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Top Technology Trends for 2016

In a fast moving world, there are plenty of opportunities for those able to keep up with technology developments, says Matt Pluckrose of Desktop Ideas.

Technology has never been changing so fast – just five or six years ago there were no iPads or tablets, and nine years ago no iPhone. I’ve outlined a few technology trends which are expected to change the way we work, rest and play – and promote – this year. 

1. 3-D Printing

3-D printing is gaining momentum. It is the process of making solid objects of three dimensional nature from digital files. Designers build virtual models in Computer Aided Design (CAD) files with the help of a 3D scanner. We could be designing and making promotional products on demand.

2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Trends

Undeniably, robots are miles away from matching the natural human intelligence level, but what we’ve seen in recent years shows that may soon have artificial people. At this rate of advancement, how quickly robotics and artificial intelligence will progress remains anyone’s guess.

3. Upcoming Technology – Virtual Reality

With this upcoming technology, users are provided with a 360-degree video environment and are able to view video and gaming content like they were a “part of it”. A VR headset is mounted on to a digital device such as a smartphone, and strapped around the head to cover the eyes. This is currently very exciting for our market, so one to watch.

4. Augmented Reality

AR enhances what the user sees via 3D Smart Glasses. The digital information is enhanced into a real world context while virtual reality creates immersive digital worlds in front of our eyes, behaving in ways that mimic real world analogues.

5. Internet of Things

A number of developments are expected to take place in the next 12 months in this fast changing field, as gadget manufacturers continue to increase the production of wireless IP-based devices.

6. Wearable Technology of the Future

It started with smart Bluetooth Wristbands, followed by a more advanced generation of devices equipped with additional sensors and functionalities such as GPS connection and some smartwatch capabilities. Thanks to market demand, more reliable major IT companies such as Apple, Google and Microsoft have entered the market.

7. Smart Drones

Although the use of drones for commercial purposes is yet to be legalised in many countries,  we are now seeing drones enter the promotional market and they will get smarter and more prevalent as time moves on.

8. Wireless Charging Technology

Using magnetism to transmit electricity, wireless charging pads can be used to charge smartphones, headsets, tablets, portable power banks and cameras. The promotional challenge will be whether Apple chooses to adopt a compatible wireless charging solution for iPhone 7.

9. 5G Network

If 4G was fast, 5G will be faster. The new 5G network is already being tested by Ericsson, Huawei and other renowned IT companies. Verizon is among the few companies who have confirmed they will offer the new network later in 2017, but smaller mobile service providers are expected to capitalise on the opportunity.

10. Digital Personal Assistants

From smart cars to robots, everything is going smarter with machine learning. Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google Now and other Digital Personal Assistants are becoming smarter each day. It’s only a matter of time till voice control and app conversations replace the old school menus and forms.

11. Bluetooth Powered Beacons

Bluetooth beacons are being installed in locations such as hotels, shopping malls, offices, hospitals and recreational points, detecting nearby smartwatch and smartphone users and opening up opportunities for digital marketing. With a projected increase in the number of suppliers in 2016, cheaper alternatives may become more accessible.

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