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New tech trends to look for in 2015

The break-neck speed at which technology is changing today means that businesses have to be more versatile and agile than ever. Those that can innovate and stay current on the latest emerging technologies will maintain their competitive advantage. Alternatively, those that get complacent will fall behind and lose their relevance.




To keep up with the latest we need to know what’s coming down the pipeline. What trends should your business be paying attention to right now? Is someone in your organization researching the latest emerging and disruptive technologies? It just so happens that Gartner released its top 10 technology strategic trends for next year at its annual Symposium/ITxpo 2014 in Orlando. We won’t repeat them all here but will mention the most salient ones and add a few of our own.

Wearables: The recent announcement of Apple Watch has all eyes on early 2015 when the devices will actually be available for purchase. It’s a highly anticipated release and is expected to make the smartwatch a permanent fixture in our lives. The future internet will become harnessed to our bodies and personas in ways that we never imagined. Our eyes, ears, and other senses, as well as our arms and hands, will become extensions of our digital selves. Wearable technology coupled with augmented reality will give us new and exciting ways to access real-time data and interact with our environment. Some day they will say, “Remember the smartphone.” Yes, that’s right! The smartphone will go the way of the PC and wearables will become our devices of choice.




Internet of Things: Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to scale up rapidly. Cisco thinks IoT will have five to 10 times the impact on society as the Internet itself and is projecting a $19 trillion dollar market in the next decade. Should the Internet of Everything even become a fraction of this, CIOs better not miss out on this epic trend. And when IoT couples with wearables, then things will really take off! One writer has called the Apple Watch “the Internet of things’ new frontier.” He spells this out: “With the Apple Watch, Apple rejuvenates the watch as both a watch and a new kind of personal computing device. It’s a whole new dimension for the Internet of Things.”

Ubiquitous Computing: The continued ascendancy of mobile computing over desktops, coupled with Internet of Things and wearables, will mean that computers will soon be everywhere. According to one source, “Gartner posits that smart-phones and wearable devices are part of a broader computing offering to include connected screens in the workplace and in public spaces.” The old bulky PC screens and smartphones will become a relic of the past as we see instant connectivity extend to our surroundings. Clear, transparent touch-based surfaces will provide endless ways to interact digitally with our environments. 2015 will be a breakthrough year for ubiquitous computing.

Smart Machines will become more commonplace: Machine Learning, artificial intelligence, and learning algorithms are advancing rapidly and we’re seeing their impacts in everything from photo tagging on Facebook and spam-filtering in email to customized recommendations in Amazon. As Gartner points out, “Prototype autonomous vehicles, advanced robots, virtual personal assistants and smart advisors already exist and will evolve rapidly, ushering in a new age of machine helpers. The smart machine era will be the most disruptive in the history of IT.” These trends will continue to advance quickly in 2015. Will this be the year that Amazon Prime Air takes off?




3-D Printing: This epic revolution has been called the next industrial revolution. Gartner says that global shipments of 3D printers will grow 98 percent in 2015, and then double in 2016. 3-D printers are becoming more advanced, prices are dropping, and printing services are growing. Not to mention, over the summer Amazon launched its own 3-D printing store. We can only imagine how 3-D printing will transform the world of retail and commerce!




Telepresence Robotics: Thanks to the amazing confluence of SMAC technologies (Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud) over the past 5 years, the Telepresence robotics market is now at an “inflection point.” We’re seeing the prices of Telepresence robotics drop significantly. Once a luxury item, now more and more options are coming online for Telepresence robots around the $2000 mark or even lower (for instance, see the Beam+ or PadBot). This trend will continue in 2015 as these device become more commonplace in offices, homes, and other lines of business. One startup called Fellow Robots focuses on what they call “retail robotics,” or service robots that will provide shopping assistance to customers. Stay tuned for big changes in the Telepresence robotics market!

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About Jeffrey Walker

Jeff is a business development consultant who specializes in helping businesses grow through technology innovations and solutions. He holds multiple master’s degrees from institutions such as Andrews University and Columbia University, and leverages this background towards empowering people in today’s digital world. He currently works as a research specialist for a Fortune 100 firm in Boston. When not writing on the latest technology trends, Jeff runs a robotics startup called virtupresence.com, along with oversight and leadership of startuplabs.co - an emerging market assistance company that helps businesses grow through innovation.