With the influx of drones and more accessible Virtual Reality technology, 2016 will mean busier skies and more gadgets.
Take drones for example. Although most people who now use drones adhere to safety and proper radio frequency use, regulation is predicted to be one of the biggest challenges for this technology in the coming year. The hope is that drones will soon fly more quickly and cheaply than helicopters ever could, and could aid with health care -- such as having drone ambulances deliver supplies to paramedics on site. However, drones are only part of the puzzle of trends for next year. The following are a few tech trends that are set to define tech in 2016.
Although the debate of whether or not Virtual Reality (VR) will take off next year continues, what is certain is that VR has taken great leaps recently. The ability to feel touch through VR devices is just one of major innovations that engineers are already tackling in this field. Read more about what Lolay has to say on this topic here.
Sony, Oculus, Samsung, Facebook and Apple are just some of the companies either investing in or devising new VR tech for 2016. PlayStation even wants to eliminate the problem of having to rely on the capacity and graphics of your PC to experience VR and is innovating with its “PlayStation VR,” the only system designed for consoles that ensures users get a consistent experience not reliant on the different processing powers of their devices.
These are “lighthouses” now commonly installed in malls, museums, hotels, airports and even offices that can track exact locations of a smartphone or smartwatch wearer and send real-time notifications.
2016 is expected to bring Bluetooth-powered beacons that will use data at large to seamlessly integrate into our daily lives. For example, whereas now Bluetooth beacons have mostly been used for mobile commerce, this tech will soon expand out into the Internet of Things sphere. Soon, notifications of train and airplane delays will be received through this route as well as hands-free payments and indoor mapping that follows you around and activates automatically. Apple and Google are expected to be the leaders in this industry next year.
The Internet of things is growing and millions of devices are already generating huge amounts of data. It’s estimated that 40 billion smart devices will be online by 2020. As for 2016, more talent and strategic analytics will be needed in this year and the number of job hirings in this field will go up. The top five industries hiring big data-related expertise include Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, Information Technologies, Manufacturing, Finance and Insurance and Retail Trade.
Advanced Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are going to get intense in the next year. We can safely expect systems that function more like human brains than machines. Currently, technologies offered by Google can now collect information and learn based upon it.
In the coming year, much of the initial analysis typically that requires a human can be expected to be delegated to a machine. Speaking of automation, perhaps the most prominent example of this will be the autonomous driving car which works by leveraging learnings from autonomous cars that have been used within controlled environments for years. Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates is an example of such an environment and the new Google car project is an example of such innovation.
Cyber Security: Like Never before
It wasn’t just consumer credit cards that were hacked this year and signaled to the world at large our need to enhance security protocols. It was also the Ashley Madison hack and the fact that ISIS terrorists were able to use encrypted app message channels to plan their attacks on France and Lebanon. 2015 was definitely the year of security breaches… and consequences.
As a result, 2016 is expected to bring the convergence of cyber and analytics that will enable the new detection of adversaries. The usage of cloud-based services and open API usage has also increased, making the need for adaptive security higher.
Businesses will build security into all their processes and more tools will be available for leveraging predictive modeling -- systems that allow apps to protect themselves. The death of the antivirus software is here and we will only be hearing about self-protecting applications from now on. The following are just some trends in cybersecurity of next year:
Phising will become popular again
Monitoring will increase
Increased protection on machine learning and wearables
Wearables: Personalized technology that is actually useful
This year brought an increased number of sensors embedded in many technologies and devices that we use for work and fun, and 2016 will bring even more. Devices like fitbit for fitness and smartwatches that complement our daily tasks are becoming smarter as they gather more data on our daily patterns. Soon these sensors will work with all of our belongings (car, house, phone, and computer) on a more synchronized note and will actually facilitate our daily tasks.
Apple, with its AppleWatch and Samsung with its new line of circuit boards that can be used for fitness trackers (and other things) are among the leaders in wearables for next year.
Although not a new trend, 3D printing is set to become more mainstream in the coming year now that Tesla is using it to build engine parts and that SpaceX is using it for rocket parts as well. NASA is expected to soon start using this tech to allow astronauts print needed tools while in outer space.
Another exciting area of research for 3D printing is food printing. ChefJet, for example, can print in chocolate and sugar and ChocoByte prints custom 3D solid chocolate bars. Natural Machines’ Foodini can print both pasta and pizza. Bioprinting is another area, and the aim is to be able to soon print food dot by dot to build up edible meals. The goal here is to eliminate production chains and to be able to better provide gel nutrients to populations in states of emergency or need.