5 Tech Trends to Look Out For in 2017

For the better part of the last decade, the tech world has been abuzz over mobile devices and their increasingly wide-range of functionality. Watching the transition of our clunky, primitive Nokia's and Blackberries to today's lightning fast, sleek, and powerful iPhones and Galaxys, was a treat to be sure. Every year it was as if some new feat of technological prowess was just around the corner.

That fervor regarding mobile devices has finally slowed a bit, opening the door to other technologies. Not to say that there aren't interesting new mobile devices on the horizon (the Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge being foremost among them), we can't help but notice the shifting tide. The last couple of years have left us somewhat underwhelmed at mobile devices in general, which culminated in the disastrous Galaxy Note7 fiasco. We've seen what mobile devices can do, but it's clear that we're in for a new wave of innovation in the coming months that for once isn't simply centered around what we keep in our pockets.

According to multiple trends, Millennials are spending more time with their PCs than ever before. In fact, PC usage has been up across the board lately, as their multimedia capabilities continue to increase. Home theater and gaming usage for PCs has been steadily rising since 2012, and as of last year, it's been reported that more people watch movies on PC than on smartphones and tablets put together.

**In other words, certain advances of mobile devices are bottoming out. As great as they are, they can't beat high quality displays and the sheer range of functionality that can be found in even a modest modern PC. “As people become prolific creators and start sharing content, the display innovations in 2017 will be a key feature that will drive customer satisfaction in PC segment,” believes Lenovo.

Here are the top 5 tech trends for 2017

Virtual Gaming – The VR gaming space is projected to explode as a trend in 2017. More than 50 different varieties are already confirmed for CES 2017, so it's going to be the hottest new way to play in 2017. Console gaming has long played around with VR technology, but as innovations increase and prices decrease, evolved forms of this tech are finally gracing PCs.

Seamless Integration – We're seeing "the Internet of things" take off in every corner of the industry. From Amazon's new Echo Dot, to the ambitious new home robot helper Kuri, and it's all coming together. Your home PC is likely to become more of a base of operations as all of the functionality of these devices begins to integrate. Instead of rendering the PC obsolete, these new innovations provide new and interesting ways to utilize a PC.

Amazon's Echo Dot is poised to revolutionize the way we think of home technology.

Amazon's Echo Dot is poised to revolutionize the way we think of home technology.

Versatility – 2017 is shaping up to be the year of the convertible device. Nintendo is only weeks away from releasing its much anticipated Switch video gaming unit, which doubles as both a console and mobile gaming platform. We are seeing a rapid increase in Laptop-to-tablet devices, or tablets that integrate seamlessly with keyboards, as well as all-in-one PCs that are easily transportable. This versatility is redefining the role of these devices, as their traditional uses are continually expanding.

Extended PC Lifecycles – Technology is getting better, and with that comes better PC dependability. The nature of PCs will be home integration, and as such, their tenure in a home will be seen more as an investment, not unlike an appliance. We're starting to see this already, as commercial PCs are being designed with more than just gaming and office use in mind. They are now full multimedia hubs, and as such, they are expected to last long and require less upgrading.

Affordability - Advances in PC tech have definitely driven down prices over the years. How soon we forget that it was just 15 years ago when a computer many would consider to be a dinosaur today would cost nearly $1000 out of the gate. 4 and 6 GB HDs with minuscule chunks of RAM and paltry processors. No longer is this the case, as prices for even top of the line hardware has been dropping as it becomes easier to produce higher standards. Look for bargain deals on solid graphics cards, 2 TB Hard Drives, and there's no reason to settle for less than 8 GB of RAM when you can nab it for only about $50.  Only a few years ago a "gaming PC" was out of the price range of most consumers, but the stark changes in the market have given us cheap and powerful technology. A solid gaming rig that can play just about anything you can throw at it on respectable settings is doable for around $800. Back in 2010 this would have been unthinkable, but not anymore.

We're keeping our eyes open for more upcoming tech trends as 2017 gets underway. We're also expected to see advances in gaming as well as the new release of the Adobe Suite which is promising more team-orientated settings, VR integration, and more.

- Information and photo credit: Amazon.