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15 December 2015

Simon Says

2016 promises to be another great year for tech from the explosion of wearable tech to the arrival of augmented reality. As the Christmas and New Year break is looming large, I thought I’d take a quick look at some of the technology releases that we (might) expect next year.

Wearables

wearable technology is becoming an ever increasing part of our daily life.  From fitness bands tracking how far we’ve travelled in a day through to smart watches, connecting with our phones and devices, alerting us to that “crucial” text message we’ve received.  The coming year promises to be no different with the 2nd generation of the Apple iWatch due for release around April.  Classic names from the world of traditional watchmaking are also trying to enter the market with smartwatches from Tag Heuer competing head to head with the more familiar tech brands of Samsung and Motorola.  The most interesting innovation we may see in 2016 is Blocks (http://www.chooseblocks.com/), featured in Intel’s Make it Wearable competition.  The system allows for modular components to be snapped into place around the watch strap giving you the ability to change the what functions your watch can perform simply by removing one component and replacing it with another.

Augmented Reality

augmented reality should come a step closer in 2016. Leading the way is Oculus Rift recently acquired by Facebook.  Available as a development model for some time the first full release is scheduled for the first half of the year.  Offering a full 180 field view with two screens providing each of your eyes a separate image the immersive experience can provide a vast computer generated landscape for you to explore.  Once released we may even see some movie releases designed for VR headsets which will put in the heart of the action.  Oculus are not alone in their development of augmented reality headsets with Microsoft developing the Hololens (https://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-hololens/en-us) which is claimed to track you hand movements without any additional equipment and Project Morpheus from Sony (https://www.playstation.com/en-us/explore/playstation-vr/) which will of course integrate seamlessly into the Playstation environment.

Internet of Things

through the next year we should also see more devices connecting to the “Internet of Things”.  We already have the Nest smart thermostat (https://nest.com/uk/) and electricity/gas meters that you can connect to obtain meter readings but soon you’ll be able to connect to your fridge to build a shopping list, turn on the washing machine or even fire up the barbecue from the comfort of the sofa. The possibilities are endless and you can hack together your own connected devices for a minimal outlay.

Drones

And finally, will this be the year we start to see drone deliveries?  Amazon (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXo_d6tNWuY&feature=youtu.be) are laying down plans to make these deliveries in the very near future claiming to deliver your items within 30 minutes of ordering.  Whether or not this becomes a reality in the next 12 months we shall see...

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