Top 10 Tech Trends for 2016

A young man experiments with the AR technology Oculus Rift
A young man experiments with the AR technology Oculus Rift

One exciting area to think about as we conclude one year and head into a new one, is what the technology trends will be for the upcoming year. There are so many interesting and compelling advancements in technology at the moment and so much promise. With nanotechnology, 3D printing and the Internet of Things beginning to make their mark, it is difficult to guess what will come next. Luckily, Juniper Research has taken some of the guess work out of it by preparing a top tech trends for 2016 guide. Their predicted trends for the upcoming year are:

1. Virtual Reality

it is believed that next year will be a ground breaking year for this emerging technology. A great deal of investment has been expended and a lot of energy has been focused on this industry. It is anticipated that over the upcoming several years there will be considerable uptake of solutions in this area. This is likely to be particularly impactful in the entertainment industry, but it will also have ramifications for healthcare and industry.

2. Consumer Robotics

2015 has already been a big year for this field, and it is reported that a robot called Pepper was launched on the market in June in Japan and this was sold immediately – in fact, Juniper reports that 1,000 were sold out in 60 seconds. New models are also emerging, such as Buddy, a robot touted to interact and connect with family members.

3. Wearables hit the workplace

We have already seen wearables like Apple Watch and Google Glass enter the consumer market, but in 2016 it is anticipated that wearables will start entering the workplace. It is expected that government agencies, law enforcement, customer services and the logistics sectors are going to be big targets for wearables. Wearables are touted to be able to increase productivity by 30%. It will be interesting to see if they come through on that.

4. 5G

With 4G seeming as if it only just launched yesterday, anyway 5G is just around the corner. There are reportedly plans to test a 5G network in Holland, and some of the big companies in this sector like Huawei, Ericsson and KPN are already involved. Verizon Wireless is planning to field test 5G and aims to put actual services onto the market by 2017.

5. Devices and platforms

It is argued that with Windows 10, Microsoft has enabled the possibility of many devices and one platform to become a reality. Apple is also working on similar approaches. It is believed that cross platform integration will be progressed in 2016.

6. Hybrid Console and Cloud Games

In the gaming industry, it is expected that Nintendo will release NX, a new console. This console is widely expected to be a hybrid, meaning that it will “enable handheld, presumably portable games alongside at home console games.” This will require a greater integration with cloud solutions, to reduce the problems related to cost of the solution and worries about battery power.

7. Blockchain and the finance industry

Blockchain is starting to become more of interest to financial institutions which are looking at ways that they can take up this technology for some tasks such as securities trading. UBS and Deutsche Bank are big players in this area.

8. eSports and a new games revenue

eSports has become very popular, and this is where people watch games tournaments on live streams. Such tournaments may sometimes offer very large prize pools. A recent championship held in London attracted more than 30 million global viewers, leading to the idea that premium streams can be introduced. This is expected to occur in the upcoming year.

9. New types of security

Security is increasingly becoming a concern for both individuals and businesses, and it is anticipated that work on solutions will ramp up in 2016. New approaches are being developed, and these will be needed for the Internet of Things. One such approach uses monitoring network activity for software security, which is a new development away from the past approaches.

10. Crowdfunding

It is anticipated that crowdfunding will be increasingly used for funding start ups in the tech industry. Figures for tech businesses raising funds in this way are expected to double in 2016, compared to the £16 billion raised this way in 2014.