8 Tech Trends to Watch in 2016

Posted on Jan 10, 2016


Technology doesn’t just grow, it exponentially grows because technology becomes obsolete as soon as it rolls off of the production line. The next big things are already here and it’s the “geeks” who have their hands on it first. You too will soon have latest and greatest, making your life that much better.

Predicting the future is tricky business. Sometimes the most obvious “future” never comes to fruition and sometimes the real “future” is not what we expected, except for the innovators that pioneer the future. For they don’t just predict the future, they create it.

Crowd-Leverage

When people think “crowd-leverage,” crowdfunding probably comes to mind (the funding of capital for a project, business or people through a mass amount of small to medium sized donations in return for the product itself or a simple thank you). As great as crowdfunding is, it is only a small piece of the pie of crowd-leverage.

In 1995 there was 18 million internet users. In 2015, there’s now 3 billion. It has been predicted that by 2020, there will be 7.5 billion users. Talk about empowering the masses! With this exponential increase of users, it should be expected the number of intelligent minds being connected to the Internet should therefore increase as a result. What if all of those masses of highly intelligent people teamed up to help the world?

Remember the mystery of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370? The world came together to try and find the missing wreckage. And when I say “world,” I don’t just mean all of the world nations and their vast government resources; regular citizens helped out the search efforts too by helping scan through millions of satellite surveillance photos. Even though they came up fruitless, the idea that every single person can help make a difference is the core message of the future of Crowd-Leverage. Look out for the growing number of projects that you yourself can help out in this year.

Intelligent Machines

With the rising cost of unskilled labor in the United States, companies are starting to look to outsource these jobs to intelligent machines that don’t need office breaks nor complain about being paid too little.

I am already starting to see more interactive machines replacing simple jobs like a cashier taking my fast food order. These jobs are being outsourced by the thousands every month.

We have gone from an industrial age, to an informational age, to a creative age. Each “age” had a non-outsourceable commodity, from labor, to technology, to creativity.

With the creative age, the value of art is bound to rise, but that means the value of labor will start to decline as the cost machines start to decrease. Intelligent machines are already starting to drive cars, lift materials, clean houses, deliver packages and take your fast food order.

This machines will only become more prevalent, not less so. So jobs that create these machines will become the creative commodity that this age demands.


Virtual World, Virtual Reality

Gaming has made leaps and bounds, even from the early 2000’s. Companies have always tried to push the limits of their creativity to entertain the masses. However, with more and more gamers opting to build their own PC rig to play games instead of using a mainstream console, the traditional “console” will soon become obsolete. I think that the current generation of Xbox One, PS4 and Wii U will be one of the last for “gaming box consoles.” What does that mean for gamers?

No, consoles aren’t going away, they will transform. And by that, I mean Virtual Reality (VR).

VR is the next step of entertainment. Not only can you play games with VR goggles like the Oculus Rift, you can actually enjoy movies and experiences like scenic trips over Iceland via helicopter. I have a pair of Gear VR by Samsung, and I was amazed by the amount of content already out for it, considering it was only the first version.

I spent a lot of time watching movies, playing silly games and enjoying 360 degree scenic trips through France and 360 degree movies. I even got to see through the lens of one of the Mars Rovers. The stars were amazing!

Virtual Reality is starting to expand into a more immersive experiences that blurs the line between entertainment and seeing the world through the eyes of someone else in the world.

This is the future of the entertainment business.

Just this year, Mark Zuckerberg posted a virtual reality game test run, which received a top notch response… (He did post it to his wall of Facebook, a warm platform to say the least.)

VR has received a large push from the early adopters. I see this trend hitting the mass market soon, with the tipping point within 2 years’ time.

New Frontier, New World

Space and ocean exploration is the new fad for a lot of billionaires. Since they own a major part of the world’s wealth, it’s easy to see this trend moving forward. Companies like: Space X, Atlantic Galactic and Google Lunar X PRIZE are all on a mission to explore space.

The other frontier of ocean exploration looks to be spearheaded by companies like Odyssey Marine Exploration with the reason I say “looks to be” due to the fact that many companies are attempting space or ocean explanation behind closed doors, i.e. The Wright Brothers with one of the first airplanes..

The European Space Agency (ESA) just projected to the world that we will have a fully functioning and inhabited 3D printed moon base, by 2030.

The intersection of ideas is where the magic happens. Bringing things back to Earth.

3D Printing

Something that you will be soon to have better access to are 3D Printers. And 3D printers aren’t a one size fits all kind of product. Some 3D Printers make hearts, others make products out of plastic polymers, there are some 3D printers that are starting to build houses from the ground up, plumbing and all.

With the growth of the Internet and the millions of new users every month, the number of creative ways to build something with a certain 3D printer will grow as they become more accessible to the average person.

Imagine being able to “print” furnishings for your home at the click of a button? Want a new phone case? Print one out!

The possibilities will be limitless as more and more people start tinkering with 3D printing. Businesses are starting to realize this and are already starting to make the future a reality.

Mobile Payment

The transition from tangible currencies to intangible currency has been the wave for the last 10 years. The next step is mobile payment.

Mobile payment is paying with your mobile device. There’s about 10 main mobile payment systems already out there. Google Wallet, PayPal, Apple Pay, Square Cash, Dwolla, Venmo, etc. These form of payments are competing for recognition and market share just as Mastercard, Visa, and Discover did when credit cards were becoming the trend. Retailers are clambering to catch on to capture ever so valuable Millennial base.

Mobile Payment is in almost every new tech trend in 2016 article out there. The rise of Near-Field Communication (NFC) used for mobile payments is just one way our world is becoming more and more connected.

The Connected Life

As technology becomes more inexpensive and more readily available, smart devices will become more mainstream. Our smartphones are becoming “smarter” every day with the addition of devices they can control.

With companies like Nest, Samsung and GE innovating houses and making them smart, it’s hard not to mention this trend. More advances in household items like the 4K television and smart appliances it’s clear to see that the traditional white picket fence is getting a makeover.

But being connected is much more than that. With the rise of connected wearables, our smartphones are transforming how we live. Fitbits are becoming a cool fad that are helping users track their activity, their food intake and their heart rate. Smart watches are helping users with these functions as well, while also helping users keep up with notifications, answer calls and manage apps like music playing in their Bluetooth headphones. Our devices are getting smarter, and so are we as the amount of knowledgeable resources becomes more prevalent and more readily accessible.

Online Schooling

Since the 80s college tuition has steady increasing. CNN Money article:

Tuition: In 1988, the average tuition and fees for a four-year public university rang in at about $ 2,800, adjusted for inflation. By 2008, that number had climbed about 130 percent to roughly $ 6,500 a year — and that doesn’t include books or room and board.

Income: If incomes had kept up with surging college costs, the typical American would be earning $ 77,000 a year. But in reality, it’s nowhere near that.

In 2008 — the latest data available — the median income was $ 33,000. That means if you adjust for inflation, Americans in the middle actually earned $ 400 less than they did in 1988. (Read: How the middle class became the underclass).

With the rising cost of brick and mortar colleges, the virtual classroom is definitely expanding with unlimited amounts of growth. There really isn’t a limit to how many students can watch webinars and review material at a given time.

All in all, the future is now.

marineexploration – Bing News