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Our 2016 tech highlights and 2017 predictions - Part 2

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Here’s Part 2 of our series asking tech experts to share their thoughts on 2016’s technology highlights and predictions for 2017’s ‘next big thing’.  

If you haven’t seen it, be sure to have a look at Part 1 as well.


Patrick Verryt, Head of Smart Cities/IoT at Spark Ventures


Tasked with commercialising the Internet of Things (IoT), Patrick and his team are problem solvers and he believes that the goal of every single moment is to learn by doing. He told us he’s got the best job in New Zealand.


Highlights of 2016


“My personal technology highlight is LPWA, which is low power, wide area network or low power WiFi. We’ve been trialling a product called LoRa, which stands for long range. It lets us bring to life devices that are battery enabled and have a very long in situ life, up to seven to 10 years, and can be located very far from base stations, up to 10’s of kilometres away or up to two metres below ground. It means we’ll be able to help customers track assets, people, animals, anything, using low power.”  

Key trends


  • Long range, low power devices will enable us to connect and track assets, people, animals, anything.


  • The rise of platform development and use means applications and solutions will be quicker to market.


  • Voice command products such as Siri, Google Home and Amazon Echo are going to become mainstream.


  • Companies will increase focus on their staff, through internal apps, communication programmes and ways to make the staff’s job easier.

Looking forward

“For me and my customers, the future of technology is platforms. We’re using one called ThingWorx. It’s a non-proprietary system and it’s the revolution of IoT. It can connect and take data from up to one million devices per second and has a self-learning algorithmic engine so it can start to predict outcomes. It means that applications and solutions can be created faster than manual coding or trying to connect separate frameworks. And our customers can build applications themselves, scaling and growing as necessary.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how New Zealand is going to embrace IoT technology and have a huge amount of optimism that people will move into a world where there isn’t a prescribed outcome.”


Kursten Shalfoon, Director at The Exponential Agency

Kursten’s on a mission to help organisations survive and thrive in the exponential world. He’s got deep media and telco experience as well as expertise across digital, ecommerce, ISP services, retail, and domestic and international FMCG.


Highlights of 2016

“Cloud computing and SaaS have come of age. The interfaces between large enterprise systems have also matured with new API frameworks, which seamlessly link systems. From a personal business point of view, this year Generator Consulting and three other consulting businesses merged to create a larger and more diverse business. We set up an integrated website, shared storage, project management, workflow, CRM and financials all for less than $250 per month, and it’s connected, scalable and just works.”


Looking forward

Moving ahead, Kursten sees four major trends:

  1. Mobile mobile mobile – the prediction is that 75% of all traffic will be mobile next year.
  2. He loves the fact that you can now start up a new business or business line in the time it takes traditional businesses to write a business case.
  3. Voice command products such as Siri, Google Home and Amazon Echo are going to become mainstream.
  4. AR, wearables, IoT and distributed blockchain services are the next wave of devices and capabilities that will create an entirely new platform for value and place demands on computing that finally warrant huge bandwidth everywhere.


Paul Quickenden, CEO of Putti

Paul creates and manages products that enable New Zealanders to succeed in a digital world. He’s particularly interested in driving growth, startups and innovation.


Highlights of 2016

“I think there were three stand out highlights this year. The advent of Pokémon Go, while not using anything radically new, showed to the world the power of augmented reality. Sure it was a fad, but now a global population of people can see how it works and that will drive more real use cases."

“The second was the latest Amazon Web Services (AWS) invent event. Amazon continues to drive technology democratisation with its cloud offerings. The potential scenarios that things like Lamda bring are quite staggering.

“Finally we are starting to see (or not in some cases) more and more adoption of machine learning, AI and chatbots. Some of these are happening very publicly, others we aren’t even seeing.”


Looking ahead

 “Building on these trends, machine learning will become more commonplace and companies will start using it in more public use cases.“And we will see companies increasingly focus on their staff, as well as their customers, through things like internal apps, communication programmes and ways to make the staff’s job easier - not more productive - but easier.”


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What’s next for you?

If you’d like to find out more about any of the technologies mentioned here or want to discuss how technology can lead to greater things for your business, get in touch. We’re keen to chat about ideas and strategy to better connect you with your team and your customers.


If you haven’t seen it, please read Our 2016 Highlights and 2017 Predictions - Part 1 for more expert insight.



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Our 2016 tech highlights and 2017 predictions - Part 1

We asked a number of New Zealand tech-related experts to share their thoughts on the technology that made a difference in 2016, and what's on the horizon for 2017.

Learn More
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