With every new year comes a tsunami of trends and predictions for the ever-changing world of technology and by the looks of it, 2016 is going to be an exciting ride. Here are 10 things we’re looking forward to that will change how we do, well, just about everything.
1) Social Media Applications
Social Media apps are everything and are changing; in 2016, social media becomes the main hub for shaping consumer experiences. With 2 billion consumers owning smartphones in 2016, all of them downloading apps for social media – expect to see real-time, moment of truth (or lack of truth) content.
Awesome up and comer: Facebook at Work (FB@Work)
Currently in a pilot program with the Royal Bank of Scotland and its 100,000 employees, Facebook’s new plan to social network whole companies will be a game-changer when it launches worldwide, possible toward the end of next year.
2) 3D printers
In the coming years, 3D printing will allow people to instantly manufacture practically any physical item; you will be able to create and design items from apps on your phone and print them fully assembled and decorated. In the near future 3D printers will be able to print pharmaceuticals in your own home and there is the possibility that they will one day create living organs.
Appearing on the scene: The Cube
With the Cube, 3D printers are also becoming more affordable. Priced around $600, products like this one will start to make 3D printing ubiquitous in private homes.
3) Super Fast Chargers
Imagine being able to charge your phone in 30 seconds flat. You may be able to in 2016.
Making its debut: Storedot
Storedot has created a charger using organic compounds so powerful that it can charge a car in 3 minutes, so long AAA.
2016 just might be the year of the drone. This coming year will bring us drones that shoot 1080p up to 60fps, with digital stabilization. You can focus on what you’re doing and not worry about controlling your drone, since it will be following you via app.
Be on the lookout for: GoPro Drones
Quite a few drones in 2016 will be GoPro friendly, which is interesting since GoPro will be releasing its own drone in early 2016, which may use the new spherical camera mount that makes use of an array of 6 GoPro HERO cameras pointed in different directions to get an all-around capture.
5) Virtual Reality
With virtual reality devices entering the household market, anyone will be able to visit any part of the world and get there by flying the skies, minus the airplane. You can explore the depths of the ocean and experience the world as never before, all from your living room. This has especially far reaching potential for people who are not physically able to travel but will now be able to experience a world that they once could only dream about.
Coming soon: Oculus Rift
It will be in its final release in 2016 and has life-changing capabilities. VR future, here we come.
6) Next generation earbuds
If 2015 was the year of the headphone, 2016 just may be the year we get back to the earbud. Up until now, we had to choose between features like Bluetooth, in-ear, noise cancellation, waterproof, MP3 storage, etc. Next year, we get everything. Finally, we have the technology!
Changing the scene: Dash by Bragi
The Bragi Dash earbuds can play music from built-in storage or stream it Bluetooth from any app on your smartphone. They are noise cancelling and double as a fitness tracker. They have internal sensors measuring distance traveled, steps taken and the wearer’s pulse. And you can swim in them.
7) TV and Movie watching
The next frontier for media is here. Total immersion, Sci Fi style movie watching makes its debut in 2016.
Keep your eye out for: Avegant Glyph
This is a head mounted display with neatly built in headphones that promises to deliver a visual experience that you will have never had with a traditional television set. There is no screen. Instead, pictures are projected onto your eyes from a low- powered LED bulb that bounces the images off 2million tiny mirrors at the front of the headset and onto your pupils.
8) Smart Watches
So they’re not new to next year, but in 2016, wearables are finding their place and everyone wants in the market. Apple Watch 2 is set to release in 2016 and as usual will trump its predecessor with a new display and dynamic new features, but it will have some serious competition. The Huawei watch is smaller than most of its competitors thus making it sleek and classier with a stainless steel body and various leather strap color combinations. It too has the usual sensors on board as well as heart rate monitoring and for fitness smarts, and can tap into Jawbone’s UP. Moto 360,Tag Heuer, Sony, Kairos and a myriad of others also have smart watches breaking onto the market.
What to watch for (see what we did there?): Blocks
Blocks is a smartwatch concept that will allow users to pick and choose the features they want by adding function units to the band.
9) Smart Helmets
Skully has burst forth on the market with motorcycle helmets that are comparable to the heads-up-displays of fighter pilots helmets. They are Android powered pieces that give riders detailed road layouts, GPS mapping, rear camera views and speed/distance metrics.
Jibo is coming! The first friendly family robot is set to grace our presence in 2016. Jibo will focus on human engagement, bringing content, apps, and services to life beyond the flat screens we’re used to.
While many of these devices may take a little time to integrate into daily life, it’s easy to see looking ahead how technology and tech products will continue to become increasingly intertwined with our lives and work. More and more information will be stored in the cloud, to make it accessible to a host of new devices; new systems for managing multiple devices will be needed; and companies will have to give ever more thought to how to manage bring-your-own-device policies and work-from-home arrangements. The internet of things is growing. Are you ready? Are your work systems?