The start of the new year is always full of promise and resolution. Out with the old and in with the new. But what does that mean for technology? Here at projectfive we’ve always got an eye on the digital landscape, so here are 5 tech trends to look out for in 2016:
1. Cloud computing
OK, so Cloud Computing isn’t new – it’s a term that people have been using for some time now. But, it’s a fast moving technology. We look after over 250 businesses, and every single one of them uses ‘cloud’ in some form or another. But none of them are 100% cloud. Getting it right is all about using the right mix of cloud services to complement your existing technology. Don’t be fooled by suppliers who brand what they sell as ‘cloud’ – make sure you’re using technology that has the right mix of Functionality, Cost and Business Continuity that’s right for your business.
2. Touch ID will lead the way in payment security
Some of us in the office already use touch ID for our banking phone apps – perhaps you do, too? Currently only available through Apple devices, users can access their online banking details using fingerprint touch ID, by-passing the traditional PIN security. It’s quicker, more convenient and means that you – and only you – can access your banking information. This is potentially set to supersede the current contactless payment methods, whereby you only need to tap your card against the machine. In fact, with Apple Pay, you can pay in store without even needing your cards – just simply hold your iPhone near the contactless reader with your finger on the Touch ID button. Some groups have been cynical about this, but experts believe that eventually touch ID will take over and revolutionise the way we make payments.
3. The year of the smartphone
‘But that’s nothing new!’, I hear you cry. No it’s not, but the way in which it will become the primary tool for our social and business interactions is. For example, those in the know believe payments by mobile will become the norm. Companies will also be able to send us ultra-targeted ads or offers, based on where we happen to be – even down to where we are standing in a shop (cool or invasive? We’re not sure!). Smartphones and the mobile revolution will continue to give us access to information anywhere and at any time – which means the way in which we live, work, interact and do business will continue to change.
4. Smart homes are the way ahead
This will be the year that we embrace the smart home – by equipping our homes with heating, lighting and electronic devices that can be controlled remotely by a smartphone or computer. One such device is the Nest Thermostat; which ‘automatically adapts as your life changes.’ Just by using it for a week, it will learn your patterns of living and will adjust itself accordingly, saving energy and money – you can even change the temperature at home when you’re out and about. Suzanne in the team has just got one and apparently it’s a game-changer!
5. Invasion of the robots
From robots to self-driving cars, smart machines are set to make decisions and solve problems without human intervention. Software versions of robots – or AI as most of us would know it – are predicted to eventually replace those manual, repetitive tasks in the workplace, which will change the way businesses work. But the burning questions is: will they be able to make that all-important morning cuppa?