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happy-new-year-1912680_960_720Industry research firm Gartner, Inc. is out with its top predictions for 2017 (and beyond) focused on three fundamental effects of continued digital innovation: experience and engagement, business innovation, and the secondary effects that result from increased digital capabilities.

“Gartner’s top strategic predictions continue to offer a provocative look at what might happen in some of the most critical areas of technology evolution,” explained Daryl Plummer, managing vice president, chief of research and Gartner Fellow. “At the core of future outcomes is the notion of digital disruption, which has moved from an infrequent inconvenience to a consistent stream of change that is redefining markets and entire industries.”

“Last year, we said digital changes were coming fast,” Plummer added. “This year the acceleration continues and may cause secondary effects that have wide-ranging impact on people and technology.”

One prediction: by 2020, 100 million consumers will shop in augmented reality — a development spurred in part by Pokémon GO.

“The popularity of augmented reality (AR) applications, such as Pokémon GO, will help bring AR into the mainstream, prompting more retailers to incorporate it into the shopping experience. As mobile device usage becomes an ingrained behavior, further blurring the lines between the physical and digital worlds, brands and their retail partners will need to develop mechanisms to leverage this behavior to enhance the shopping experience.”

And here’s another interesting prediction: by 2020, 30 percent of web browsing sessions will be done without a screen.

“New audio-centric technologies, such as Google Home and Amazon’s Echo, are making access to dialogue-based information ubiquitous and spawning new platforms based on “voice-first” interactions,” according to Gartner’s report. “By eliminating the need to use ones’ hands and eyes for browsing, vocal interactions extend the utility of web sessions to contexts such as driving, cooking, walking, socializing, exercising, and operating machinery. As a result, the share of waking hours devoid of instant access to online resources will approach zero.”

In addition, Gartner predicts that by 2019, 20 percent of brands will abandon their mobile apps. Want to know more about that potential development? Click here.

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