Published on in Innovation

‘Tis the season for predictions – so it was only a matter of time before I got involved. After a year that has seen security dominate the headlines, masses of drones taking flight, and the whole country embracing contactless payments, what technology trends can we expect to see in 2016?

I’ve gazed into the proverbial crystal ball and had a look at the emerging technologies that will shape next year.

Say hello to Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift virtual realityWith the consumer launches of the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR all penciled in for 2016, VR is going to open up a whole new dimension for entertainment for those who can afford it. According to some reports, 14 million devices could be sold in the next year. Speaking in her keynote at this year’s Fujitsu Forum, Intel’s Dr Genevieve Bell suggested the arrival of VR will herald a new era of storytelling. Putting the technology in the hands of a greater pool of people will only accelerate this further, but to start we’ll have to get past a pretty big price point for the higher end headsets.

Biometric security takes off

2015 was the year cyber security was thrust back to the top of the agenda for businesses, so rightly many will be looking to lost ground in 2016. Biometrics could well be one of the answers. Consumer awareness over data security is higher than ever before, so businesses have to react to the ever-evolving threat landscape. The risks of not doing so are loss of customers, revenues, and reputational damage. Showing ways of mitigating that risk will be welcoming, and introducing biometrics into the authentication process will help. At Fujitsu we’re already leading the charge in this field, with our palm vein biometric solution – and others are sure to follow in 2016.

Internet of Things starts to shed its ‘siloes’ tag

The Internet of Things (IoT) is still in its formative days. One of the big challenges so far has been getting the billions of devices connected to the internet talking to each other in an intelligent way. Right now there are lots of really interesting pilots and experiments taking place in individual siloes, meaning the full value of IoT isn’t yet being realised. When a universal set of standards is created, those billions of devices and platforms will be able to communicate with each other much more easily – we should take steps in 2016 to do this.

Enterprise wearables grab a foothold

On the subject of IoT, wearables are another area that has huge potential for growth in 2016. So far, wearables have been the sole focus of the consumer market – but that could be all set to change. At this year’s Fujitsu Forum we got a glimpse of how this technology could improve health, safety and productivity of a workforce. We see enterprise wearables as a big trend to look out for in construction and heavy industry.

Additive Manufacturing adds a new dimension for businesses

It’s taken time for 3D printing to really get going and it’s been seen as a bit of a fad…until now. Big enterprises will be look at this technology can be used in production lines, shaking up supply chains. Rather than using its 3D printing moniker, we’ll be talking about the industrial execution ‘additive manufacturing’. The benefits of stripping out costs, and producing materials much more cheaply are there for the taking. However, businesses have to be willing to experiment and make the capital investment.

Do you agree? What other technology trends do you expect to see in 2016? Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.

Image credit: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung

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Jim Millen

Digital Content Editor at Fujitsu
I'm the editor for the Fujitsu UK & Ireland blog, and love to write about the exciting work Fujitsu do in digital & technology innovation.

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1 Comment

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    Darren Malley said on

    I’ve been developing for VR for around 3 years now in my spare time and it is clear that the tech is ready for mass adoption. I hope that Fujitsu will move into this sector more as it will certainly grow very quickly.

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