might worry that big brother is everywhere.  Instant replay may be an option in far more areas than professional sports.  It has already changed the face of politics and law enforcement.  Will it forever fix the “he said, she said” situations of daily life?  Are we ready for advances like this?

A Personal Technical Retrospective

These advances are what the world has seen.  What sort of changes have you seen in your personal life?  You may have new technology available in the form of gifts, purchases, or updates to old tech.  When you are planning for the year ahead these personal advances must be considered as much as the global ones.  You may have new technology like an IOT device or phone update that can impact your life more than any of these things I mentioned.  Make sure you spend time reviewing what you have and how to use it to improve your life.  A complete technical retrospective requires the big and small as well as the personal and global changes.

I hope this gives you something to ponder while enjoying some well-earned downtime.  However, if you want to learn more, there is a great technical article at Technology Review that mentions these and some other incredible advances of the last year.

Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a lifetime learner as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is the founder of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences and a few about becoming a better developer. In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although they have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax or working on his ballroom dance skills.

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