2016: The year of Smart tech and industry disruption?

Making tech predictions is an educated guess at the best of times, as well as a bit of luck. Which essentially means that the things that hit the headlines may not exactly be the things that people had predicted at the beginning of the year, remember QR codes? Yeah me neither. With that being said there is a few major themes that there is such a buzz around, it seems that it’s only a matter of time that they become a part of our everyday lives.

Virtual Reality

When I ask people about the next emerging technology, VR is usually top of the list. So is it an easy answer to give or will it really be a thing where we can’t remember life without it in a few years’ time? Undoubtedly, Virtual Reality was the buzz topic of 2015 and certainly has been touted as being the breakout technology of 2016. After attending Web Summit back in November I wouldn’t have questioned that prediction because it was EVERYWHERE. According to research firm Juniper, about three million VR headsets will be shipped this year. That doesn’t seem to be an impressive quantity, however it is a significant start in an area that the average consumer isn’t all that familiar with just yet. In a market that is set to be worth 30 billion in 2020, Virtual Reality’s main use initially will be gaming, however, its potential uses in training, education and even as a marketing tool are substantial. It’s inevitable that VR will play a huge part in our lives at some point, however, will the cost and quality have a big say in whether that point in our lives is 2016?


Our homes becoming smarter

We’ve all heard of the smart watch, smart television and so on but 2016 seems set to be the year where a whole range of smart home tech finally catapults itself into our lives for good. From smart fridges to smart washing machines and even to smart mirrors and smart beds, are our lives about to go into smart overdrive and become a lot more connected? All home devices connected to the internet and communicating to each other you say? Can you imagine a time where your smart kettle begins to boil for your morning cuppa and it was triggered by your smart alarm going off beside your bed? Or that your home is nice and warm when you get home because your smart car automatically told it to do so once it got within 5km of your house? Again, similar to VR, those type of things may be a bit down the line for the average consumer, but before long we’ll all be smart.

“The Uber of…”

I often wonder how companies feel about developing a service only to have it labelled in the media as “The Uber of (insert industry here)” Perhaps it’s annoying or maybe they don’t mind being associated with such a globally renowned company. Maybe it’s an easy way of explaining what your company does?

Either way, expect a lot more of it in 2016 as entrepreneurs come up with more ways to disrupt industries by using your smartphone. I mean why do it the traditional way when you can save yourself so much time and money by tapping a button?

It seems the likes of Uber, Airbnb and Netflix have paved the way for looking beyond the traditional business model and doing things such as cutting out middlemen, challenging regulations and combining different types of innovation to offer something new and more efficient for the customer and by doing so, disrupting industries. So with that being said, for the next year, prepare yourself for a lot of “We’re the Uber of….”

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