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7 Smart Technologies of 2017

7 Smart Technologies of 2017

It is safe to state that technology and technological advancements are extremely unpredictable. Each new year brings with it new and exciting innovations and gadgetry with the common goal of simplifying our lives. We have seen great additions over the past several years, with some being more significant than others.

Software plays a huge role in the advancement of technology. Most of the hardware devices that are developed are dependent on the correct software to perform to their full potential. A great example of this is a computer connected to the internet. It would be utterly useless without operating systems and search engines that enable it access information from a variety of sources on the web.

What Does 2017 Hold for Smart Technology?

Software of the Future

A lot of time and money is being spent on software development. Gartner, the world’s leading information technology research advisory company, predicts that the following advances will take shape in 2017:

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  • Enterprise software funding will increase by 6.8%.
  • Associated devices will see a 0.15% rise.
  • There will be a 2.7% rise in overall IT spending, which includes communication services and data center systems.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

    The VR and AR trend is gearing up for productivity and growth in 2017. Industries dealing with technology in Virtual and Augmented Reality will thrive. Gartner predicts that the following will happen:

    • Apple will enter the augmented reality arena with its iPhone 8 camera.
    • With Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus, the company will incorporate aspects of virtual reality into its social media services.
    • Snap Inc. is gearing up to release spectacles that will not only capture content but also display the content within their lenses.

    Gaming

    The gaming industry is set to have a fulfilling year in 2017, especially with the advancement in virtual and augmented reality. New games are being developed and released every other month. Gixel.com believes we can expect the following during the year:

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    • The new Nintendo Switch, a hybrid handheld/console expected to be launched soon.
    • More big games, especially those frequently featured on PCs, are expected to be adapted for phones.
    • Resident Evil, Mass Effect, Halo Wars and Tom Clancy’s Ghost will all have new, more attractive editions that should pull in more gaming enthusiasts.

    Telepresence

    Put simply, this is the ability to seem to be in two places at once. Telepresence is on the road to becoming more popular, and 2017 might just be the year this happens. All the components needed to make it a success are in place. This will be a great development in the medical field and in major business corporations. You will be able to hold a boardroom meeting with attendants located in two or three distant parts of the world.

    Chatbots

    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella believes that human language is the future of technology. He states, “In this new wave of technology, conversation is the new interface and bots are the new apps.” 2017 seems to be the year of chatbots, with many companies starting to develop them. The capital outlay of such an endeavour is huge, and the projections of long term gains are even bigger. Chatbots will have an enormous impact on customer service, and they may add a digit to unemployment by causing layoffs.

    Smartphones

    2016 saw many new smartphones released, with some having an explosive effect on the market. This occurs every year, and 2017 might actually see an uptick in this. We can look forward to some amazing and exciting newcomers to the smartphone market, such as:

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    • A surprise newcomer in the Blackberry Mercury.
    • Microsoft also has a surprise in store with what is currently known as the Surface phone. Name is still undetermined.
    • LG is rumoured to be launching a follow-up to the very successful G6 and the G7.
    • One of the most highly anticipated new arrivals in 2017 is from Samsung. It is rumoured that the technology giant will launch the first ever foldable smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy X will boast a flexible 4K display with the following advantages:
      • No pocket dialling.
      • A smaller handset that could fit anywhere once folded.

    These innovations should increase smartphone sales and attract a large pool of consumers.

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    Image Credits:

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    Oculus Virtual Reality Via Pixabay

    Featured photo credit: Pexels.com via pexels.com

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    Published on September 20, 2018

    11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

    11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

    In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

    Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

    In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

    Minimizing Tabs

    Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

    Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

    Incognito Mode

    Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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    1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
    2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
    3. Download extension New Incognito Window

    This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

    Save Webpages as PDF Files

    Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

    Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

    Open Recently-closed Tabs

    Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

    One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

    The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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    Solve Mathematical Problems

    Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

    For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

    Play Media Files

    Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

    In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

    Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

    With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

    Stay Focus(e)d

    Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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    Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

    With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

    This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

    Grammarly for Editing

    Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

    You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

    Loom

    There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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    There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

    With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

    Chrome Calendar Extension

    No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

    Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

    Final Thoughts

    Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

    Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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