IoT
IoT
Mobile
News
1/1/2016
07:06 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
Slideshows
50%
50%

Hot Tech Trends To Watch In 2016

Whether it's the smartphone, virtual reality, or the growing ranks of the Internet of Things, technology will continue to pervade every aspect of our daily lives as 2016 unfolds. Here's what will play central roles in defining the next 12 months.
Previous
1 of 11
Next

(Image: TPopova/iStockphoto)

(Image: TPopova/iStockphoto)

As 2015 fades into memory and 2016 dawns, a new chapter of the tech narrative is about to begin. What will dominate the landscape as 2016 marches forward? Can wearables break through to become mainstream products? Will tablets whither on the vine? Are smart homes primed to take off? Do desktop computers matter anymore?

Tech titans have already set the tone for 2016.

New technology will begin to rise as existing products and categories mature and plateau. The story moving through 2016 won't focus so much on the individual pieces; rather, the important theme will concern the role each piece plays in the larger picture. Devices will need to be able to stand on their own, but success will depend on the ability to connect to and share with others.

Wearables are a great example.

A year ago, the bulk of wearables depended on nearby smartphones for information. Now, the first wave of cellular -- and truly independent -- wearables is hitting the market. This independence expands their scale, but wearables must continue to integrate with all the aspects of our digital lives. The same is true for the Internet of Things and smart homes.

Whether it's through a smartphone or smartwatch, mobile payments should expand in scope as retailers and banks begin to see their value. With more options than ever, consumers will be able to pay for more goods and services from their mobile devices, though we may still need to have our wallets as backup. Fingerprints and other biometrics will reach mainstream use to secure our digital transactions.

[Check out InformationWeek's list of the top mobile tech of 2015.]

The hardware we use will become less important. While smartphones, tablets, laptops, and wearables all have a part to play, their ability to interact with various platforms will trounce the benefits of the hardware itself. Apple, Google, Microsoft, and many others are working to push their own vision of a connected life and will continue to jockey for position.

Artificial intelligence is primed for a new player. Watson, Siri, Google Now, Cortana, and Alexa helped set the stage. Facebook, however, is prepping its own artificial intelligence and is promising to add a social component to what our digital assistants can do.

The next 12 months will be exciting to watch unfold. With that in mind, here are 10 tech predictions to follow.

**Elite 100 2016: DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JAN. 15, 2016** There's still time to be a part of the prestigious InformationWeek Elite 100! Submit your company's application by Jan. 15, 2016. You'll find instructions and a submission form here: InformationWeek's Elite 100 2016.

Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio

Previous
1 of 11
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
kstaron
50%
50%
kstaron,
User Rank: Ninja
1/4/2016 | 4:49:37 PM
Re: Biometrics going mainstream..
Love the idea of not having to remember quite so many passwords, except in the case of when I need to get something from a family member's computer. That could get annoying real quick. "(Honey, can you come home, so I can log onto your computer for Xinsert reason hereX.")

Until tablets and laptops are as powerful as desktops there will still be a place for an old fashioned desktop. Some businesses aren't going to go without them and serious gamers need equally serious hardware.

Looking forward to seeing what comes out in the wearables and VR market in the coming year.
Len123
50%
50%
Len123,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/4/2016 | 1:26:05 PM
Re: iPad Pro as graphic input device
My daughter was looking at a Wacom Cintiq as a graphics input device, then she tried the iPad Pro with Pencil and that is what she will get. It is as close to pencil and paper as she has seen.
jagibbons
50%
50%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
1/4/2016 | 12:53:31 PM
Re: Biometrics going mainstream..
Like the mainframe of old, the desktop isn't dead, just relegated to specific business cases where it makes sense for users who don't need portability and want to buy more power for less dollars. In the cost versus performance equation, the desktop still usually comes out ahead, as long as you don't need mobility. I still routinely use a desktop as a secondary machine for certain testing or resource-intensive tasks. I can upgrade the desktop way beyond what I'd want to pay for in a laptop. The desktop will be around for quite some time, although it will never be the dominant force in computing that it once was.
jagibbons
50%
50%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
1/4/2016 | 12:50:21 PM
Re: iPad Pro as graphic input device
Despite Apple's attempts to convince the market otherwise, the iPad Pro is still just an oversized tablet. It is not a replacement for a laptop except in a very small number of cases. It is still app-driven. If you can't find the app, or the apps doesn't work together well, you are limited. It is precisely because of the app-centic nature of iOS that I know of a number of companies, mine included, where staff are ditching their iPad because it can't do everything they need to do when traveling for more than a few days. The iPad Pro didn't change that. Instead, it made the tablet heavier and more awkward, thus joining the ranks of the Surface Pro line which are great as laptop replacements but are too big to be considered a "tablet."
jagibbons
50%
50%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
1/4/2016 | 12:41:14 PM
mobile payment proliferation
I like Android Pay in the few places where I've been able to use it. My year-old Samsung phone doesn't support Samsung Pay. Interesting that retailers are getting into the game. I don't know how many payment apps I want to have all my wallet contents, though. Having too many active payment apps could present its own set of vulnerabilities.
Li Tan
50%
50%
Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
1/3/2016 | 4:24:27 PM
Re: Biometrics going mainstream..
I am eager to get rid of password based login. Remembering passwords for everything is not a trivial task. The fingerprint scanner should be he standard for all devices that has user interaction responsibility.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Author
1/3/2016 | 11:17:14 AM
Re: iPad Pro as graphic input device
@Len123 I'm sure other manufacturers will follow up with thier own versons of the pencil, modified just enough to avoid a patent suit.
Len123
50%
50%
Len123,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/2/2016 | 11:55:55 AM
iPad Pro as graphic input device
I think the iPad Pro is interesting. Just as a graphics input device using the Pencil, it is more than competitive among the purely input devices and it is a computer that can operate unteathered too. It looks expensive for a tablet, but not as a graphics input device, it is on par. Software will be key, but I think it is a game changer for graphics like the first Macs were for composition.
felixlgriffin
50%
50%
felixlgriffin,
User Rank: Strategist
1/2/2016 | 10:08:41 AM
Biometrics going mainstream..
Definitely looking forward to the Biometrics going mainstream.. Love the ability to open my emails and smart phone with my fingerprint. Hate to see the desktop going away.. Poindexter (my desktop) hasn't seen me in months. So sad.. But out with the old and in with the new in 2016. Mobile is the mode; IoT is everything.
InformationWeek Elite 100
InformationWeek Elite 100
Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of August 21, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.