Technology has never been so fast changing, just five or six years ago there were no iPads or tablets, and 9 years ago no iPhones. Below are a few technology trends which are expected to change the way we work, rest and play.
- 3-D PRINTING
3D printing is gaining momentum. It is the process of making solid objects of three dimensional nature from digital files. Designers build virtual models in Computer Aided Design (CAD) files with the help of a 3D scanner. Could we be designing and making promotional products on demand one day?
- ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) TRENDS
Undeniably, robots are miles away from matching the natural human intelligence level but what we’ve seen in recent years shows that we may soon have artificial people. It’s not going to happen in 2016 but with such a quick rate of advancement, by the end of the year we could see some really exciting developments.
- VIRTUAL REALITY
As discussed in our previous blog, virtual reality has hit the promotional product market this year. With this upcoming technology, users are provided with a 360-degree video environment and are able to view video and gaming content like they were a “part of it”. A VR headset is mounted on to a digital device such as a smartphone, and then strapped around the head to cover the eyes.
- AUGMENTED REALITY
Often muddled up with virtual reality, augmented reality (AR) is often a more practical upcoming technology when compared to VR. AR enhances what the user sees via 3D Smart Glasses or via a smart phone application such as Blippar. The digital information is enhanced into a real world context while virtual reality creates immersive digital worlds in front of our eyes, behaving in ways that mimic real world analogues.
- INTERNET OF THINGS (IOT)
Internet of things is an environment in which physical objects are provided with the ability to connect and transfer data between each other over a network without necessarily utilising human to computer or human to human interaction.
For the past five or so years, the internet of things has been a vital part of the technology world and is now firmly embedded in our lives. That said, we’re far from fully exploiting this technology, according to experts, and hopefully 2016 is going to be the breakthrough year.
A number of developments are expected to take place in this fast changing field as gadget manufacturers continue to increase the production of wireless IP-based devices. Also the emergence of more natural people-to-“thing” interaction is expected to take place, and this way devices will be more usable through semantic modelling and voice control and social interplay.
- WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY OF THE FUTURE
It started with smart Bluetooth Wristbands, followed by a more advanced generation of devices designed to be worn around the wrist, the neck, the waist, the ears and other parts of the body equipped with additional sensors and functionalities such as GPS connection and some smartwatch capabilities.
2015 provided the platform for all these developments phases and thanks to market demand upsurge, more reliable major IT companies such as Apple, Google and Microsoft have entered the market, only to increase its already overwhelming popularity.
- SMART DRONES
Although the use of drones for commercial purposes is yet to be legalised in many countries across the world, the number of drone suppliers and the general use of these kits has been seeing an accelerating upsurge over the past few years.
We are now seeing smart drones enter into the promotional market and they will get smarter and more prevalent as time moves on.
- WIRELESS CHARGING TECHNOLOGY
Ever wanted to get rid of all those wires and cables you have to charge devices? Well, using magnetism to transmit electricity, wireless charging pads are the latest technology to do this. Wireless chargers, also known as inductive chargers, use a transmitter coil to produce an alternating current, which in turn generates a voltage in the device at the receiver coil. They can be used to charge smartphones, headsets, tablets, portable power banks and cameras.
9. DIGITAL PERSONAL ASSISTANTS
From smart cars to robots, everything is going smarter with machine learning. However, software based intelligence is bringing about an even greater impact and it’s thus becoming a more viable option.
Currently, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google Now and other Digital Personal Assistants are becoming smarter each day and are the leading autonomous agents of today’s technology. It’s only a matter of time until voice control and app conversations replace the old school menus and forms.
10. BLUETOOTH POWERED BEACONS
Also known as lighthouses, Bluetooth beacons are being installed in locations such as hotels, shopping malls, offices, hospitals and recreational points. They detect nearby smartwatch and smartphone users and send them real time notifications about their services in a bid to attract passing by potential customers. This opens up large opportunities for digital marketing with the supporting promotional incentives linked to the digital messages.
So far, only established hotels and shopping malls have been able to afford this technology mainly due to the high cost of purchasing and installing 4.2 Bluetooth beacon hardware, but with a projected increase in the number of suppliers in 2016, cheaper alternatives may be more accessible.
If you are interested in how you could incorporate the latest technology trends into promotional products for your marketing campaign, please give us a call on 0114 275 4150 or email [email protected]