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Top 8 Tech Trends for 2017

Top 8 Tech Trends for 2017

We all see trends rise and fall, but some tend to stay and become popular while new trends prove to be something that are going to be extremely popular for some time to come. Specifically, we see the latest technology trends every year, but which ones are actually going to stay? Just because some trends are promoted and advertised, does not necessarily mean they are successful. Let’s take a look at some of the best technology trends for 2017.

1. Bitcoins

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology continue to be a growing trend, steadily gaining popularity and usage worldwide. Like any currency, you need a place to store it – and where do you store your coins? Well, usually in your bank or wallet, and that’s just the case with the Bitcoin. For example, BTC wallet lets you securely store your Bitcoins, just like a bank, and lets you spend them from any mobile or desktop device, just like your wallet.

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2. Virtual Reality

There is definitely a big future ahead in the world of virtual reality. While this is not a technology that was widely available to the general public until the last year or two, it is set to become the next big thing in the coming year. In just a year, many manufacturers have introduced their own VR headsets, making the technology more and more mainstream every day.

3. Drones

The first commercial drone delivery was made by a convenience store in 2016. This is only the beginning. It isn’t going to be very long before a number of companies are using drone technology to take care of delivering orders, messages, and more. Amazon is expected to finalize its first UK drone delivery soon, and Walmart is also expected to start using drones for deliveries in 2017.

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4. Smart Homes

These days, more and more people are employing smart home technology. This helps to protect themselves and their properties from a number of issues, including break-ins and damage caused by weather. Many companies are coming out with smart home product lines that will keep homes and people safe and comfortable. You can even enjoy better heat and air conditioning when you are using smart home technology.

5. IoT Sentient Tools

The more IoT goes mainstream, the more companies are going to be focusing on using sentient tools. These are for context, environment, and social interactions. Tools include collaborative robots and machine-learning algorithms that will be seen in smart cars and smart homes soon.

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6. Augmented Reality for B2B

Pokemon GO showed us that augmented reality is something that is definitely here to stay. It won’t be long before businesses are improving on this technology and will be facing a tough competition out there. Augmented reality for B2B is just like the common phrase, “if we build it, they will come”.

7. Driver-less Driving

As the technology becomes more widely available, we are going to start seeing more and more driver-less vehicles on the roads. In 2015, Tesla introduced “Autopilot”, and has since been upgrading this driver-less technology. They plan to incorporate more self-driving hardware into future vehicles, and the hope is to eventually see vehicles completely a hands-free operation.

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8. AI Personal Assistant

You might be surprised to see how much of a race it is for Apple, Amazon, etc. to offer the best AI personal assistant services. These companies are going to build on their strengths to continue to deliver quality services that will give them even more presence across all devices, geographies, and use cases. It saves businesses a lot of money because they can rely on technology rather than having to hire someone to do all of the jobs that an AI personal assistant can perform.

Featured photo credit: HammerandTusk via pixabay.com

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Jane Hurst

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Last Updated on September 10, 2018

Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

We thought that the expression ‘broken heart’ was just a metaphor, but science is telling us that it is not: breakups and rejections do cause physical pain. When a group of psychologists asked research participants to look at images of their ex-partners who broke up with them, researchers found that the same brain areas that are activated by physical pain are also activated by looking at images of ex-partners. Looking at images of our ex is a painful experience, literally.[1].

Given that the effect of rejections and breakups is the same as the effect of physical pain, scientists have speculated on whether the practices that reduce physical pain could be used to reduce the emotional pain that follows from breakups and rejections. In a study on whether painkillers reduce the emotional pain caused by a breakup, researchers found that painkillers did help. Individuals who took painkillers were better able to deal with their breakup. Tamar Cohen wrote that “A simple dose of paracetamol could help ease the pain of a broken heart.”[2]

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Just like painkillers can be used to ease the pain of a broken heart, other practices that ease physical pain can also be used to ease the pain of rejections and breakups. Three of these scientifically validated practices are presented in this article.

Looking at images of loved ones

While images of ex-partners stimulate the pain neuro-circuitry in our brain, images of loved ones activate a different circuitry. Looking at images of people who care about us increases the release of oxytocin in our body. Oxytocin, or the “cuddle hormone,” is the hormone that our body relies on to induce in us a soothing feeling of tranquility, even when we are under high stress and pain.

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In fact, oxytocin was found to have a crucial role as a mother is giving birth to her baby. Despite the extreme pain that a mother has to endure during delivery, the high level of oxytocin secreted by her body transforms pain into pleasure. Mariem Melainine notes that, “Oxytocin levels are usually at their peak during delivery, which promotes a sense of euphoria in the mother and helps her develop a stronger bond with her baby.”[3]

Whenever you feel tempted to look at images of your ex-partner, log into your Facebook page and start browsing images of your loved ones. As Eva Ritvo, M.D. notes, “Facebook fools our brain into believing that loved ones surround us, which historically was essential to our survival. The human brain, because it evolved thousands of years before photography, fails on many levels to recognize the difference between pictures and people”[4]

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Exercise

Endorphins are neurotransmitters that reduce our perception of pain. When our body is high on endorphins, painful sensations are kept outside of conscious awareness. It was found that exercise causes endorphins to be secreted in the brain and as a result produce a feeling of power, as psychologist Alex Korb noted in his book: “Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, neurotransmitters that act on your neurons like opiates (such as morphine or Vicodin) by sending a neural signal to reduce pain and provide anxiety relief.”[5] By inhibiting pain from being transmitted to our brain, exercise acts as a powerful antidote to the pain caused by rejections and breakups.

Meditation

Jon Kabat Zinn, a doctor who pioneered the use of mindfulness meditation therapy for patients with chronic pain, has argued that it is not pain itself that is harmful to our mental health, rather, it is the way we react to pain. When we react to pain with irritation, frustration, and self-pity, more pain is generated, and we enter a never ending spiral of painful thoughts and sensations.

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In order to disrupt the domino effect caused by reacting to pain with pain, Kabat Zinn and other proponents of mindfulness meditation therapy have suggested reacting to pain through nonjudgmental contemplation and acceptance. By practicing meditation on a daily basis and getting used to the habit of paying attention to the sensations generated by our body (including the painful ones and by observing these sensations nonjudgmentally and with compassion) our brain develops the habit of reacting to pain with grace and patience.

When you find yourself thinking about a recent breakup or a recent rejection, close your eyes and pay attention to the sensations produced by your body. Take deep breaths and as you are feeling the sensations produced by your body, distance yourself from them, and observe them without judgment and with compassion. If your brain starts wandering and gets distracted, gently bring back your compassionate nonjudgmental attention to your body. Try to do this exercise for one minute and gradually increase its duration.

With consistent practice, nonjudgmental acceptance will become our default reaction to breakups, rejections, and other disappointments that we experience in life. Every rejection and every breakup teaches us great lessons about relationships and about ourselves.

Featured photo credit: condesign via pixabay.com

Reference

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