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Top Technology Trends to Observe in 2017: MIC
December 07, 2016

1In the high-tech industries, IoT (Internet of Things) has become the mainstream. "The market demand derived from IoT applications has thus become a new battlefield to bring about changes in the industry landscape and technology trends, which are believed to be the highlights in 2017," says Vic Chou, the Director with Taipei-based Market Intelligence and Consulting Institute. Meanwhile, the new economy driven by internet innovative services is taking shape. MIC has grouped next year's top 10 technology trends for the high-tech industries from industry, technology/product, and service perspectives.

  • Vertical integration
  • New development process
  • ArtificiaI Intelligence 
  • Blockchain
  • AR/VR
  • 360-degree video
  • Commercial drone
  • Bot economy
  • Platform economy
  • Internet celebrity economy

Industry Trends

Vertical Integration

Upon entering the age of IoT, the cross-border competition has become more intense as the market boundaries have become blurrier. For those with a relatively large customer base, they have adopted more aggressive M&A strategies to secure their dominance. In addition, they have shifted from horizontal to vertical integration, covering data collection and assessment for application-specific data. The vertical integration aims at creating integrated value that goes beyond expectations.

New Development Process

Under the demand-driven trends in the age of IoT, standard products are no longer able to meet market demands. For this reason, the high-tech industries have begun to forge alliances, establish standards, and build ecosystems. The differences between various alliances in terms of standards remain significant and uniting them all together in the short run is virtually impossible. Therefore, some have shifted to develop board-level kits to customize standard products and services with new development process in order to lure more developers and eventually expand industry ecosystems.

Technology/Product Trends

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence came 60 years ago but it is not until recent that it has made a leap in growth. Owing to the improved CPU performance and maturity of cloud-based services, AI technology has become increasingly popular in recent years. Hence, International brands such as Google, Microsoft, and IBM have made aggressive move to share their platform resources so as to speed up the development of applications across sectors. Ultimately, they aim to capture a greater share of the market and secure their market dominance.


The blockchain technology, a distributed database that maintains a growing list of records called blocks, was designed as a core component of the digital currency bitcoin. As the blockchain has distributed, P2P, open and transparent characteristics, the World Economic Forum reckons it will be one of the approaches to drive the fourth industrial revolution. All leaders across industries and governments around the world have made aggressive investments into it with an attempt to develop cross-border digital value transfers. By doing so, they aim to build a world-class value chain ecosystem and create value-added opportunities.


Since VR software is yet to reach maturity, there are still a number of VR brands rushing into this area. Google and Microsoft have stepped into and are likely to be major players in the software/hardware and platform development of Mobile VR and PC VR to help the market be more price-friendly and widespread. Meanwhile, some vendors in Taiwan have expanded their investments in VR. For instance, Taiwanese HTC has developed a new wireless transmission technology to boost VR development.

360-degree Video

With video technology making significant breakthroughs, there are more 360-degree video products hitting the market. Coupled with the effort of digital content and social platform service providers, 360-degree videos have become trendy. In the future, it will likely to bring opportunities for GPU, video player, video editing, data storage, digital content platform, and camera companies.

Commercial Drone

Since the commercial drone is highly concentrated in the hands of Chinese DJI, other drone manufacturers have refocused on developing commercial drones for specific uses. They have succeeded in attracting brands like Intel and AT&T to invest. In the past two years, the commercial drone market has expanded from energy, agriculture, and real estate to telecommunications, and gaming sectors. Nowadays, drones have are being leveraged from just being toys or flying cameras. Other than internet connections, commercial drones now have better imaging, sensing, and data analytics capabilities. It now becomes one of major connected IoT devices in the vertical market.

Service Trends

Bot Economy

To fill the order gap between peak and off-peak season and meet the demand for small-volume, high-variety and flexible production of SMEs, robot manufacturers such as ABB and Kawasaki have separately developed their own cooperative robots with a new rental business model to increase customers' willingness to purchase. Customers no need to make a full upfront payment for robots and can have production lines set up at a faster pace.

On top of that, chatbot has become popular as the cost derived from app development and promotion is getting higher with relatively low use rates. The combination of chatbot and communications software helps provide users the services that they are familiar with to create opportunities. After Microsoft, Facebook, and Line making their contribution, the ecosystem of chatbot is taking share and is likely to become a new mainstream user interface.

Platform Economy

Owing to the advancement in cloud technology, establishing a platform is getting easier. Through the platform to connect with partners, the online marketing influence will be enhanced as it will lower the entry barriers and costs. The rise of Uber and Airbnb are the proven cases how enterprises change their competition law and business model. Platform economy is going to be trendy for new startups in the future ahead.

Internet Celebrity Economy

The growing popularity of social media has contributed to the rise of self-made internet celebrities industry where young online influencers will share original content and live-streaming to the social media to interact with fans. These internet celebrities have attracted a number of brokers and investors and become their investment targets. For instance, Papi Jiang, an Internet celebrity who became famous by posting satirical videos on social media sites, received 12 million yuan (USD 1.8 million) in venture capital this March. Super Angel Funds announced that they will foster 100 internet celebrities within 3 years.

To see more about this report, please visit: Robots in Industries: Patent Analysis and Business Opportunities, Artificial Intelligence: Latest Development and Major Vendors' Patent Deployment, Development Trends of Augmented Reality Smartglasses

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About MIC

Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC), based in Taipei, Taiwan, was founded in 1987. MIC is Taiwan's premier IT industry research and consulting firm providing intelligence, in-depth analysis, and strategic consulting services on global IT product and technology trends, focusing on markets and industries in Asia-Pacific. MIC is part of the Institute for Information Industry.