Looking back at 2015 and forward to 2016 trends / ABC Far North, Austereo

2015 - 16One thing I can accurately predict is that around this time of year every year requests come in for a nostalgic look at what we achieved this year and a predictive look at what next year’s trends may bring and this was the theme of my segment this week with Phil Staley of ABC Far North.

2015 was a watershed year in many ways, and for me some of the more obscure but significant technology advances included:

Tesla’s recent software upgrade turning all of it’s on road cars into semi autonomous hands free vehicles, important because it speaks to the ability to significantly change the function and use of an everyday motor vehicle simply through a software upgrade and for the first significant push into driverless cars.

Jeff Bazos’s (Amazon founder) announced recently that he had sent a rocket into orbit and landed it safely and accurately back on earth – a feat that has no rival and speaks volumes to the possibilities of future space exploration, but also to the dogged determination that we have within us as he tells of the 5-year-old he once was dreaming about going into space and the man he has become being able to make that dream come true.

Drones have come into our lives and are here to stay. We have seen them as reporters, as scouts, as fire wardens, as bomb disposal experts, as wedding photographers and the list goes on. Legislation has been talked about. Australia Post, Amazon, Pizza Hut and many others want to employ them as couriers and drones have only begun to look for work.

Windows 10 launched this year and we could argue its good and bad, but my take is its difference, it didn’t come in a box and for many existing users was free. How different this was to the fanfare and circus of old. The many disks, the inferior software with few upgrades and the thoughts of old that not to long from now you would have to go and do it all again. The freshness of this offering, the price points and its delivery and installation all speak volumes about a changed business landscape, pricing models and marketplace.

2016 will bring it with farewells of old tech and old business models as well as new opportunities and horizons.

Augmented (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are set to boom in the first half of next year with all major manufacturers promising new VR products and most under $US400. This may take a while to show its true potential, but it is definitely a new frontier that’s here to stay.

Ambient technology and device consolidation will start its journey next year, as technology becomes as ordinary as electricity and gas, and becomes more about what it can do for me rather than the fact it exists. In this same thought devices will begin to become agnostic with users switching often from one to the other, making choices based on situation and purpose, rather than on wow factor.

Personal Assistants, in the form of robots, that listen to you and talk back will begin their journey to purpose next year with releases like Jibo hitting our retail stores for around the $US2,000 mark. These in the early stages will read emails and texts, announce callers and generally  interact with us, they are not yet the robots of our science fiction dreams, but they are the first line in an evolution that may one day bring us the robot butler, we supposedly can’t live without.

These were just some of our recent past and near future, but have a listen now to the rest and then add your thoughts to the list of 2015 and 2016.

ABC Far North – Phil Staley- Monday 7th December – (12 minutes 36 seconds)


Austereo WA – Anthony Tilley – Monday 14th December 2015 – (4 minutes 16 seconds)

Eye on the Future - Dec 7, 2015 | All, Augmented Reality, Gadgets, Horizon Trends, Innovation, Radio Interview, Robots, Social, Technology, Wearable Technology
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