Discover technology: 9 trends for 2016
Published 06/11/2015 | 15:41
Next year is set to be another milestone year in consumer technology trends. As the tech world gears up for the world’s biggest technology event in Las Vegas CES 2016, January 6-9 2016, we have a look at what might feature and what the coming trends will be.
We’ve teamed up with Tassimo who invite their customers to ‘Discover a World of Variety’. Looking forward to 2016, discover the hot technology trends coming your way with these forecasted tech trends.
Internet of things
We’ve been hearing about the Internet of Things for quite a while but it somehow still seems like a long way off. Next year could see a significant step toward actual realisation of a network of millions of objects with sensors with a network that can handle them. The problem with an Internet of Things is that hooking up a mobile broadband modem to every object would require huge amounts of power. French based company Sigfox specialises in connecting low power devices that don’t deal with large data streams. The network already covers Spain and France and is now set to rollout coverage in San Francisco and 10 other US cities. The network is not suitable for mobile phone but specialises in a device that would transmit small packets of data such as parking metres, moisture sensors in a greenhouse, or electricity meters.
From dishwashers, to fridges to coffee machines - some domestic appliances already feature built-in intelligence and this will continue as the world gears up for the Internet of Things. Tassimo Intellibrew™ system ensures that every hot beverage you make with their machines is made in exactly the right way. The machine automatically scans the barcode on each T DISC to obtain the information it needs to prepare your favourite drink: the amount of water, the brewing time, plus the optimum temperature. All you have to do is touch a button and enjoy your espresso, cappuccino, hot chocolate or herbal tea served to perfection.
3D printing materials
3D printing is here to stay and will revolutionize the manufacturing industry in the next 20 years. 2016 will see an expansion and refinement of the materials used in the 3D printing process both at commercial and consumer levels. Materials such as advanced nickel alloys, carbon fibre, glass, conductive ink, electronics, pharmaceuticals and biological materials will continue to impact on the automotive, biomedical, pharmaceutical, aerospace, military and energy industries. The ultimate benefit to you the consumer should be better services and goods at better prices.
Wearable fitness technology is expected to keep growing which is good news for fitness fanatics who love getting in-depth analysis of their performance but also good news for the likes of Fitbit, Jawbone and Microsoft Band with adoption of wearable fitness tech predicted to rise by 60% next year.
The smartwatch will continue to grow next year and with the Apple Watch having stolen a march on its competitors the rest of the pack will be looking to pull out the big guns. A greater choice and more simple apps for smart watches will see more and cheaper smartwatches on the market. The smartwatch won’t go away.
Which leads us into the realm of mobile payments. Apple has invested in mobile payment with Apple Pay so it will take off sooner rather than later. Wearable tech will have an impact on how people purchase as a contactless payment app is to hand on a smartwatch. Next year you can expect to see more retailers accept mobile payment as they are encouraged to upgrade their payment technology. The government’s budget announcement of an extra tax on cash withdrawal at ATMs shows a drive towards the cashless society. MasterCard have also announced that they want to put payment technology into millions of connected things and they say it’s coming in 2016.
Expect new electric car releases from nearly every major manufacturer as battery technology and 3D printing’s impact on the automotive industry trickles down to the consumer. More charging points in Ireland will result in a viable country-wide electric network, meaning there will be fewer obstacles to consumers going full electric. Petrol prices will continue to stay low but you’ll see more and more new car buyers going for EVs.
Most major car manufacturers remain committed to the self-driving car concept and next year will see some of them hitting the roads. The Ministry of Transportation in Ontario Canada has announced on-road testing starting 1st of January 2016. Japan will be going ahead with unmanned taxi services next year and Singapore are set to unleash self-driving buses on the streets.
Last year at CES saw the release flagship mobile devices from all the Android powered manufacturers, next year could see more economical smartphones from the likes of HTC and Motorola catching up as they are predicted to be so good that for most users they’ll be more than adequate. Smartphone enthusiasts will still plumb for the top of the line models, but even they will be distracted by wearable and smartwatches. 2016 could see the way you pay for your phone change as people will prefer to pay for a more affordable phone outright and then only pay for the service, rather than the discount rate model favoured thus far.
Virtual Reality was the big story at last year’s CES and this year will continue the trend. Sony’s Project Morpheus and its much talked about Move controllers could land early next year while Oculus Rift is preparing to release its consumer head-mounted display and Oculus Touch controllers. Gaming and experiential applications will lead the way as far as VR and AR are concerned and we’re still some way off VR in your car or home but development in that direction will continue apace.
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