Virtual reality made a big comeback in 2016 and is sure to get even hotter this year. Virtual assistants moved out of our cell phones and into our homes, and smart home technologies may have finally broken through to the mainstream. So what do we expect in the new year? There are lots of tech trends we’re watching that will change the world once again in 2017. Here’s the top three you should keep an eye on.

1Internet of Things

Google Images

The Internet of Things has been on just about everybody’s list for years. So why hasn’t it caught on? IoT is supposed to connect all our devices together, making them sing in a glorious technological harmony. Thing is, we’re not at that point yet — at least in a usable manner.

A multitude of wireless technologies now exist to serve your smart home needs — Zigbee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and more. And there’s more smart home platforms to consider than ever before too — Wink, SmartThings, Iris by Lowe’s, even systems from security providers like ADT and big brands like Comcast.

2Artificial Intelligence and Automation

Automation is nothing new — at least on the business side. Our experiences with automated technologies primarily comes in the form of those pesky automated customer service systems we’re forced to call every time we need help. But it’s only going to get more commonplace this year.

Automated customer service won’t go away, but it will get better. At the same time, online customer service will be automated as well, thanks to better AI and chatbots that understand context a whole lot better than ever before.

3Virtual Reality

Oculus VR from Google Images

Virtual reality becomes more mainstream. Most people of a certain age remember the stir created by the Atari. Exceptionally crude by today’s standards, the console brought video games to the mass market and sparked a cultural revolution that eventually produced its technological descendants, the Nintendo Entertainment System, Playstation and Xbox.

Virtual reality will make an exponentially larger imprint on society, transcending gaming and having the potential to touch on everything from education, sports, entertainment and medicine.

There are more in the list. We will update you guys in the future posts.