This article was written by TCS Contributor Takudzwa Gezi
2017 was a very interesting year for the Tech industry. It was indeed a mixture of “the good, the bad, and the ugly”. Below is a review of some of 2017’s top tech champions and losers.
UBER’S DOWNWARD SPIRAL
One might perceive Uber as an innovative global taxi firm. Having started out as a tech driven startup, it is now valued at nearly $70bn. However, this successful story of rags to riches has recently been overshadowed by Uber’s downfall which has unfortunately been linked to the firm compromising its own cultural values.
For most of the year, the tech taxi firm has been steering down the wrong lane.
Early February this year, the company’s employees made a series of allegations about the unethical culture at Uber. Some employees even aired complaints about sexual harassment which saw over 20 employees fired after an internal investigation. To make matters worse, despite being a company that prides itself in ‘diversity’, after the release of its first diversity report in March 2017, Uber was found to have employed an overwhelmingly white male workforce. Uber’s new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, an Iranian-American businessman, is now tasked with the challenge of repairing the company’s damaged position.
THE RISE OF FAKE NEWS (FACEBOOK & TWITTER)
Facebook and Twitter have been in the centre of the ‘fake news’ propaganda after deliberate misinformation was spread across social media throughout 2017. The highlight of this case has been the Russian interference in the EU referendum and US presidential election where Facebook and Twitter were used as vehicles to spread false information.
Facebook and Twitter have been accused of being vehicles of the ‘fake news’ propaganda.
“Facebeook identified 470 accounts and pages run by the Russian Internet Research Agency, while Twitter provided Congress with a list of 2,752 accounts that it believed were linked to the organisation.”
Facebook has pointed out that by 2018, it will be using its ‘Related Articles’ tool to monitor misinformation in the ‘News feed’ section, thus reducing the frequency in which an article with deceptive information is shared.
THE RISE OF SMART HOME TECHNOLOGIES
Smart home technologies are one aspect of the Tech industry that have been booming throughout 2017. With the market growing rapidly, Smart homes are no longer limited to tech geeks.
With features such as smart security cameras, residents can monitor their homes whilst they are away or on vacation.
The NPD Group, an American market research company, have claimed that “15% of American households with an internet connection now own a home automation device” which is up from 10% in April 2016.
January 2017 saw various Smart home startups such as Flo Technologies showcase their technologies at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Some of this cutting-edge technology included internet home accessories such as; light bulbs, thermostats, and security cameras, which are now integrated with voice-powered assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa.
NINTENDO HITS BACK WITH THE NEW SWITCH CONSOLE
After the failure of the Wii U game console, the Japanese game company has hit the nail on the head with the new Nintendo Switch which debuted this year. With this new gadget, you don’t have to adjust your lifestyle to play games, instead, the console adjusts to fit around your lifestyle. This is illustrated by its inherent flexibility, with the gadget having 3 play modes; TV mode, Tablet Mode, and Handheld mode.
The Nintendo Switch is the seventh major video game console developed by the Japanese giant.
The Nintendo Switch has been a hit, to the extend that the Japanese giant has sold over 10 million Switch consoles since March, whereas the Wii U only sold 4 million units in its first 10 months.
It has certainly been an interesting year for technology. But with Technology companies continually considering unconventional and innovative ways to meet the demands of the savvy consumer, who will be 2018’s biggest champions and losers?
LinkedIn: Takudzwa Gezi