Top Five Tech Trends of 2016 (So Far)

Top Five Tech Trends of 2016 (So Far)

By Jade French | Brand Editor

We might only be 1 month into 2016, but already we can see some tech developments that’ll shape the year ahead for brands... 

Virtual Reality

There’s already been a lot of chat about the arrival of virtual reality, and 2016 shows no sign of this trend slowing up. A lot of tech giants have skin in this game, and to even consider VR as a mere ‘trend’ might seem naïve. It has the potential to be a real game changer across a number of sectors – gaming, tourism and sports being just the tip of the iceberg. Although it’s an exciting development, in terms of brands using this tech, less can be more. VR should be adding something to your brand stories, not just tacking on a user experience for the sake of it. Look to Red Bull and New York Times as great examples of innovation, and remember – VR is here to stay. 

Have a Laugh with a Robot…

Last year, Softbank brought Pepper to markets – and all 1000 robots sold out in under a minute. Off the back of Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’, we’re all aware of the danger and heartbreak involved in falling in love with an AI, but how many of us will heed that advice? Only time will tell. In 2016, French company Blue Frog Robotics will have their social robot Buddy ready to ship and sell, MIT Media Lab have their offering Jibo and Amazon’s ECHO and Japan’s largest telecom company NTT have Sota, who can keep an eye on your health whilst it chats with you. 

The Robot Report suggests that we’ll see the sales of social robots rise from “6.6 million units in 2015 to 31.2 million units worldwide by 2020”. A future where fitness freaks get down with a Nike robot, or stylists chat with an ASOS AI have already been imagined

…Or Keep a Straight Face 

 We’ve already witnessed the (often relentless) power of targeted adverts on social media. That cute dress you spotted online is now following you around, like a fashion version of the Bruce Willis in Sixth Sense.

As millennial consumers become more savvy, and aware of any invasions on their cyber privacy, it’s falling to Apple’s acquisition of Emotient to make this targeted marketing even more potent. The theory is, brands can monitor when a customer is looking at their products and assess their emotions – happy face or confused face? Then they’ll be able to shift their offering on an individual level.

There’s already been moves in the industry to use facial recognition to target individuals – Plan UK changed their advert depending on the gender of the viewer.. And although consumers are getting ever savvier, there’s research to suggest that they’ll waive their privacy worries for deals and discounts. 

Smart Machines

We may as well have called 2015 the Year of the Internet of Things. And still people aren’t completely sure what this means. Your fridge is going to pop out for milk? Your heating will instinctively set to the exact tropic temperature you like? But whether you understand it fully or not, investment by giants like Amazon and Google are moving the industry exponentially forward.

On a more analogue note, we’re also hoping 2016 means the The Barisieur will be available to buy. As long as there’s coffee…

Gaming Gets IRL

We know gamers can be super-fans, but could they pack out arenas? The hottest ticket in 2016 will be heated competitions between the best professional gamers from around the world. Super sized screens will make sure everyone feels part of the action. After seeing EGX’s Gfinity events packed out in London last year, and the huge digital response our campaigns with PlayStation garnered after Media Preview, we’re in no doubt that the gaming world will keep growing, spilling from screen to arena in a blink of an eye.