2017 was certainly a year of headlines. Fidget spinners showed the fickle attention span (that ironically they were meant to help) of a consumer market who rapidly purchased the devices and then promptly discarded them in a few months. The sharing economy continued to dominate; although Uber once again took a hit to its international reputation when it was booted (British car pun intended) out of London. The public will have to wait for self-driving cars and aside from Amazon (aka Alexa) personable robots still have a long way to go before they completely infiltrate the home. However, if 2017 was the year of headlines, it was also the year of innovation within the technology, medical, and consumer fields.
Innovation Reigns Supreme During 2017 With These Top Technology Contenders
Innovation was the name of the game for these top technology contenders.
- Amazon. — The cloud computing giant has also become the largest American eCommerce company. It’s major innovation for 2017 was its Alexa AI assistant service. This service has been built into everything from an LG refrigerator to Ford cars and in-home speakers. The company hopes to continue innovating in the years to come with its own fleet of Amazon Prime Air drones.
- Google. — Throughout 2017 Google continued its trend of innovating by furthering its goal to connect all of the company’s areas of expertise. The goal is simple: to revitalize the original Google mission to organize the world’s information, while simultaneously making it accessible and useful across the globe. This goal is supported by Google’s Tango project, which is designed to measure physical space without needing GPS. Speaking of space, Google Maps has gone one step further by allowing users to gain a firsthand glimpse of the solar system courtesy of over 500,000 images gathered by the Cassini spacecraft’s two decade tenure in space.
- Michelin. — Michelin might be a renowned tire company, but it is making leaps and bounds with its innovative Vision Concept. As the name suggests, Michelin is adapting tires to be smarter by giving them “vision.” They are building technology to create airless tires made from recycled materials to reduce waste and increase functionality thanks to 3D-printed treads that can be swapped out to accommodate different road conditions without changing tires. Say goodbye to putting on winter tires and instead, simply swap treads in a few minutes time. While Michelin estimates that these advanced tires are still 20 years away from distribution, they do believe that the key features, including airless design and improved sensors, will be mainstream within the next few years.
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Speaking Of Technology … Breakthrough Inventions Of 2017
The innovations of the above companies show the growing trend towards pushing boundaries to benefit people throughout the globe. The following inventions continue this trend and are deemed some of the best in 2017.
- Restoring Sight For The Blind. — For many people the holidays are a time for miracles, for more than a thousand patients, 2017 became a year that the miracle of sight was granted. eSight 3 is dubbed as “the world’s most powerful pair of glasses.” The technology records high definition video and then uses magnification, contrast, and proprietary algorithms to turn the captured images into something that the legally blind can finally see. With the help of eSight 3 legally blind patients can now partake in previously off-limits activities. While the $9,995 device is not accessible to every legally blind patient, the company does help to connect would-be buyers with the funding sources needed to purchase these life changing glasses.
- Using Your Face To Pay. — China now has face-detecting systems in place that can be used to give access to secure facilities, track down criminals, and authorize payments. The face recognition technology, Face ++, is already being used on several popular apps, including the mobile payment app Alipay, which is used by more than 120 million people in China. All that’s needed is your face credentials to make a payment or transfer funds. Experts predict that as the technology continues to advance, our lives as we know it will transform. Is it time for a Minority Report reference yet?
- “Makeup Is Like A Secret Weapon.” — The following quote, made by popstar Rihanna, is in response to her transformative makeup line. In September Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty and made headlines by creating an inclusive makeup company that featured 40 shades of foundation so that “every woman felt included.” This invention is transforming the beauty industry so that it caters to women of any color. In the words of the artist turned beauty queen, “I love challenges … So I’m going to continue to have fun and push the boundaries in this industry.”
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2017 Has Paved The Way For A Continuously Innovating 2018
If 2017 has taught us anything, it’s that brilliant minds can come together to create the groundwork needed for positive changes. From restoring sight for the legally blind to creating safer roads with sensor-filled airless tires, the technology, medical, and consumer fields have continued to push the boundaries for the greater good. As 2017 comes to a close, 2018 should prove to be a year of continuous innovations across global markets.