2015 was the fastest, tallest, most exciting year ever… We found water on Mars, we can print robotic prosthetic limbs and we finally got ahead of Marty Mcfly in Back to the Future, meaning we’re officially in the future. However, if you thought last year was a blast, wait until we tell you what you can expect as far as tech trends in 2016!
Hold on to your hi-hats folks, because here comes Bivine’s top ten trends and techs for the year ahead.
1. Roll-up screens. No this isn’t the 50’s and we’re not talking about the kitchen blinds. In 2016 we’ll be able to simply open up our TVs or our Computer Monitors, roll them out and put them up on our walls like a poster. The space saving elements are obvious, but taking the technology further means we might see wearable screens on T-shirts and even shopping bags.
2. AR and VR. If 2016 will be remembered for one technological leap it will probably be a virtual one (not forgetting augmented). Virtual and augmented reality are predicted to become a reality this year. 2016 could well be remembered as the year we all stuck black plastic boxes to our foreheads and with our arms outstretched, uttered oooh and aaah noises as we swim with virtual sharks, not really ride space roller-coasters and fight zombies. Everyone knows about the Occulus Rift headset, but this year the US pioneers will have real competition from Samsung, Sony, HTC and newcomers Aura Visor.
3. Sharing and collaborative economy. The more astute among you may already have noticed that Bidvine are clearly at the head of this new trend. Seriously though, experts are predicting a shift to a more barter-style economy. Imagine your neighbour Mr. Jones painting your living room for you on Tuesday in exchange for you wearing his company’s video to work next week or feeding his virtual plants.
4. The internet of things. Somehow this clunky nickname has stuck and is being applied to everything from switching the heat on while you’re on your way home to completely revolutionising the way we use online technology. Basically if it exists, in 2016 there will be a smart version of it. Which judging by the way things turn out in the Terminator movie franchise, might not be smartest thing we’ve ever come up with.
5. 3D Printing and the rise of the fast fabricators. It’s easy to imagine a time when 3D printers will become household items. There are libraries on the internet where you can download 3D designs of everything from curtain hooks to replacement limbs. It’s possible to make things you need at home on your own printer rather than having to go out and buy them. The truth is this ‘new tech’ is actually the exact opposite and the only reason these mass fabricators are appearing at all is because their patents and licenses from the past are beginning to expire!
6. Wearable tech. Smartwatches and other wearable tech made a splash in 2015, but in 2016 we can expect them to make a tsunami. In 2016 gizmos and gadgets are going to get lighter, cheaper and smarter. Will 2016 be the year Google perfect their iconic glasses? They recently took the Google Glass social media accounts offline, which could be a sign that they are working on radical improvements in the background or that they consider the product a flop. We’ll have to wait and see what’s next.
7. Drones. Oddly sci-fi never saw this one coming, but the little helicopters are here to stay, which is evidenced by the shier number of Christmas drone fail videos that hit YouTube in the holiday season. In 2016 we’ll see drones for delivery, marketing and even a new sport. Drone racing, to be fair, does actually look amazing.
8. Smart vehicles. It may be too soon for driver-less cars, but energy-efficient lighter personal vehicles certainly seem like they are going to be appearing on our streets sooner rather than later. As a matter of fact, London is already allowing a list of smart cars to be exempt from the congestion charges to get people to invest into less harmful ways of transportation.
9. Wisdom of the crowd funders. We’ve already seen the rise of rewards based Kickstarter and equity based crowd funding like Seedrs. 2016 will see the trend continue, with every thing from car insurance to house building being fronted by the mass market buying power of the crowd.
10. Good game. Video games have been big news since the late 70’s, but 2016 could be the year they start giving something back to society. Software developers and academics have come together and are working on video games designed to help people with mental illness and learning difficulties.
Do you have any suggestions for tech trends in 2016 you think we missed?
If you liked this article, check out our blog post on “inventions that are back from the dead!”