2016: A Tech Retrospective

As the new year rolls in, it’s time to take a look back and see just how technology has evolved in the past year.  Although many technological leaps were made in the past 365, 2016 was overall fairly disappointing from the consumer’s standpoint.

With Samsung recalling more than 2.5 million Note 7 smartphones, hover-boards being banned in all public areas, and fake news spreading like a wild fire on social media, this year has been far from dull.  However, this year has been exciting in the negative sense.  With the presidential campaign having taken center stage for the grand majority of the year, news outlets were pressed in hoping to publish all important content as fast as possible.  However, this led to an increase in “fake” news being published all across social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google.   With the help of fact-checking sites, these news publishings were noticed.  These sites were under heavy criticism, and for good reason.  The “news” seen by millions potentially altered the outcome of this year’s historic election.

Continuing on, a lackluster performance was given this year by virtual assistants.  These include Google’s Home, Amazon’s Echo, and Apple’s Siri.  Overall, despite all of the advertisements put in place by these companies and hype within the consumer world, these products ended up subpar.  Several basic functions and tasks were unable to be handled by these products, delivering an overall disappointing result.  That being said, the more use put into these machines, the more development and improvements will come in the upcoming months/years.

Although many products did not end the way we would’ve liked, there were some improvement across the technological world.  These included Wi-Fi, virtual reality (VR), online streaming, among others.  Of course, there were many positives that came out of this year.  Massive strides were made in the fields of virtual reality and online streaming.  Virtual reality, a concept once thought of as impossible, has completely taken over.  The tremendous potential behind these devices has yet to be completely uncovered, as it is mainly gaming as of now.  However, keep an eye on these devices, as they become increasingly available.  Live streaming has also taken massive strides in the right direction.  Facebook and Twitter have taken this and ran with it, making live video streaming truly a new medium for sharing and exploring information.  Anyone has the ability to stream, making this a very practical way to connect.  These are just two examples, but this year has been very kind to certain types of technology, while leaving others behind.

Here’s to a new year full of new technology, new opportunities, and new realities.

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