2016’s IT Forecasts, Tech Predictions and Unfounded Speculations

Information technology is the opium of the generation. We are ever looking for the next high, awaiting the next iPhone release, ranting about how awesome the next Samsung Galaxy will be or fantasizing about the next life changing innovation.

Personally, I think our expectations sometimes precede our own capabilities. We want technology to make our businesses more productive, our bodies less tired and our moods more likable. Deep down in our hearts, we know that this is next to impossible yet we still look up to our engineers and designers with expectant eyes.

But hey! We are dreamers – or at least so do research firms like Gartner and Forrester seem to portray of us.

Here are some of the most interesting IT predictions and forecasts I have come across in the last few weeks of 2015.

The internet of things is here to stay

When I hear the word Internet of Things (IoT), I think of CSI Miami grade cameras automatically sending footage to a computer that decides whether the porch light or the alarm siren should go on. Since this sound useful to me, and perhaps to you, I believe that the internet of things is bound to grow exponentially.

Back in 2013, Gartner, the American marketing research and advisory firm, had its reports and predictions in perfect synchrony with my expectations. According to Gartner, the global IT expenditure grew by 3.6 percent to a $3.8 trillion net worth in 2014. Gartner reported that ‘connected devices ranging from jewelry to refrigerators’ would drive the growth.

Connected World Chart
The 2014/2015 connectivity statistics reflect the positive trend

They were right. We already have intelligent refrigerators, connected fitness bands and kitchen weighing scales that keep track of how much animal protein you consume in a day. Cisco, the networking giant, believes that the trend will hold and predicts the number of IoT devices to grow by over 100 percent and hit the 50 billion mark by 2020.

3D printing will change our life

3D printers will lead to cost-effective production procedures hence effectively dropping the cost of prototyping and in some cases production. Expect to see sleeker cars and efficient machines since engineers will have accurate prototyping tools at their hands.

Since you can buy a 3D printer off eBay or Alibaba, it won’t be long before we replace some manufacturers and make do with designers. I have a feeling that we will soon be downloading our favorite coffee mugs or sneakers as 3D designs and running them through our personal printers to get the physical product.

Expect robots to proliferate in our world

Samsung has a refrigerator that will text you, or perhaps your grocer when stocks run low. iRobota has an intelligent vacuum that will clean your house as you lie idle on the sofa. Google, Scania, and Mercedes are working hard on packing driver intelligence into computer chips with their self-driving cars.

Robots will take over the mundane tasks we all hate. From driving in heavy traffic to keeping an up to date shopping list. I will be off my league, and perhaps my mind, not to emphasize that these robots won’t necessarily be the bipedal blondes in Ex Machina or the ruthless agents in the Matrix. The time for that is yet to be.

Efficient innovations will make us lazier

Tech will take regular chores like cleaning and lawn mowing off our docket. We even wouldn’t have to stand up and switch off the lights to enjoy a movie. We perhaps would be living in a smart home that knows how to get a door, roll down the blinds and dim the lights once you begin playing a movie.

The sorts of AirWheel and hoverboards will rob us of the basic need to walk from the car park into the office elevator. Only the right-minded will hold their own once the laziness and extra time begins smothering us. Only they who can set aside time to actually work out and put more effort into their work will live to proliferate with the automation.

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