2015 has been an exciting year in the world of technology, with the Apple Watch, drones, Windows 10 and Google’s autonomous car hogging all the limelight. This year, 2016, has a lot of things to look forward to:
10 Most Anticipated Technologies in 2016
1. Fuel-cell automobiles: After several hurdles and intensive testing, fuel-cell vehicles may soon see the light of day. The vehicles use hydrogen to power them, which makes them eco-friendly. There has been one car which was launched earlier, the Honda FCX Clarity, but the car was soon shelved because of a lack of hydrogen fuel infrastructure, but 2016 will see a few fuel-vehicles on the road.
2. Drones with Sense & Avoid Technology: Drone technology has improved significantly these past couple of years, and the latest drones will basically fly themselves! Drones in the future will have sense and avoid technology, which will navigate drones away from obstructions and avoid collisions. This technology will make drone flights quicker and reduce the need for humans to control it. Amazon will be one of the first major companies to use this technology to deliver products in no time, to their customers’ doorstep! The Amazon drones will be able to deliver packages within a 10 mile radius in just 30 minutes!
3. 4D Printing: 3D printing has already been used extensively in medical applications to manufacture human organs and tissue, used to manufacture prototypes and electronic components, and makes great economic sense for large scale operations. 4D printing is the future, where the material’s shape can be changed right after being printed. Adaptability will be the biggest USP of 4D printing as shapes and structures can be easily transformed.
4. Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication: Thousands of people around the world die every day due to road accidents. This number can go down with the help of this latest technology: vehicle-to-vehicle communication. With this technology, vehicles communicate with each other using a network of information and alert drivers of an impending accident. A staggering 1.3 million people die every year in road accidents and this technology could help save a lot of lives when introduced in late 2016 or early 2017.
5. 4K Mobile Phones: HD screens are so yesterday, the latest is 4K! Yes, 4K screens for your mobile phone! 4K technology, as the name suggests, has 4,000 pixels in horizontal resolution on a screen. The Sony Xperia Z5 Premium was the first 4K phone and we expect more 4k phones to hit the shelves soon, to mesmerise you with exceptional picture quality!
6. Virtual Reality Headsets: VR Headsets are the hottest, most talked about tech gadget recently, and the year ahead seems to be even more exciting. VR headsets will make gaming, movies and sports life-like and an immersive video experience. There are several VR headsets in the market in most price points – with the likes of Google Cardboard and other DIY VR headsets at the lower end and costlier ones like the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive and Sony PlayStation VR.
7. Google Instant Messaging: Google’s entering into the instant messaging space and plans to take on Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp. The rumours in Silicon Valley are that Google are building an artificial intelligence based messaging platform to replace its failed message application, Hangouts.
8. New Bluetooth Technology: Bluetooth almost went the way of the Dodo, but was rescued thanks to smartwatches and wearable tech, which required the use of Bluetooth. To take advantage of its increased user base, Bluetooth will have four times the current range, which may push the range to around 300-400 meters, and speed is to go up by 100 percent!
9. Internet.Org: Facebook’s Internet.org (rechristened Free Basics in India) may have run into trouble with net neutrality activists in India but the company is going all out to promote it’s ‘Internet for all’ programme in Africa. Facebook has tied up with Eutelsat, a satellite operator to beam internet connectivity from space to the African continent from 2019!
10. Li-Fi: Technology faster than WiFi? Impossible, right? Nope, soon you’ll be browsing in the speed of light (literally!), with Li-Fi (Light Fidelity) wireless technology. Li-Fi uses LEDs to deliver communication as opposed to radio waves in WiFi. Li-Fi is faster, safer (radio waves are harmful to the human body), and very efficient!
2015 didn’t deliver the hoverboard that Marty McFly once rode to get away from Biff, but 2016′ looks promising, although the ‘real’ hoverboard is still some time away. We’ll be seeing a slew of VR headset launches, there may be some significant development in the field of artificial development (AI) as big guns like Facebook, Google and Amazon, to name a few, are developing AI technology at a rapid pace, and our day-to-day devices are also going to get smarter and make our lives easier (and lazier, should we say!)