At Celerative we understand the importance of being alert to the changes, evolution and consolidation of the trends that shape our environment. Therefore we thought about writing an article trying to summarize some of the topics we believe are crucial for this 2017:

Artificial Intelligence

By: Agustin Medina.

Although artificial intelligence has been present in the technological industry for some years, there is still much to exploit its full potential.Next year we will be able to see Artificial Intelligence (AI) occupying a more leading role than in the last years due to the advances of its development and the growth of IoT, and therefore the BigData, that could act as a boost for AI further enhancing its functionality.

The growth of this technology will give as a result an application with more intensity in fields such as robotics, with the example of autonomous vehicles, in the assistance to the user through the chatbots and in the marketing, detecting the needs of the consumer, among others.

Virtual assistants

By: Emanuel Lorenzo.

Siri started in 2010, Google Now in 2012, Cortana in 2014 and in 2016 Google Assistant was introduced as the evolution of Google Now.  In recent years we could witness the beginnings of Virtual Assistants in the hands of leading mobile technology companies.

It seems a fact that the main companies of the sector are betting their efforts in growing the technology of virtual assistance, benefiting from booming Artificial Intelligence elements such as Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing and Speech Recognition. Google announced that it will stop being a Mobile First technology company to be AI-first.

But not all ends in Siri and Google, Mark Zuckerberg, recently introduced Jarvis, his virtual assistant for the home, while Samsung is in the development of what is possibly his virtual assistant for the Galaxy S8. In this sense, the tendency will be to perform more tasks through the assistant to have less interaction with graphical interfaces, performing the work in a more “magical” way.

By the end of 2016, Google Assistant and Siri enabled integration with third-party applications, which means that anyone can now create an app to be used through those wizards. In this 2017 we can expect to use the applications we daily use nowadays through the main assistants.

Autonomous Vehicles

By: Juan Salas.

A definition of what it means for a vehicle to be autonomous tells us it should be capable of “measure its environment and navigate without human instructions”. Nowadays, it is not strange to think of this type of vehicles since they are commercialized, at least to some extent, with this capacity. According to a report from The Business Insider, it is estimated that for the year 2020, there would be at least 10 millions autonomous vehicles on roads and streets around the globe.

This technology is not just a comfortable and safe way of moving, it also promises to revolutionize the concept of urban transport as we know it. Companies like Uber and Waymo (from Alphabet group), are in the race to lead the market, aiming to put autonomous vehicles available to users, in a new way of carpooling, safer and more private, transforming the fixed cost of owning a car, to a variable cost, with all that this implies.

2016 has been the year in which we have observed how many of the vehicles capable of navigating on their own have hit the market, but 2017 could be the year we see the first fully autonomous series production vehicle on the streets. It is also to be hoped that many more countries and states will discuss how to regulate this technology for its use on the streets (today 9 US states regulate the testing of autonomous vehicles).

Intelligent Things for Digital Transformation

By: Pablo Baldomá.

The thin line separating the digital from the physical each day is closer to disappearing, which will create new opportunities for digital transformation. Those industries on the lowest digitization stage, such as construction, government, healthcare or agriculture, will have more opportunities with the Smart Devices revolution.

If intelligent devices like Autonomous Vehicles, Drones and Robots are complemented with Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, it will give us a fun cocktail for digital transformation.

Massification, and consequently a drop in prices, of smart devices will create new marketing opportunities for brands that need location information, behavioral data, and user interests. It will also bring the challenge of brands adapting to new organizational structures where “disruption” can be a friend or a threat. The big challenge, then, will be on the side of those brands and companies who do not see all this as a train unnecessary or difficult to climb in.

Virtual Reality

By: Pablo Miceli.

Since the discovery of the stereoscopic images to generate the sensation of depth and immersion in 1838, and the appearance of the first helmets to visualize them in the decades of the 60 and 70, the concept of virtual reality has slowly been brewing to be officially born in 1987 with the launch of the first commercially available helmet (with an approximate cost of US $ 50,000). Nowadays, virtual reality seems to have taken a big leap with the appearance of the Oculus Rift project in 2012. Since then, it has gained a place in the interest of the mass public, attracting the attention of important companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Sony and HTC among others, who began to develop their own devices.

Even though many new experiences for virtual reality appeared last year, most of them seem to be experimental and proof of concept, with few complete and quality developments. If we add the fact that the devices for this technology are not accessible and require the latest hardware, we can say that virtual reality is still not suitable to reach the desired level of massification. By 2017 we can expect device cost increases, which will increase the flow of users of this technology and motivate developers to create better and more complete experiences.

Blockchain

By: Lautaro Osacar.

It is a distributed database that records blocks of information that can only be modified by general consensus. This allows transactions to be performed in a reliable and secure way, with no need of an intermediary.

Although it has been used by Bitcoin since 2009, it is gaining popularity among banks, since in addition to being totally reliable is a very economic system. The data stored in the block chain does not necessarily need to be financial transactions, so its use is applied to different types of technologies such as Ethereum, which is used to create smart contracts, or the storage platform in the Storj cloud. An increasing use of this technology is expected in 2017 in banking applications and hospital institutions.

User Experience

By: Nicolas Cauterucci.

While many of the following aspects in web design are in full swing, facing 2017 they will take a stronger protagonism until becoming tendencies:

Storytelling, something to tell?

The visual narration in the development of one page sites allows to create a logic of contents, that present as the user scrolls, forming a sequence of actions; as if a story was being told. This causes users to feel trapped by following a story that guides them, presenting information for a moment.

Custom made illustrations

Following the logics of Storytelling, the development of unique illustrations for a site can reinforce identity. While using vector and icon saves time, starting to think about the “personalization” of a site can significantly impact the use of generic resources.

Flat Design

This tendency won’t disappear for the moment, as it is compatible with other tendencies such as minimalism, the development of responsive websites or Google Material Design. It will even strengthen its presence in 2017.

Graph QL

By: Belén Mora Viera

Facebook pushed this technology as an alternative to Rest, the de facto standard, for the communication of applications with services on the backend. The company created this query language with an innovative approach, moved by the failures to implement Rest in its services. The rigidity of Rest, determined by the logical structure that proposes to serve the resources as they are, causes that for both the application and the component that has to show more than one resource, it must make multiple calls to the API; Which causes several performance problems.

One of the advantages of GraphQL is that it allows Fronted developers to change the format of the response that is defined at the time of the query without having to make changes to the Backend. This is very useful when using some data in the information that returns an API call. Moreover, GraphQL, proposes a scheme in which the application requesting the data determines what data has to be served. This makes the form of communication versatile and optimal in terms of the amount of data that travels through the network.

It greatly simplifies the work and in addition, being strongly typed, a misuse can be detected quickly in development time. While Facebook has been using GraphQL since 2012, many other platforms started using it, such as Github, Pinterest, Twitter, among others. For many, GraphQL is the future, a technology which comes to facilitate the life of programmers and make it a bit more fun.

TensorFlow

By: Maximiliano Raffetto.

There are more and more tools and services that make artificial intelligence more accessible for programmers to use in their projects. Some time ago, back in 2015, a very promising bookstore emerged from Google Labs: TensorFlow, an open source library of Machine Learning that is widely used in Google’s own products, such as Photos, Speech Recognition or Gmail.

One of its main features is the ability to run in a distributed way on multiple CPUs or GPUs. Also, another interesting thing is the breadth of platforms in which it can run: Linux, OSX, Android, IOS, etc.

Usually it is seen as a simple tool, although very powerful. This makes it a very serious alternative when facing machine learning projects. With these tools at our disposal there are no more excuses to think of machine learning as a key component of the solutions that can be offered.

The year you should learn Go

By: Gonzalo Bustos.

Go is a young programming language, released in 2009 and with a first stable version which dates from the year 2012. This explains why it is not surprising that even today, many programmers have hardly heard his name. Here are some of the very good reasons why we should not miss another year without learning:

  • Simplicity: it adopts perfectly the “less is more” philosophy.
  • Definitely fast compilation, execution and development times.
  • Compiles a single binary, reducing deploy to something as simple as moving a file
  • Standard, powerful and very well documented library.
  • Open-source project with an active, friendly and growing community.
  • Native primitives to write concurrent programs in a natural and simple way.

Now, how to start? There are many books and other resourcesavailable for learning. In addition, performing the Go Tour and going deeper with Effective Go on how to write good code are almost obligatory starting points for everyone aspiring to Gopher.

Docker

By: Bruno Cascio.

How often do we encounter dependency problems when developing or putting into production? 99% of the time we work with groups of people, whether at work, friends or colleagues who are fans or defenders of their operating system and we have problems with incompatibilities of versions or libraries.

Not only talking about the development part, but also the deployment when we are perhaps with servers running different operating systems, or you need dependencies or you have to write extensive documentation of the software to install for the app to work.

Security, permissions, isolation and fault tolerance, with Docker the team development cycle leads to harmony, productivity grows exponentially and above all, we can concentrate on the project and not on the operating system problems where you want to develop. “Developers” and “Operations”, known as DevOps, will be the new generation of developers.