So, what does 2016 hold in store? From wearables to robots to emotional analytics, futurist Ross Dawson has listed 10 trends that he sees evolving next year.As 2015 draws to a close, Dawson has provided a rundown of what he expects technology to deliver in the year ahead, ranging from the entertainment to the customer service and health industries.
Next year, Dawson envisages the following trends:
– Uber for everything: Uber being legalised in NSW is just the beginning of the rise of efficient marketplaces for driving, car sharing, accommodation, lending, work, clothes and more, transforming how we work and do business.
– Super-fast gratification: same-day delivery for online shopping is shifting to three-hour and then one-hour delivery in cities, assisted by customers delivering goods to their neighbours and the advent of drone delivery.
– Emotional analytics: computers are now able to analyse people’s emotions incredibly well through their faces, voices and physiology, enabling better relationships between humans and machines.
– Start-up nation: Sydney start-up Atlassian’s recent stockmarket listing at $8 billion is leading a rapidly growing army of successful and aspiring Australian technology entrepreneurs, who are going where the most wealth is being created in the economy today, and investors want in.
– Robots are here to help you: robots are automating not just back-offices and mining operations, they are coming into retail and customer service, already in hotels and hardware stores, coming soon to fast food and other outlets.
– Virtual reality goes mainstream: the launch of Facebook’s Oculus and other leading virtual reality headsets in the first months of 2016, with Hollywood jumping on board, will bring completely different forms of entertainment and customer engagement.
– Beyond banking-as-usual: finance will never be the same again, with a plethora of new options for financing, including peer-to-peer lending and equity crowdfunding, personal credit ratings being based on thousands of criteria, including social media activity, and the entire financial system potentially disrupted by Bitcoin and its underlying technology, blockchain.
– Clothes become intelligent: wearables won’t be just smartwatches and fitness monitors, but also beautiful clothes embedded with technologies that keep us healthy, respond to us, change colours at our bidding, or even become transparent as we feel more amorous.
– From reactive to predictive health: healthcare is being transformed, with health monitors giving alerts before we get sick, computers providing medical advice, doctors working remotely and medicines being personalised to the individual.
– Cybersecurity first: as technology seeps into every aspect of our lives, cybersecurity is ever more critical. The year ahead will see even bigger hacks, with highly personal data lost, and concerted action by companies and individuals to keep safe.