Although CES in Las Vegas and MWC in Barcelona are behind us, we believe the most exciting tech surprises of 2017 are yet to be announced. We turned to our gadget expert, Ilan Kupers, who compiled a list of the top 10 gadgets (in no particular order) he was most impressed by or eager to see this year.
“Personally I think that 2017 will once again be a great year for technology and gadgets. I am particularly looking forward to seeing how the developments for virtual reality and AR (augmented reality) are progressing,” says Ilan.
Here are the top products that captured our attention so far, along with some of the potential newsmakers expected to be announced over the course of the year.
Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus
Samsung introduced its new flagship phone on the 29th of March. The Galaxy S8 comes in two sizes – a standard S8 with a 5.8-inch display and a larger S8 Plus with a 6.2-inch display. Both versions have an “infinity” screen with a minimal front bezel (bezel is the external frame that surrounds smartphone’s screen). Samsung announced that the S8 will be equipped with a virtual assistant and AI-enabled features. The virtual assistant will be powered by Viv Labs Inc., an artificial intelligence software firm recently acquired by Samsung.
In contrast with Apple, Samsung decided to keep the long-used 3.5mm headphone jack.
Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus – photo credit: Samsung.com
Switch, the brand new home gaming system from Nintendo, which launched on March 3rd, enables users to play their favorite games wherever they go. At home, the system connects to the TV as expected. However, the novelty of the Nintendo Switch appears when you lift it up from the Switch Dock that connects it to the TV. Right away, the systems transition in portable mode and enables gamers to play wherever they go. The Switch has a bright HD display and two detachable controllers on either side. It combines the power of a home gaming system with the agile mobility of a handheld device to deliver an exceptional experience.
Nintendo Switch – photo credit: Nintendo.com
Apple’s new iPhone
2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone’s first launch. That is why many Apple fans expect to see some significant changes this year. Although there is not much official information out there, we have gathered some prominent rumours (some more plausible than others) to conceive what new features the new device might have:
- Edge-to-edge display
- Glass body
- Curved display
- Touch ID integrated in the display – no home button
ili – Wearable translator
Logbar’s wearable translator – “ili” promises to make language barriers a distant memory. In contrast to similar products, ili works without an internet connection. Putting this together with its proprietary dictionary and own OS enables it to provide an instant translation. The worldwide sales are planned to start in the second part of 2017. Watch the YouTube video here.
ili – Wearable translator – photo credit: Logbar.jp
Asus ZenFone AR
At CES earlier this year, Asus presented the world’s first Tango-enabled and Daydream-ready mobile device. Tango is a combination of hardware sensors and computer vision software that enables ZenFone AR to track motion, perceive depth and learn about its surroundings to provide an augmented reality experience. Moreover, Daydream-ready means that the device is built for virtual reality, combining a high-resolution display with high fidelity sensor for head tracking.
Asus ZenFone AR – Photo credit: Asus.com
The Microsoft HoloLens headset enables you to visualize and work with your digital content through interactive holograms that “enhance the real world.” In a so-called mixed reality, objects from the physical and virtual world blend together. HoloLens enables you to move naturally, explore and interact in three dimensions.
Microsoft HoloLens – photo credit: Microsoft.com
Motorola’s Moto Mods
Motorola launched its Moto Mods platform. It allows users to assemble their phone using replaceable components – switch out the camera lens for a bigger one with higher quality optics, add battery capacity with a “juice pack”, turn the entire back of the phone into a huge JBL-branded speaker, or even snap on a mini projector. Here is how Qelp supports Motorola devices.
Motorola’s Moto Mods – photo credit: Motorola.com
Google Android Wear
As Google delayed the software update for Android Wear, insiders expect the company to launch its own smartwatches, the Verge reports. “The watches are reportedly code-named Angelfish and Swordfish and will vary in specifications, but both will be designed around Google’s AI assistant.”
Xbox Project Scorpio
In 2017, Microsoft is expected to launch its supercharged home gaming consoles – Xbox Project Scorpio. Expect the promised true 4K gaming experience. Insiders expect “the most powerful console ever” to support VR gaming.
Amazon Echo with a touchscreen
According to Bloomberg, Amazon is planning to introduce a new Echo speaker with a touchscreen. The new device will have a 7 inch display that will make it easier to see weather forecasts, news, recipes, calendar appointments and more. The new device is expected to continue using Alexa – the voice-activated digital assistant software.
2017 promises to be another great year for all gadget lovers. It will be the year when we decide the future of the headphone jack and the direction of virtual reality. The iPhone’s 10th anniversary and Samsung’s recovery from the recall of Note 7 will be only a part of the highlights. Supercharged gaming consoles, new wearables, and smarter home gadgets will keep us on the edge of our seats.