December 23, 2016

These were the tech and customer experience highlights of 2016. My Yearly!

2016 was probably a bad year for mankind. A lot of bad things happened to our planet in the last 12 months. On the other hand, 2016 was a crazy and exciting year when it comes to evolutions in tech, marketing and customer experience. Let’s give you an overview of the highlights and most important news facts of last year. Since the beginning of '16 I have been making my weekly video's. Well this is the best of 2016. Check out this 10 minute video and you know the top events of the last 12 months. Enjoy X-mas!

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Steven’s year in a nutshell

 

DeepMind wins in Go

The 9th of March was a milestone in the field of artificial intelligence. DeepMind, Google’s artificial intelligence platform, has defeated a human being while playing Go. Go is one of the most complex board games in the world. Experts thought that it would take at least 10 years before this would happen because Go requires a high level of intuition and evaluation. This explains why DeepMind’s victory it is such a breakthrough.

 

Microsoft buys LinkedIn

In June, Microsoft has bought LinkedIn. Price tag? $26.2 billion! This deal is one of the biggest tech deals of 2016. The CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner, will retain his function but will now report to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. I’m very curious on how they will build it to an even bigger platform … To be continued.

 

Pokémon Go is a game changer

The hype of 2016 is without any doubt Pokémon Go. I witnessed it in Seattle for the first time. It was amazing to see how everyone was trying to catch the exotic creatures. All over the world, hundreds of millions people were playing the game. Nowadays, the hype is somewhat over but it was definitely a “game changer”. The market value of Nintendo doubled thanks to Pokémon. We could state that it is the beginning of augmented reality. But Pokemon is like the Commodore 64 for AR. There are more advanced evolutions taking place. Take “Meta” for example. They are working on a new device that allows people to play games without screens. The way that we are going to play games in the future will change completely... Meta is dreaming of a world without screens. Not just in gaming, but also in retail and other industries.

 

Ford, Volvo and Uber launch driverless cars

Ford sets a date for its autonomous vehicles future. The cars will have no steering wheels or pedals. They expect to launch their driverless cars in 2021. And it is not just a launch, Ford is talking about mass production of driverless cars in 2021. And if there is one thing that Ford can do, it is mass production. This bold statement didn't come from Google or Uber, but from Ford, one of the oldest car manufacturers of the world. Volvo is sharing similar ambitions; they expect to launch in 2020. This huge evolution in the mobility industry is happening faster than we thought. In the same month, Uber launched their first driverless car program . They now have about 100 autonomous Volvo’s driving in Pittsburgh that are picking up customers. Nowadays, there are still engineers on board to make sure that everything goes well but this will no longer be necessary in the near future. In December, they extended the program to San Francisco.

 

SpaceX colonizes mars

SpaceX founder Elon Musk shared his surprising vision and plans for the future. During his keynote, he said that he plans to get humans to Mars within 8 years. In other words: SpaceX wants to colonize Mars. Their ambition is not only huge; it is also surprisingly concrete. They know exactly when and how they are going to do it. Mars would become a back-up planet because we are (probably) going to “f*ck up our current planet”. It would take about 40-100 years to make a self-sustaining planet out of Mars but after this, we will be able to live on two planets. Exciting news, isn’t it? I simply love companies with big ambitions.

 

Facebook introduces social virtual reality

Facebook showed us how it’s going to make virtual reality social. Mark Zuckerberg presented his Virtual Reality platform that will be launched very soon. This is taking off fast now. Until now, VR was a tool that made it possible to pretend that we are on a roller coaster or watch a movie. Now, it is a new social network where you can do things together. Facebook has plans to use VR as a new social network where people come first. The goal is to do things together. Everyone has its own avatar so you could visit places together. In fact, the tool brings our friends into our lives. In short: VR is going to the next level.

 

Trump: the end of traditional market research?

After the presidential elections in America, many were surprised that Donald Trump got most of the votes. Nobody expected this to happen because the polls told otherwise. We could say that the moment when Trump was elected, the belief in traditional market research ended.  It is time to realize that people don’t say what they think. The most important thing is behavioral data. It is not what people say, it’s about what they do!

 

Hyperloop is coming to life

Hyperloop is a new way to move people and things. The company will make it possible to move at airline speeds in science fiction looking tubes. More specific: they will create a system that makes it possible to transport passengers in 12 minutes’ time from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in 2017-2018. Sounds like a science fiction transportation system, doesn’t it? It is no longer a dream. It will be reality soon enough. Hyperloop was an idea of Elon Musk. Beucase of his lack of time and resources, he shared the idea on a public platform. The people from the Hyperloop project in Dubai used this knowledge and made the dream come to life.

 

2016 was a year to remember when it comes to changes in tech, marketing and customer experience. No doubt about that. I expect that 2017 will have even bigger evolutions in store for us … Can’t wait!

Enjoy the future, my friends, both DIGITAL and HUMAN. All the best in 2017 and thanks for your support in 2016.