The year is coming to an end, and taking stock of it is almost obligatory. 2017 has only a few days to live and hardware technology prepares its weapons to advance in the coming year. But before looking to the future we must take a look back and collect the technological trends that have marked the year. A whole series of clues to try to imagine what the future 2018 will be like and what progress it will bring.
Both the hardware as the software has marked this year and its novelties have made the big headlines of the press. The great scientific advances of this year will determine the future and along the way the hardware will manage to make an important space.
Hardware technology is advancing at a good pace but, perhaps, not as fast as many would like. In 2017 robotics, artificial intelligence and virtual reality have led the great progress. Hyperloop, smart cars, exoskeletons, virtual reality glasses or the arrival of the iPhone X have revolutionized the market and its hopes for the future. But, really, how much have they advanced over the past 2016?
Elon Musk’s ultra-fast train project did not imagine just a year ago getting its machine up and running for the first time. This was done in May of this 2017, when in the middle of the Nevada Desert the tests were carried out. Using the magnetic levitation, Hyperloop, Hyperloop managed to reach almost 2Gs of acceleration and walk for 5.3 seconds. A time in which it reached 112 km / h. A short distance and a mark far from its final goal, 1,200 km / hwho have not made Musk give up his attempt.
This 2017 has also been his year for investment. From Hyperloop there is talk of a verbal agreement for the installation of this train from New York to Washington DC. And it is expected that in the coming year the covenants will cease to be verbal and will be signed. Governments are the most desired investors for Musk, who now also has the help of Spain. Through the startup Zeleros, within the Polytechnic University of Valencia, work is being done on the development of transport capsules that hope to change the future of the transport network.
2. The smart car
Another of the novelties of hardware technology in this 2017 has come from the hand of the steering wheel. Smart cars are becoming more and more real and autonomous driving is coming. There are many large technology companies that bet on it. Audi, Mercedes Benz, Amazon, Volvo, Sling or BMW they’re just some of them. Although, for the moment, calling the car from the phone and having him come alone is a dream of the future; those who at the end of 2016 thought it would happen this year were wrong. Smart cars are still a challenge on trial, with Google, Uber, Apple and Tesla leading the way.
Waymo, Alphabet’s autonomous car, has sought complete autonomy in its travels. So much so that, although the vehicles continue to have both steering wheel and pedals and the rest of the traditional structure; in November of this year 2017 tests without safety drivers have already begun. A fleet of one hundred units of Chrysler Pacifica it has been made available to the company’s employees, who have been the first to test them.
UberFor his part, he prefers to look at the sky and continues to focus on his flying vehicle project, Elevate. Although no great progress has been known in this year, 2017 has brought with it the announcement in Los Angeles as a new venue for air travelafter Dallas and Dubai. Uber has also signed a Space Law Agreement with NASA that will allow it to create a different air traffic control system for this class of aircraft.
From Tesla he assured in November of this year that it was not long before the arrival of a fully functional regional pilot, but the year is ending and with it, the advances of the company in this 2017.
For his part, Apple he keeps a lot of secrecy about his career in the autonomous car. Since a year ago asked permission to start launching its initial version of these vehicles on the roads of California, little news has announced the company. We will have to wait to see whether or not 2018 will be your year in the field of transport.
The world of robotics has seen in the arrival of the exoskeleton its greatest advance in 2017. After eight years of lab work, the exoskeleton has become a reality for childhood. 12 kilos of aluminum and titanium make up this skeleton work by Marsi Bionics and ceded by Escribano Mechanical Engineering. Through a series of motors help the little ones who suffer spinal muscular atrophy to give them strength and support to stay on their feet and be able to walk. The rehabilitation service of the Hospital Infantil Universitario Sant Joan de Déu (Barcelona) has been chosen to enjoy it during the next year. Now, the primary objective is to seek financing so that it can be commercialized in the future.
4. Virtual reality glasses
If the year 2016 was closed with two clear problems regarding virtual reality glasses, it does not seem that this year the issue has been solved. The high price and comfort are still the two big problems on which only 2018 will say if there is a nearby solution or not.
The PlayStation VR virtual reality glasses have been the ones that have offered a more competent price. $ 450 disbursement for the traditional player who pays more attention to leisure than quality. And is that, in relation to what it concerns, Oculus (Facebook) or HTC (Amazon) surpass it. Even so, the PS4 glasses have been the first on the sales list this year 2017. A total of 490 thousand units guarantee it.
But Oculus Go doesn’t lose track of him. Facebook virtual reality glasses will hit the market in February next yearand there will be few who can compete with it. A price that falls to 200 euros, together with the possibility of using them without any cable, will allow Facebook to reign also in this niche market.
Amazon with its HTC Vive Focus was placed third in sales, this year it does not seem that things will change much. Matching the price offered by Oculus will be quite difficult, but perhaps surpass the sales of 160 thousand units this year thanks to the possibility of using them also offline.
5. iPhone Xs Max
For its part, the mobile world has seen the birth this year of the expected iPhone X. Apple it has taken a leap over last year bringing to light this new device where quality has taken a big step. The home button abandonment it caused a revolution among fans and lovers of the iPhone, who made endless queues to get this latest model. The most powerful chip that had ever been seen in the company’s mobile phone was another of the novelties of the iPhone X that if there is something that characterizes it that is precisely the easy 3D recognition. For the first time you can unlock the device just by standing in front of it.