We have at least 340 days to concern about intelligent robots stealing our jobs and autonomous cars running on the highways. So, for you to know precisely what to fear and what to spend the money you’ve gathered while quitting smoking and fast food, I come out with the top six most useful or, at least, most interesting technologies in 2016.
In ten years or more, you will maybe drop an eye over this list and make fun of how stupid people were back in 2016. So do I when I spotted things from 2000 or ’90s when people were dreaming about rockets and flying cars.
In 2016, you are going to understand more about artificial intelligence, colonizing planets, how to work more efficiently, and how technology is mixing up with education and other science areas. Though these things do not happen overnight, the customers have yet to accommodate the new trends.
1. After dumb people and stupid cats, all things in your home will be on the Internet
We have already learned what you found attractive on the Internet in 2015. 2016 is a good time for all the things to get online, those things you did not even know they should ever be online: refrigerator, TV, washing machine, car, house, etc. It is called The Internet of Things. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas – the yearly largest technology event – Samsung and LG showcased large tablets stuck to refrigerators, on the pretext that you need to know what foods you need in your fridge and to watch YouTube and TV somewhere else, not exclusively on your phone.
Such companies strive to convince you that everything in your house is worth be connected to the Internet because they want to sell you more and more of their products. Of course, you can easily see if someone steps into your house, if you forgot the water turned on or if the boeuf salad has started to spoil in the fridge. It is much easier, but it’s damn expensive, so I do not know whether it is worth to go for a line of credit or not, just to get on trend with the latest technologies.
2016 is the year when all these manufacturers, from the largest to the smallest, are starting to propose a wide range of WiFi gadgets to connect to your phone or your home network. These devices will tell you things you do not even believe you’ve ever needed to know.
The Internet of Things is definitely amongst the biggest challenges of this century, but now we are at that point when the products are too expensive, pretty bad, and prone to hacking. On the other hand, take into account that in some countries people still stay in line to buy meat or other foods. Do you really think these people can understand the meaning behind the refrigerator being connected to the Internet and controlled remotely? It is unlikely. I take for example my mother who still sends me SMSes to tell me she’s just seen something peculiar on my Facebook page
2. Virtual reality is about pornography before anything else
I don’t know what you might think, but from the outside, the virtual reality is very funny. Virtual reality is a topic older than me. It is a debatable topic for so many years, and some have started to believe that it is easier to travel back in time than getting in touch with the virtual reality.
This year features the Chinese doing their own headphones, Microsoft, Facebook, HTC whose projects are quite extensive. Google and Samsung have created a headset acting as a phone stand and what appears on the screen is somehow a 3D image through the two lenses mounted in front of it.
Well, what I mentioned above falls in the “hardware” category, and this is useless without content, the “software.” It’s nice to walk through the virtual reality, forests, mountains, and fantastic lands but without some good applications, you cannot get too far. And, to be successful, these gadgets need three main ingredients: pornography – which has begun to show up – video games, and video content – which has to be really interesting.
Additionally, there’s the other reality worth pursuing in 2016: the augmented dimensions. Over what you’ve already seen, a gadget pushes up with something else. In summer, Lenovo is set to launch a phone that does it. You could, for example, measure the living room carpet or how long your c**k is (you know that’s the first thing you are going to do when you get your hands on such a gadget!), or you can see what kind of new TV you have on the table in the kitchen. Intel has a similar project but reserves it for apps developers (because of the same problem with the content, without content nobody wants a physical product).
Microsoft manufactured HoloLens, a helmet augmenting the virtual reality. The most impressive demo of this product was to see HoloLens used by someone learning while showing him what to do right in front of his eyes. You can enjoy. Your mom may teach you remotely to do rolls and cake, and your father how to repair the car’s wheel or the water tap.
3. Cars that pollute less and “think” more
Electric vehicles are not a novelty in 2016 anymore. They will continue to become more electric and “smarter” because, to be honest, the greatest danger in every vehicle is… the driver. All manufacturers of electric cars (more and more striving to make a name in the industry) are seeking for new markets in 2016 and new clients amongst those thinking they can solve the global pollution issue by using electric cars.
Nonetheless, 2016 is the year when cars will turn more and more into gadgets. Some are already fully autonomous while others partially. Manufacturers’ goals are to make them parking themselves, assisting you if you fall asleep, if you get close to a crosswalk, or when it’s foggy. Eventually, perhaps by 2050, we are going see on the streets more self-driving cars than those driven by humans. Of course, this trend will set many drivers out of work, but it’s like if we still use looms or typewriters just for the sake of saving employment places and professions.
Until we reach this future, new cars will be controlled mainly by telephone. You can warm the car even before leaving your home, check on your phone if you’ve locked the doors, or when stolen – you will know precisely where they’ve brought it.
4. 3D Printing will be more useful
At CES, I saw probably the best idea with 3D printing: its integration in the textile industry. You can think of everything from sequins to various models that you could hardly do anything with or it would be too costly. Also, there might be creative studios and designers to modify already created clothes to make them more fashionable. The idea is that 3D printing is becoming, in 2016, something more than a trivial pastime for those making their home printings or re-creating various cartoon characters.
The cost will fall pretty much, 3D printing on carbon fiber and metal will be widely implemented and, why not, maybe we’ll even get to eat 3D printed foods. The Dutch built a pedestrian bridge, just to emphasize the potential of 3D printing. But it’s only mid-2016 when this technology have reached an affordable and low price along with a high enough fidelity to be justified its usage on a large scale.
Nonetheless, if you’re not interested in either industry development or food, you can always have a 3D painting. It’s a bas-relief, but you do not need slaves to carve in stone.
5. Drones becoming useful and law-compliant
Such as 3D printing, drones will be better. In the United States, drones’ prices have dropped to such an extent that they are no longer luxury products, bought by rich people or professional photographers alone. However, perhaps the most beautiful transformation drones will undergo in 2016 is that they won’t be controlled by man anymore.
Yeah, you got used to them, someone sitting with a phone or a remote control in their hands and telling the toys where to fly. With new-generation drones, you assume that the toy is set a route and it “knows” where it will be heading to. That could lead to many accidents, either that the drone gets “scared” and hits a wall, or mistakes the trail for a bird or a helicopter.
But accidents also happen on the roads. Can you really trust people more than a system that does not get drunk, does not sleep, and does not violate any traffic regulations?
Moreover, a Chinese company boasts with drones that can carry people. Such a project won’t probably materialize anytime soon, but 2016 will be more and more abundant in such ideas. Amazon, for example, plans to deliver the products via drones because it is cheaper than a courier. Pizza, books, and other products that cost less than a hundred dollars could be quickly delivered as more companies seek to use drones for such a purpose.
6. Smart phones and smart watches will not be better, but cheaper
No secret here: over the last years, the Chinese have already saturated the market with cheap phones and the trend will undeniably continue in 2016. The big change is reportedly to come from Apple: they plan to remove the headphone jack, in the upcoming iPhone models. As such, the eternal war between those with Android and iOS will remain as “stupid” in 2016 as before.
As for other gadgets, fitness bracelets are a flash in the pan that hardly smokes; smart watches from large companies or those from small developers will fall beyond $400.