This year has offered some unexpected surprises. With Donald Trump as president-elect and UK leaving the EU, there is much uncertainty revolving next year, to say the least. Do not worry though. Inspired by Fortune Magazine I would like to lift some interesting predictions for the coming year to the surface. These events might be scheduled or just probable to take place next year, and will not only be limited to politics.
Nevertheless, I will start with the two most important things that happened this year, namely Donald Trump and Brexit.
What we can expect from a Trump administration
The questions that might carry the most weight are; will he build a wall and will there be a deportation force?
Whether Trump builds the wall remains to be seen. Building it would cost billions of dollars, which means he would need the Congress’s authorization. It will be a tough sell, even with a Republican-led Congress. He most definitely cannot make Mexico pay for the wall.
The deportation of illegal immigrants might also be difficult to carry through since it would be extremely expensive. The process of deportation would be costly, mainly because it requires a lot of resources. In practice, sending millions of people away is not simple. Illegal immigrants who have been in the U.S. for more than five years are entitled to a hearing. Hence, Trump might have difficulties getting necessary support from Congress.
What we can expect from Brexit
The new Prime Minister Theresa May revealed that she would trigger Article 50, the formal step that initiates two years of talks, no later than March next year. In that case, Brexit is scheduled to be completed by March 2019. This would further fuel the concerns regardig the economy and scare off investors.
Enough with politics! Let us examine what advances within the technology sector we can expect in 2017.
Apple celebrates 10 years
Apple will celebrate the company’s ten-year anniversary and has planned a major upgrade for its new iPhone. Among the expected features the new iPhone will have a glass body and edge- to-edge OLED display, as well as the home button transformed into a virtual on-screen button.
The virtual reality hype will stall in 2017
Many companies see great potential in virtual reality (VR). Firms like Facebook and Sony have invested a lot of money in the development of VR products, believing in its potential to become a new, profitable sub-sector. But consumers do not seem to share their enthusiasm. As of November VR headsets have been available for purchase, but the sales figures have not reached desired numbers. Consumers may find that the novelty in VR is not in itself enough to justify the price tag. In time, when price tags fall the industry might be able to realise its full potential.
A Tesla will drive itself across the U.S.
Electric car company Tesla, led by the well-known entrepreneur Elon Musk, announced its new Autopilot system in October which will enable completely autonomous driving. Once the software is ready and regulations are in place, self-driving Teslas can be spotted on the streets. A test of the new system is scheduled for the end of next year when a Tesla will drive itself from LA to New York.
Initial public offerings will increase
As for Business-related predictions the initial public offering-market will increase among tech companies. Several interesting start-ups have dropped hints that they will soon go public. Snapchat has reportedly begun preparing for an initial public offering that will take place in March next year.
Netflix will be acquired
Rumour has it that big names such as Disney, Apple and Google want to acquire Netflix.
These rumours are based solely on the importance of Netflix to cable TV companies, so this prediction might be completely false.
By 2017 solar power capacity will be the most expansive source of power
That is, if you look at the U.S. where solar power capacity nearly tripled in recent years. The fact that solar power keeps getting cheaper while other sources of energy are not, in combination with tax incentives, more businesses and homeowners are switching to solar power. Again, I mention entrepreneur Elon Musk as an example, since Tesla Motors acquired SolarCity in August. Solarcity is a company that specializes in solar energy services. Musk stated the purpose for this move is to integrate the Tesla car battery with solar power panels on the roof of the cars.