The past year was another ground-breaking year in terms of technology. From all angles, there were notable accomplishments that spanned across micro-level circuits to interstellar missions. Amidst all this, a layman enjoyed the perks of a cutting edge smartphone, popped up Google Maps to get somewhere, pondered on owning an electric vehicle after looking at the Tesla, and took a tour of Paris on VR without taking a step away from bed. Getting more in line with technology, and using it for both use and muse, we depend on technology now more than ever. As the information age keeps growing, we look at what the future has for us in terms of tech.
Daring new Drones: DJI and GoPro have been battling it out in the high ranks to show who is the boss when it comes to ruling the skies capturing some sick overhead footage. The Mavic and the Karma both got people talking at the end of 2016, and gave a glimpse into the future of personally unmanned aircrafts. Making the mechanical birds lightweight, more reliable and compact, the foldable wings was something to cheer for among the drone enthusiasts. Again, releasing later in the year, drones will once again dare to reach newer heights. With all the innovation, it would be worth the watch what we will be in store for.
DJI Osmo Mobile: One particular gadget that was born straight out of the drone research division at DJI, the Osmo is nothing but a video stabilizer mounted on drones without the drone itself. Ensuring that our everyday mobile videos or GoPro chases stay more stabilized and free of shakes, the 3-axis gimbal helps stay sharp and focused. In addition, the Active Track is another neat feature to keep whatever it is you are tracking at the center of the frame.
A new reality in Virtual Reality: 2016 was particularly high on Virtual Reality, primarily because the tech made all the headlines, and curiosity was all time high among the tech savvy. After all this time, it was the first time people had something worth getting their hands on. Google Cardboard became doable and the other big hitters like the Gear VR and Oculus Rift headsets enhanced their respective experiences. Come of late, we haven’t seen Samsung or HTC drop a new model in the market for 2017. Definitely, we’re on the lookout for one in the coming days. After all, this is one that comes straight off the sci-fi movies. In addition, augmented reality applications pop up more frequently on the apps market, and with concepts of windshields and helmet visors incorporating road information in the driver’s field of vision, we can only hope that 2017 is the year for it. On the entertainment frontier, a faster pace of growth can be expected, though. Gaming could evolve sooner and get its dedicated headset, custom controller, and a forced physics chair to top it all off.
We need new Smartphones: Samsung clearly won the race of launching the smartphone of 2017 which it also desperately needed to. Following the Note 7 fiasco, Samsung needed something like the S8 to bounce back into the game, and boy, it has done exactly that. Released in Nepal only a week back, the new Samsung flagships, for price tags of just a little under a 100k and 90k show much poise and desire in the market. The bezelless design by Samsung is definitely appealing. Although critics have it that there isn’t a great deal happening underneath, and it remains similar to the S7, the S8 series would still be a much polished and improved gadget worthy of an upgrade.
While the Android fan-boys must be happy with what Samsung had for them, their Apple counterparts are still awaiting for Apple to release their latest flagship. With rumors of delayed launch catching up soon, it might still be a while into the new year before we get a glimpse of the iPhone 8.
Somewhere between the clash of Apple and Samsung, Nokia seems to be rising from the ashes and all set to take on the mobile industry once again. After what wasn’t a profitable trade with Microsoft, Nokia has switched to Android to stay in the game. Having launched a midrange phone at the start of 2017, the first impressions of Nokia 6 isn’t bad at all. Looking at the build quality and what’s under the hood, the phone pans out fairly even with the competition out there. Yet, the most anticipated device remains the Nokia N8, which will be the flagship Nokia phone out there this year.
Wearing some Tech: Amongst the gadgets that really matured in the previous year are the wearables and smart watches. From fitbits to the iWatch, the Samsung Gear and many other generic brands of smart watches took off last year, having undergone a couple of previous iterations, and ready to be accepted by increased number of users. Shifting focus slightly to health status monitoring, smart watches have transferred much of the nifty phone features to the wrist. It isn’t hard to anticipate that this year, more will adopt to the trend of refined and reliable smart watches, a lot of which have yet to hit the stores this year.
Fitbit: Choose from amongst 9 variants of the trendy FitBit and awaken the fitness junkie in you. Using the tech at hand stay fit and alert of all your vitals at all times wherever you are.
Time for an Internet upgrade: If you are looking for a new internet connection, or a combined offer of digital TV and internet connection courtesy of the digitization rule effective now, you’re in store for some serious deals. You can no longer settle for slow internet in 2017, and with an ISP market that’s become very competitive and active again, providers like WorldLink and Vianet rank the highest in terms of home installations. Offering large volume packages, or unlimited services, even, ISPs have undergone drastic changes in their pricing and plans. Be sure to revisit your current provider, as well as all available networks in the area, for the best deal.
More Computing: Apple showcased its newest range of the Macbook Pro after keeping fans waiting for long. Bringing back the black, getting rid of the function keys, adding a new touch bar instead, were the center of most discussions regarding the Pro. Personally, the new range of Macbooks was rather under whelming. What is more anticipated from Apple is the new iMac that will be released late into the year around Christmas. With claims that it will be a home server equivalent PC, we could be looking at a really strong PC from Apple for your home as offices. In the meantime, if one cannot wait till December, a competitor in many ways can be found in the Microsoft Surface Studio which is a brand new product but an astonishingly good one. Designed very carefully for the artists and designers in mind, the intuitiveness and ergonomics of the device is off the charts. The Surface Studio is clearly one of the winners this year.
Consoles: Xbox and Playstation are gearing up for 2017. Although console gaming has remained largely popular over the years, the switch from computers to smart phones for everyday usage could see more emphasis being given to consoles, rather than gaming on PCs. On this note, Xbox in particular is very keen to launch its newest console called Project Scorpio. Looking to surpass the One S by a great margin in terms of performance, Project Scorpio could be a big release for gaming fans, but one that is bound to cost some a serious sum.
Light and Handy: Notebooks and Ultrabooks made steady progress this past year. 2017 will still be a year where nothing drastic changes with our traditional notebooks but grow closer to perfection as sleek, silent, vibrant, and powerful computing units that comfortably sit in a corner of our backpacks. This year’s notebook buyers have two things to worry about. The first is the build quality of the notebook. Clearly, the past year was all about perfecting the build and getting the device in reduced dimensions. Particularly, all the chief rivals—Lenovo, HP, Dell, Asus— stepped up their devices for a more premium looking device. Yet, it is difficult to find the right device that suits your needs and precisely what you are looking for in a computer. Second thing that actually caused a huge sensation in the CPU business is the announcement of Ryzen processors by AMD. Toppling the market rates for CPUs overnight, Ryzen packs enough power compared to the latest gen intel processors for almost one-third of its price. We could expect some price drops in the currently stable pricing of computers. In addition, you should also be on the lookout for convertibles and hybrids if you don’t have mean computing needs. Casual users can enjoy the occasional gimmick of a Bluetooth keyboard, or the detached screen, turning it into a tablet.
Not missing out on Software: We could talk much in depth from various perspectives on this one. Yet, talking about the bare bones of any computer, we’d discuss the OS of it. In particular, the topic up for discussion in Windows—the OS that powers most of our computers currently. The latest version of Windows, Windows 10, has been around for a while, almost two years, and yet, we encounter PC hurdling on Windows 7, or even the likes of Vistas and XPs. Windows 8.1 was a ground breaking OS with certain chinks in its armor. Realizing that, Microsoft quickly turned heads to Windows 10 and got most things right off a clean slate. Now, with the Creators Update hitting last week, we can’t focus more on getting the latest version of Windows. For genuine users from 8.1, a mandatory update must have dragged you to Windows 10 but now it’s high time everybody got used to the best of what Microsoft has to offer.
Talking about popular software, we’ve probably grown up using Microsoft Office, and still use it on a fairly regular basis. For those struggling to find a copy of Microsoft Office, or having difficulty downloading a large file, or (being brutally honest) not wanting to use pirated version of the software, WPS office is a great free alternative that you can use, instead. Compatible for Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android, the Office package bears huge resemblance to its Microsoft counterpart, making it feel home even to a new user.