2017 digital predictions

This is now the seventh year of my digital predictions for the forthcoming twelve months (see here for 2016).

Supermarket checkouts - RIP in 2017 from Amazon Go?
Supermarket checkouts – RIP in 2017 from Amazon Go?

There are industry commentators and research analysts who release their predictions for the coming year. But I’m the only one brave enough to mark their homework at the end of the year! Last year I scored a respectable 61%.

Although President Trump and Brexit-at-some-point won’t have a direct impact on technology, there will be an indirect impact on consumer prices and investments into startups. Whether this affects the technology market in 2017 or later is difficult to say.

So here goes for my 2017 digital predictions:

Everything On Demand.

It’s already here in many niche areas. In 2017 On Demand services will become mainstream in 2017. For instance, we don’t buy CDs or DVDs any longer – we subscribe to Spotify and Netflix. And the same will happen to many other areas of our lives. Expect other ubiquitous household names for other consumer services.

More Augmented Reality apps.

Based on the success of Pokémon Go in 2016, companies will have been developing new augmented reality experiences for the last few months. We’ll see those being released in 2017.

WhatsApp will significantly grow in functionality.

Expect more commerce, person to person payments and services to grow out of WhatsApp. Half a billion people use WeChat from Tencent. WeChat offers many services including payments, and this is why Facebook spent over $19 billion on WhatsApp.

Retail, redesigned by Amazon Go.

Amazon will open new bricks and mortar retail shops and show how retail should work in the 21st century. Payments will be slick, and much of the supply chain process will be automated. It will make supermarket self-service checkouts feel old fashioned.

New types of insurance commercial models.

Car insurance is currently available in three models: traditional annual policies; pay as you drive and even pay how you drive. Expect to see this in other insurance models, and even outside of insurance. We’ll go from straightforward subscription models (e.g. Netflix monthly subscription) to hybrid models. Some of these models we can’t even think of yet. We’ll see more micro-insurance policies including insurance cover for a short period of time.

The maturity of Insurtech (Insurance + Technology).

Insurtech will be the next big industry transformation. Expect a raft of new insurance technology companies, demonstrating innovative digital only services, with great user interfaces. Some already exist (e.g. Lemonade), but like Fintech five years ago, it will now explode in growth.

Mobile-specific design.

In 2017 mobile developers will be letting us sign into apps with fingerprint or facial recognition. We’ll be able to control more apps with voice recognition – all making it easier to sign and use mobile apps.

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