2017 could be the year several forms of technology disrupt operations across all industries, making it essential that startups are early adopters.

Let's take a look at two trends startups would be wise to capitalize on:

No. 1: Artificial intelligence 
Large companies have long relied upon artificial intelligence for years and now startups are onboarding the technology from the moment of conception, according to CIO.

Next year, expect an artificial intelligence revolution.

The pool of workers proficient working alongside AI equipment has expanded.This is due to more startups dabbling with the technology, along with colleges offering courses on AI to students. A larger number of workers with advanced AI knowledge will help companies develop products that should cultivate even more innovations. Among the biggest AI markets are consumer electronics, robots and autonomous vehicles. 

Those markets will join an area where AI is already featured. Consumers have been interacting with AI for a while due to personal assistants, and their usefulness should increase even more next year. Right now, AI helps users hail Uber rides or pay friends through Venmo​. As developers continue to push out APIs, startups can introduce even more useful features for users.

Personal assistants aren't just limited to phones, however.

The living room is quickly becoming the next battleground for consumers' dollars. Amazon and Google have released AI devices homeowners can use to ask questions, play music, create shopping lists or turn off lights.

And startups are also poised to enter consumers' homes early next year. According to VentureBeat, Google stated it will release a software development kit for its Google Assistant, which would open up the AI platform to third-party developers. Using this SDK, startups will be able to create and add bots that can add more functionality for users.

No. 2: Virtual and augmented reality
Virtual reality finally made its mark in 2016, and its here to stay. Oculus, HTC, Sony and Google all released affordable VR gear for users. Right now, VR is mostly limited to watching movies or playing games, but it won't be that way forever. CIO stated VR will become helpful in the workplace, as headsets can potentially increase collaboration between in-office workers and those working remotely. 

VR's cousin, augmented reality, has similarly been making its way into the mainstream at a slow pace. Startups have previously used the technology to help industrial workers, but as Pokemon Go showcased, AR has widespread appeal because it layers digital information over real world assets. Mobile phone users are going to seek more of those new experiences over time, and startups would be wise to create those applications or games.

Technology is always changing, and 2017 is shaping up to be the year when AI and digital realities really dominate headlines. 

Content presented by Bridge Bank, offering flexible, customized solutions for entrepreneurs.

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