Technology is constantly evolving and becoming a bigger part of our lives. From a vague and nascent entity to the one that is widely accepted, we are used to having technology all around us. Today everything and everyone are so well connected and online that it is hard to think how we ever coped without it.
Considering the progress that we see, it is hard to predict how the world will play out in the future but here are a few thoughts on the important trends in technology that will take root or go mainstream in 2016.
Everything that can be connected will be connected. Today, smartphones are thecentral data gathering point. Can you believe that on average a person checks a smartphone 150 times a day? Soon we will be creating data with not just our smartphones but with our clothing, wearable technology, smart cars and smart homes – everything connected through the phone. If a smartphone offers hundreds of highly individual insights every day, we’re yet to tap into other invisible sensors around us – in our homes, wearables, clothes, and everyday appliances. A refrigerator that orders groceries when running low is no longer the realm of science fiction. All this will become possible – thanks to Wi-Fi chips in almost everything around us.
With connectivity comes more threat
From extremely private photographs of graphic nature on celebrities’ smartphones to credit card information stored by retailers online, everything seems to be increasingly susceptible to being stolen by determined hackers. There is an urgent need for improving security and privacy, especially on smartphones, and online services will need to drastically step up their game this coming year.
Decline in ownership
If 2015 was the year “sharing economy” became a catch phrase, 2016 will see it go mainstream everywhere. Vacation homes, cars, luxury private jets, even dogs – why buy them when you can rent? We’re approaching an era of Uber for everything!
Use of technology for more growth
Consumerisation of enterprise software will get more mainstream this year – companies are investing in small, focused software-as-a-service (SaaS) products for improving productivity and processes rather than spending years investing in huge, complex applications. A lot of knowledge continues to get translated into nifty products every day – especially marketing and community tools – and companies will continue using more and more such products to fuel growth in the coming year.
Most travellers believe that their smartphones are very important for their trips. Millennials prefer to get a personalised service as offered by many apps today. Travel companies with mobile apps for facilities such as check in, menu and other services are a plus. Perfect for the mobile traveller.
People need strong motivation to break their habits, which is well understood by companies today. More and more companies understand the need to incorporate lucrative referral programmes to maximise usage and generate loyal customers.
Dynamic pricing is a trend that we’ll be seeing even more in 2016. Also referred to as real-time pricing, it is an approach to set costs for a product or service in a flexible manner depending on the market demand and profile of the customer.
If you have attended a concert (or even a fancy wedding) recently, chances are you have spotted a drone hovering over your head taking videos of the event. Drones have suddenly gone mainstream – from delivering packages for Amazon to search-and-rescue operations in hostile environments. While authorities are yet to figure out how to support this innovation while regulating it in the interest of safety – drones are getting cheaper, more sophisticated and more powerful every day.
Virtual reality and Google cardboard
Virtual reality is something we already see implemented on smaller items and services but imagine this being taken to new heights – with restaurants using virtual reality hardware to show you how dishes look before you’ve placed the order, or a serviced apartments provider showing you everything in the apartment you plan to stay in prior to your stay. Walking through a hotel or destination before booking will no longer be science fiction.
Any trends I missed? What do you think is next in technology?