Predictions for the year ahead in Tech – 2016

 In News and Events, Tech Tuesday
Every “Tech Blog” going around and it’s fair to say most of the “non-tech” ones too, like to give you a snap shot of what the year ahead (in technology) promises.
Many of them are surprisingly accurate, while others like to take a stab and painting a picture of a seemingly far off unachievable future,  just it would seem, to make you feel inadequate and behind the times.
There are always dozens hundreds of technologies that seem poised to “take off” at any minute, and an equal number of pundits willing to explain to us, passionately, why the technology in their corner is bound to be the next big thing. But they never all go mainstream do they?
Some of the tips from last year that certainly hit the mark would be:
Droids – everyone was talking about Droids, and with low price units coming out of China, they have certainly gained popularity amongst many hobbiests. They haven’t achieved the mainstrean adoption from business that many predicted however it could be argued, 2015 did see them become a household name, not beyond gift consideration for the common man.
Personal Fitness Trackers – these have moved from the downloaded app on your phone and the awkward arm band, to the inconspicuous arm band (or Watch) that provides you with far more info that your iPhone ever could.
And where did they miss the mark:
Wearable Tech – this still has not managed to overcome the Nerd factor. No matter how cool you try to make the Google Glass or the Bluetooth Ear Piece look, they are still for geeks. (Sorry.)
Digital Assistants. Cool, but not yet.  Siri, Google Now,  Cortana, or Alexa are not yet running our lives. These “products” are all getting better, for sure. Google Now has amazed me at times. Even scared me a little – I get the coolness factor, but they have not imposed themselves as many predicted, just yet. (And is just me, or does Cortana look like something that just stepped off the set of the Stepford Wives?)
So some tips for technology that will move into our lives this year? The “hits” quite often just sneak up on us with no fanfare,  and just impose themselves, as if by stealth – watch for the following in 2016 :-
Rationalisation of Online streamed Entertainment. Netflix, Stan et al are still finding their feet outside of the US and are still in the early adopter phase. The range of products offered by such services can extend beyond Movies and TV to music and podcasting and soon, services currently provided by the likes of Spotify, Apple (Music), Podcasting production companies (such as NPR and Gimlet) can naturally combine and be provided by one of these  entertainment streaming companies, and we’ll all start to realise the value in them. Look out Foxtel – it’s time to go!
Home Automation – because home automation as a concept has already received widespread adoption in various forms, this area is set to skyrocket on the back of technological and mass production advances in the coming 12 months. Many, many more of us will have aspects of our home automated in the coming 12 months – many of those who have not yet even considered it.
Social Media.  Really? Social Media? Hardly a big call that! It’s been pretty pervasive for about 6 years now right? Sure. But as people become disillusioned with Facebook controlling their news feed, Social Media is ready to be disrupted. The disruption of the disruptor. As 4G technology evolves too, we are ready to see a change in the way we socialise, online. Video, rationalisation and merging of all the channels and further online automation can really unify the various online services and become all about the message and communication and less about the service used.
And the flop for 2016? IoT.  The Internet of Things!  We are promised so much about this. It will happen, But this time next year, we’ll still be waiting…. the general populous is not yet ready for Internet connected Fridges, Cars and eye wear. One Day for sure.
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