In 2015, new technologies and innovations will hit the market in the artificial intelligence, robotics, augmented reality, Internet of Things and 3-D printing spaces that could pave the way for a major shift in society. These technologies have already started to be integrated into society, changing the way we drive our cars, operate our homes, do our jobs, communicate and consume. But with new innovations on the horizon, you may want to keep an eye on these next year.
Internet of Things: automated homes
Home automation will continue to attract new attention next year and big players will continue to pour money into smartening up everyday items.
Automotive electronics and driverless prototypes
With the Internet of Things also comes automotive electronics and, farther down the road, completely autonomous cars. Next year, auto makers will continue to integrate new technologies into vehicles, particularly among dashboard screens.
Google this week announced that it has built a fully functional driverless car that will likely hit the streets of Silicon Valley early next year. Of course, there are a number of legal hurdles that must be cleared before autonomous driving is the norm.
Robots and drones
This is an area that will surely see major shifts in 2015. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration started allowing some companies to use drones for commercial purposes this year, including certain Hollywood movie studios. Meanwhile, Amazon, which is seeking approval to test its drone delivery services in the U.S., put to work tens of thousands of rolling robots in its distribution centers this year, which it said has greatly improved production. More automation in the workplace is inevitable.
Google may have sprung the modern-day market for wearables to life when it unveiled Google Glass in 2012, but the market has been sputtering to attract widespread adoption. Today, high-tech fitness bands such as FitBit continue to win over consumers who want an easy way to track their calories.
Apple will start selling its much-anticipated Apple Watch in the first half of next year. It will be interesting to see whether the tech takes off (it is Apple after all), or if consumers determine that a smartwatch is not the solution they need after all. One thing is for certain, sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear have been a disappointment.
Augmented reality, or technologies that enhance the regular world around your eyes with visuals, continues to attract the interest of developers. In 2015, it will be adopted into more commercial applications.
Sony is expected to unveil a Google Glass-like headset at CES next month that can be affixed to a person’s regular lenses and superimpose high-resolution OLED images, videos and text in front of a person’s eye. Sony reportedly plans to start mass producing the smart eyewear in 2015.