In a world of constantly emerging new technologies, what trends will have the biggest impact on our lives? There are numerous predictions about which technology will be the most transformative and game changing. We picked the top 10 based on their potential to create disruptive change in 2015.
1. Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) describes a landscape in which everyday physical objects connect with the Internet. When an inanimate object receives a digital footprint, that object becomes significantly more powerful as it can be shared and connected with people and places near and far. The IoT is shifting the way we use products. Canary is an all-in-one home security system that includes sensors and an HD video camera to monitor air temperature, quality, and sound. The systems employs machine learning to determine “normal activities,” sending you alerts through the Canary mobile app if these patterns change.
2. Predictive Analytics
If businesses could tell the future based on data they currently have, would they modify the way in which they did business? Of course they would. Organizations are using predictive analytics to extract specific information from mass data in order to anticipate future behavior patterns. Not only does this enhance business intelligence, but it also gives businesses the chance to identify risks as well as untapped opportunities. The biggest reason why businesses fail to employ predictive analytics is their lack of great data. After all, you can’t predict the future if you don’t know how consumers are currently spending their time and money.
3. Artificial Intelligence (Machine Learning)
Machine learning is a marriage between algorithms and data. In particular, it is a science in which computers are trained to analyze and interpret data without being explicitly programmed. With so much of our daily activities monitored through cell phones and internet searches, big data is transforming artificial intelligence, and specifically machine learning. Big brands like Google, Netflix, and Amazon use machine learning to provide recommendations based on your search history or recent online activity. Machine learning can be so complex that it powers driverless cars, or so simple that it completes sentences as you text.
Nanotechnology exists in a world so small that we cannot see it with the naked eye. Yet it has the potential to reshape our society on a grand and global scale. For starters, nanotechnology has the power to transform the automated self-assembly process. This has enormous potential for vertical industries, including retail, healthcare and energy. Imagine if nanotechnology decreased the cost of making computers by half; reduced drug manufacturing by three/fourths; or got rid of our dependence on fossil fuels?
5. Wearable World
Wearable technology provides consumers with the ability to gather and analyze extremely intimate data about their daily habits. Wearable devices also provide a convenience factor that attracts many buyers. For example, smart watches relay alerts from email and social media, share breaking news, as well as provide detailed information on the amount of steps you’ve taken in a day. They offer a connectedness coupled with independence, allowing users to look less at their cell phone. Wearable technology isn’t new by any means, but it is certainly evolving. With fashion as important as function, wearable devices will become a seamless part of our lives.
6. Mighty Batteries
Technology is advancing our world, but how far have we truly come if we still rely on wires and chords to power our devices? The National Institute of Standards and Technology announced earlier in 2014 that they were developing batteries from sodium-based, complex metal hydride. Not only would this make batteries more stable and powerful, but it could also make them cheaper. Improvements in battery technology will change the way electronics are designed and built.
7. Ambient Proximity
It’s not where a promotion is that matters; it is how close the promotion is located to you. Thanks to enhancements in ambient proximity technology, devices like beacons allow smartphone owners to interact more easily with their surroundings. Beacons are small transmitters using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) that push information back and forth between two connected devices in close proximity. Under Armour uses beacons to analyze how shoppers behave in their store, while Apple relies on beacons to increase their mobile payments.
8. Urban Mobility
The transportation industry has undergone massive disruption as innovation in urban mobility alters the way we travel. In particular, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft allow people to pay for and arrange a ride through a mobile app, eliminating the need for physical cash. Additionally, bicycle-sharing services like New York’s Citibikes, Washington D.C.’s Capital BikeShare, and Austin’s B-Cycle offer eco-friendly alternatives to driving. As more consumers adopt environmentally friendly ways of living, urban mobility will continue to experience massive change.
Accelerating checkout options is key for brands that want to enhance a shopper’s experience. No matter how great your product or service, you’ll upset and potentially lose customers if they are forced to wait in long lines. Panera Bread offers self-service machines where customers can bypass lines to order and purchase their meals. Not only are diners able to customize their meal by specifying exact preferences, but Panera also rewards them for using the self-service machines by giving them a free cookie. Through apps, both Taco Bell and Starbucks offer customers the option to order and pay for their items prior to picking them up.
10. Social Payments
Consumers enjoy convenience. We’re more connected than ever through mobile apps. Thus, the emergence of social payments seems quite fitting given how often we use social platforms. Snapchat recently launched Snapcash, an easy way for friends to exchange money within the text feature. How easy? By simply typing a dollar sign followed by a specific amount of money, you can send cash to friends. Another messaging app called Line released Line Pay, allowing users to purchase items and transfer money within the app. Additionally, some restaurants are adopting social payments so that diners can conveniently split bills.
BeyondCurious is an Innovation Consultancy. Learn more at www.beyondcurious.com