It’s that time of year, when we stop to reflect on what 2016 had to offer. You’ll most likely being seeing a lot of this kind of review in the days to come, so I’ll start you off by looking back at the innovation that rocked the tech sector this year.
It should be no surprise that five of the seven most valuable companies in the world are technology companies.
Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), Alphabet (Nasdaq: GOOGL), Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), and Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) are setting the pace for disruptive technology that we see, and often don’t see, every day.
2016 was a banner year for these companies, not only for the disruptive technology they created, but for the technology development environments they produced. Mainly technology policy.
This year we saw Apple lobby hard for mobile device encryption and Amazon hit the government about drone regulations for product delivery.
Both of these industry juggernauts know that without one foot inside our nation’s capital, their landscape growth is severely limited.
Apple has become a symbol of American innovation, but with wireless earbuds being the top innovation for 2016, hardware development options are looking bleaker every day.
Expect these top tech companies to double down on software and infrastructure innovation to support the burgeoning data problem we have now with On-Demand everything.
Yes, with streaming movies, games, and TV shows, 3G wireless networks no longer make the cut. 4G-LTE wireless coverage is the only way to go. But these fast networks are only as good as the wired infrastructure backing them up.
Traditional tech service companies like Alphabet and Facebook are getting into the fiber infrastructure business to support their user’s hunger for more services, wired or wireless.
Cellular wireless is cool, but satellite wireless is cooler since your wireless signal comes from space. To make space infrastructure more affordable, SpaceX tested reusable rockets for satellite payload delivery in 2016.
Yes, these bad boys land back at the same pad they were launched from, refuel, and are ready for the next delivery!
Elon Musk was so excited about this capability, he shared his grand plan for a million-strong Mars Colony. The only catch, at least a million people have to sign up to keep the tickets under $200,000 apiece. What a value!
Just in case you’re planning on staying on Earth for a while, Alphabet (Google) launched a project to deliver affordable Wi-Fi to regions of the world that cannot support traditional cellular infrastructure.
It’s called Project Loon, and involves high-altitude balloons that float in the stratosphere (11 miles in the sky) to deliver a 4G-LTE wireless network.
No matter what wireless infrastructure your devices connect to, expect a lot more device-to-device communication for automation in 2017.
The Internet of Things (IoT) revolution has come full circle, connecting almost any device imaginable to the Internet for automation and intelligence. Fitness and health trackers, home automation, and driverless cars are just a few sectors at the tip of the iceberg with this life-changing capability.
2016 saw the launch of Tesla’s automated driving capability, but other auto manufacturers and tech companies are right on their heels. Even Uber, the world’s largest taxi company that owns little to no cars, launched a self-driving On-Demand taxi fleet in Pittsburgh this year!
In healthcare, we saw leaps in genetically engineering immune cells to fight cancer, and artificial intelligence computers assist physicians with patient diagnosis.
Monsanto (NYSE: MON) dumped the agriculture industry on its head by taking the same gene editing techniques applied to live beings, and purchasing it for plant gene editing. The company hopes to develop plants that are more drought and disease resistant without cross splicing species.
In short, 2016 was the year that brought us that much closer to the future. All those technologies dreamed up for Star Wars, the Jetsons, Star Trek… they’re not all just make believe anymore.
So, with all that in the rear-view mirror, what can we hope for in 2017? Really, anything in the realm of possibility (and imagination) is on the table. And we’ll be here to give you the latest market insights on how to profit from these changes.
From my family to yours, have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!