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“Tech to Expect:” Our Technology Predictions for 2016

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The past year has been a big one for tech. Rapid advancements in the world of technology spanned a number of different fields—from medicine, to space exploration, to consumer products like smartphones and tablets. As we look at 2016, there’s a great chance we’ll be seeing even more.

 

Here are our top predictions for “movers and shakers” in 2016:

 

Virtual Reality Rolls Out, In a Big Way

We’ve started seeing the early effects of this tech as 2015 ends (including Samsung’s “VR Gear”), but the items which have been released thus far are relatively rudimentary compared to the specs—and applications—due out for 2016. Widely considered the leader in VR following its 2014 acquisition by Facebook, Oculus Rift has been promising (and, according to early reviewers, delivering) some big things.

 

Oculus Rift’s consumer headset rolls out in Q1 of 2016, and competitor Sony’s PlayStation VR is set to debut in a similar timeline. While early results are sure to be exciting, we see virtual reality genuinely disrupting everything from entertainment, to communication, to design. Ten years from now, we wouldn’t be surprised to see 2016 hailed as “The Year of Virtual Reality.”

 

Also Significant: Keep your eye on the “augmented reality” space. If virtual reality is intended to be an experience so realistic you feel as though you’re there, then augmented reality is instead supposed to reshape the world you already exist in. A great example can be seen in the early work done by Microsoft’s HoloLens.

 

Wearables Search for New Functionality

Fitbit shocked the stock market this year with its IPO, rapidly growing in value as analysts hailed the future to be one of wearable tech’s dominance. And, while some of this growth has since subsided, entry by companies like Apple, Google, and Samsung into this space only confirms that there’s both a demand and practical application for devices that go where we do.

 

With smart watches, fitness bracelets, and even Google Glass already holding strong results, we’re projecting that any company which releases a new vertical of wearables will be primed to quickly garner attention. 

 

Big Data Evolves, Grows in Utility

 

Big Data has been around for years, and its applications seem to have an appropriately “big” impact on everything they touch. The problem, however, is that—in order to run the deep analysis everyone loves—data needs to first be unified, organized, and cleansed. As such, real data analysis has happened primarily at the corporate level, where large investments can be made with worthwhile ROI.

 

In 2016, we expect to see more consumer applications, as well as meaningful returns for small businesses and nonprofits.

 

Crowdsourcing Expands its Dominance

 

Today, there are projections showing crowdfunding outpacing venture capital as a funding source for startups and project releases. Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and GoFundMe have all seen huge success, and the practice seems to be establishing itself as far more than a “trend.”

 

But, the principles behind crowdsourcing are likely to be used for a lot more than funding in 2016, as companies continue to acknowledge the huge value in gathering feedback direct from consumer in ways that, until recently, weren’t even possible. This is where new tech applications developed in 2016 will come in. What new forms will crowdsourcing take? What new platforms will maximize the ability to crowdsource, and the collection of crowdsourced data?

 

Productivity becomes “Inclusivity”

We think collaborative forms of writing (such as submission-based books and stories) are only going to grow, and there’s a good chance gaming will be disrupted as open-source projects continue to gather in steam. Scientific discovery, too, may be impacted as people design common ground for diverse populations of people to take on the day’s biggest challenges. Expect some large changes in the way that dashboards and tools further multi-use applications for work teams and collaborators. 

 

And, of course, CrowdComfort is planning to roll out some big updates next year, which should have a demonstrably big impact on virtually every aspect of facility management!

 

In sum, 2016 is sure to be a big year for technology, just as 2015 was. Do you agree with our predictions? Are there any we’ve overlooked? Let us know in the comments below!

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