2015 has been a great year for technological jumps forward. As always, the underlying current beneath it all was an effort to make our lives not only more convenient and efficient, but hopefully better.
Was this year better than 2014? Well, we don’t exactly remember, either.
But it was definitely a year of hits and misses when it comes to technology, many of which will have direct and indirect effects on business, and on how business is done. Many industries will need to adjust and adapt to sea changes and shifts that are on the horizon.
Read on for some of Insider Hub’s favorite new technologies, as well as some technology ideas that didn’t really catch fire, and a peek at what to keep watching in the coming year.
No cash? No bank card? No worries.
This handy, mobile and convenient way to pay for goods and services hasn’t quite taken the world by storm, but it is catching on – more businesses are starting to accept mobile payments, and more consumers are starting to use them. Already over 700,000 businesses across the country are on board, which is triple the number since its introduction in autumn 2014. Apple and ther mobile payment providers are expected to continue expanding the use of e-currency. Convenience for retailers, convenience for consumers.
Remember the moment you realized what a great thing voice-to-texting was on your smart phone? No more countless wads of paper with hurriedly scribbled notes to keep track of!
Amazon is one-upping the convenience of smart phone assistants and apps, and now wants every American household to be equipped with its own tabletop e-ssistant.
Echo is a smart speaker that does everything from answering queries (forecasts, sports scores, definitions, etc.), to synching with other smart devices around your home, so you can manage them without even having to pick up your phone. More cool Echo features are already in the works, and you can most likely expect this technology to be a mainstay in offices everywhere, just like copiers, fax machines and coffee makers.
We’re still just scratching the surface of all the possibilities that 3D printing has in store for us, but its potential is limitless – the technology’s impact on American business is yet to be seen, but its impact’s potential is also limitless. Imagine the ability to reprint keys, toys, car parts, furniture, all from your desktop, phone, or mobile device.
As the technology becomes more and more accessible, 3D printer sales, which currently start in the $150 range, are expected to double every year between 2016 and 2019 to almost the 6 million units sold annually mark, according to technology research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc.
Bigger, Better, Faster Power Sources
We’ve been trying for decades, at least, to effectively harness the power of the sun, other stars, the wind, the waves, etc., and to make it more widely accessible. The idyllic social dream could well be a world where all the energy we could possibly ever need is powered by our surrounding environment.
Often bordering on being hot-button topics, sources of renewable energy are already being leashed for mass consumption at unprecedented levels, and they are only going to become increasingly visible and accessible: Advanced (Generation III) Nuclear Reactors, Hydro/Tidal Power, advanced eco-friendly batteries, and Wind Farms, for starters.
Existing energy providers will have to invest and find more ways to evolve in their existing industries sooner than they may have anticipated.
Watchlist for 2016
Other existing trends that will continue to flourish into next year and beyond include self-driving vehicles and highly efficient and clean hydrogen-burning fuel-cell vehicles, both of which exist and are in the works for mass production and proliferation. Increasingly more visible and accessible ways to automate our everyday lives are coming to homes and offices near you, as well as a boosting surge in the use of artificially intelligent “sense and avoid” drones.
2015 Technology Flops
We hate to refer to any technological advancement as a “flop,” because any single one may be at least a step in the right direction toward something better, but winners of the biggest technology flops this year go, hands down to Google Glass, the now-defunct Peeple app (that let you unilaterally “rate” other people), and of course, the once popular hoverboards (everyone’s favorite self-balancing scooters that are being recalled by the thousands after several incidents of their batteries overheating and bursting into flames – federal safety officials have recorded 22 hoverboard explosions this year in 17 states, resulting in over 70 ER visits).
Have an enjoyable and safe New Year’s, a prosperous 2016, and look forward to more to come from InsiderHub!
What do you think of our list? Do you see anything you’d like to read more about? Let us know!