What lies ahead? – 2015 tech predictions
As the world of technology gathers in Las Vegas this week for the annual Consumer Electronics Show, a litmus test for possible trends in 2015, we take a look at what our own experts predict for the year ahead.
Without doubt the most popular topic for speculation amongst our SIG champions was the future of wearables. Wearable technology has had what is probably best described as a turbulent year in 2014. Google found out the hard way, after the inauspicious launch of Glass, that no matter how innovative a wearable may be, consumers will not buy an unfashionable product. Zahid Ghadialy, Managing Director at eXplanoTech predicts that ‘wearables will continue to disappoint in 2015 and not take off in huge numbers’. Others however are reserving judgement in anticipation of the release of the Apple watch this spring. Nick Hunn, CTO at WiFore Consulting concludes that it ‘may be the product upon which the market decides whether wearables are worth pursuing’.
Another key theme mentioned by several SIG champions was virtual reality. Collette Johnson, Business Development Manager at Plextek Consulting believes that ‘we will see the use of virtual reality in consumer systems for experiential retail’. Currently there are only a handful companies operating within this space but the opportunity to provide an immersive experience to consumers could entice more, especially if it leads to a boost in sales. Giuliano Marciocci, Staff Product Manager at Qualcomm Technologies, suggests that ‘virtual reality will heat up as a new medium for delivering interactive experiences, with new players coming onto the market to join the likes of Samsung and Oculus VR’.
There was also just a hint of trepidation amongst some about what is to come in 2015, especially with regard to the Silicon Valley tech bubble that has formed over the last few years. 2014 has seen some truly gargantuan valuations placed on tech companies. This is best illustrated by Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp for a whopping $22 billion, despite the mobile messaging app being largely uninterested in conventional revenue growth through advertising. While the overwhelming consensus from Silicon Valley appears to be a blanket denial of any such bubble, the back end of last year saw some venture capitalists begin to admit to a lack of confidence. Antony Rix, Senior Consultant at TTP Group predicts that the ‘Silicon Valley Venture Capital tech funding bubble will burst in 2015’.
Another area of concern appears to be the future of IoT. Dirk Trossen, Principle Engineer at InterDigital Europe expects a ‘deflation of the IoT hype with the realisation of major limitations to its delivery’. There is a strong suggestion that the need for a renovation of IoT communications technology will become increasingly evident in 2015. John Haine, Innovation Coordinator at u-blox UK suggests that there will be a move away from the ‘hotch – potch of short range solutions’ and towards ‘standards for wide – area one hop communications that can connect billions of simple sensors and actuators, wherever they are, at low cost and lasting for years on a simple battery’.
About The AuthorAlex MottConnect on LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/pub/alex-mott/63/9b/264
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