Here are some techno novelties that are likely to make headlines by New Year’s Eve – fortunately. At the beginning of the year, it is fashionable to try to guess what awaits us during the next revolution of the Earth around the Sun. A perilous exercise if it is one, especially in science and technology; Let us remember that not so long ago everyone predicted a bright future for 3D TV.

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So here are some technologies that were talked about in 2016, and a few others that may not be mature enough but could make waves one of these days.

Home Automation

Here is perhaps the application that will make the so-called “smart TV” a bit more than a low-end Netflix machine. Samsung recently announced that its 4K TVs SUHD be compatible with SmartThings technology, which the company bought in 2015. This technology allows to controlling 200 devices including security cameras, lighting systems, audio systems, etc.

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A SUHD TV can thus manipulate the environment of your home theater, adjust your heating and check who is ringing at the door by communicating with your other devices through your home network.

In 2016: LG has already announced a similar initiative and it would not be surprising that other manufacturers of televisions do the same or on an advanced level in 2017.

Google Fi

Here is a project that could revolutionize business practices in the field of mobile telephony.

A new generation of SIM cards developed by Google for a German company allows to instantly switch from one cellular network to another, or even to a Wi-Fi network, transparently to the user.

Are you arriving at home while making a call? The chip connects to your router and you pay no more minutes. The network of your usual supplier is not very solid on the road that leads you to the cottage? No problem, your phone connects to another network all by itself, even leaving it to a third if the traffic becomes too intense. You could pay your bill to Google who would distribute the amounts owed to Rogers, Videotron or Telus based on the time you spent on their networks.

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Obviously, a service like Fi fundamentally changes the business relationship between the owner of a smart phone and network operators. It is even fairly easy to imagine that a Google Fi-type SIM can negotiate its connection to a given network in real time, depending on the rates demanded by providers at a specific time of the day, and take advantage of instant discounts.

Photonic Microprocessors

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In 2016, a team of researchers from the University of Colorado, MIT and the University of California, Berkeley recently announced it had managed to produce a microprocessor that transmits information as light rather than in the form of Electrons. The processor in question only contains 70 million transistors, compared to billions of the current commercial chips, but it contains all the components of a modern computer system. Ultimately, a photonic processor could be 10 to 50 times faster than an electronic equivalent.