We may be a little into the year but traditionally people who should know better put their reputations on the line predicting what will be big by the end of the year. So in no particular order, here we go.
Artificial Intelligence is now in many things without the general population realising it. If you have an iThingy or Windows 10 then you already have a sophisticated AI interface in Siri or Cortana at your disposal. Not that you would necessarily know it from some of your interactions though!
AI is going to be finding many other applications in the coming year which may not necessarily become mainstream products before 2017, but significant nonetheless. And speaking of strides, care to put your order in for a domestic robot? No-one really thinks that RoboNanny will make an appearance this year but look for more autonomous tech and ‘social robots’ this year.
One thing is certain, there will be more drones. They will be cleverer and more powerful and may therefore be a much greater nuisance requiring legislation.
Last year Ikea began selling tables that wirelessly charge phones when the mobile device is placed on the table top. Wireless charging is likely to appear with targeted energy through wavelengths to charge devices without having to plug them in or place them on a pad.
Self-driving cars are not going to happen this year, but California is looking at changing the law to allow self-driving cars as long as a qualified driver is present in the car and Google and Ford are looking to produce one. Where America leads etc.
2016 may well be the year in which Virtual Reality goes mainstream and becomes an (almost) affordable part of people’s lives. You may think that you have enough of an issue dealing with real reality without adding an alternative, but it’s coming anyway.
Also likely to further increase are what is generically called ‘Wearables’. Tech that you wear as well as or instead of an item of clothing or accessory. Smartwatches are likely to become more widely available, with health tech which monitors your health also becoming much more widely used. There is also a trend to make such devices more aesthetically pleasing so you don’t look like you’re carrying a large lump of black plastic on your wrist!
Which leaves only one thing, longer lasting batteries pretty please!