2016 promises to bring us some exciting new advances in technology and changes, just as 2015 did. And just as previous years have had tech that flopped or just plain scared us, 2016 will probably have a smattering of both as well. So, here are our predictions for what’s going to be great… and not so great… in 2016.
We’ll start with the good news:
Windows 10, while it launched in 2015, hasn’t quite gained traction. However, now that reviews are calling the best Windows iOS of all time, more consumers are likely to adopt it. That’s all the more true since Microsoft put it out there for free, at least if you were on Windows 7 or 8 (and if you were still on XP, well, all good things must come to an end). That also means that more IT departments are going to start upgrading, which will probably increase PC demand, something that the industry desperately needs.
True Hybrid Tablets
This is very exciting—2 in 1s have been done, but not well, prior to 2015. 2015 brought us the first real convertibles worth using, and the market for them is exploding. What’s really exciting about this is the fact that we’re not just looking at one option for an iOS. Apple has its iPad Air 2, Microsoft’s Surface is a very productive machines, and Android is getting ready to jump into the game in the coming year. All three operating systems have major perks, so we may actually see some real competition—always good for the consumer. Some estimates put convertibles at 40% of the laptop market as early as 2018. 2016’s successes (or lack thereof) will help to determine whether or not that’s going to be possible.
The Oculus Rift and potentially PlayStation’s VR headset will both be launching consumer models in 2016, and by all accounts, gamers are going to be in for an incredible experience. Even if you can’t afford to spring for a Rift ($1,500), the fact that virtual reality is finally really taking off means that there will be more and cheaper options in the future. In the meantime, there’s always Google Cardboard!
And now for the bad news:
The Internet of Things
We want the Internet of Things to be one of 2016’s highlights, but it doesn’t seem likely. With rival companies duking it out and being stingy with compatibility, putting a smart home together isn’t particularly appealing—what if you invest in one brand, and it turns out not to be the one? Apple’s smart home kit is closed source. LG’s is purported to be open, but whether or not other brands will jump on board remains to be seen. Google’s option is still in development, and probably won’t see the light of day for at least another year, which makes us wonder if Google knows something we don’t. In the meantime, standalone products and relatively inexpensive gadgets like Amazon’s Echo will probably remain popular… we’re taking baby steps, but we’re just not ready for IoT to explode.