The New Year is right around the corner, and with the increasing reliance on innovation in our ever evolving technological lives, I can tell you we can expect quite a bit of new gadgets and some life changing tech from 2015. For this list, I’ve incorporate a few potential revolutionary pieces of tech and knowledge that will be widely available for the general public now and within the next year.
Google’s Driverless Car
This is a big one. Whether you’re ready or not, one of the most anticipated technologies that is known to make an appearance in the early quarters of 2015 is the introduction of Google’s Driverless Cars. These completely autonomous vehicles will be backed by numourous top researchers as well as a plethora other large companies, including Synaptics, Samsung, Toyota, Velodyne Lidar, Endpoint Technologies, etc. with a combination of $60 billion to ensure its quick impending release.
As of right now, Google and its investors have demonstrated that dozens of their driverless cars have passed over 700,000 miles of accident-free sessions, so safety issues are almost nonexistent at this point. In other words, these are pretty much ready to go. The real issue that could push back an early release are mainly legal. Largely populated states such as California and their DMV are current pressing hard to clear driverless vehicles in preparation for them to become the norm on their roadways.
Prices have yet to be publicly announced for these vehicle and their advanced lidar equipped systems, but some sources have mentioned that the starting point of the cars for next year would be around $30,000 and up for entry models.
Yes, most of us already are already aware of the growing popularity of drones or have even bought some low end models online for around a $100 bucks to play with, but a few major companies are gearing up to use this tech for more than just a toy. The United States Federal Aviation Administration has begun to allow companies and major Hollywood studios to use these for commercial use. One of the earliest adopters of this tech, Amazon, has shown their affinity towards the uses of drones and has set out to make these devices into autonomous and efficient work machines.
Amazon, along with a handful of smaller companies and a few movies studios, are still seeking further approval for commercial drones to be used in a variety of ways including distribution and mass production. While complete mass drone/robot workplaces are still a ways away, it is clear that automation in our workplaces will eventually become inevitable.
In recent years, we’ve seen a sudden mass introduction of wearable technology including smart watches, glasses, wristband bands, Bluetooth rings, LED shirts, belts, shoes, you name it. Almost every major tech company such as Apple, Google, Samsung, or Microsoft, has endorsed at least some type of “wearable” tech in the past 2-3 years. The growing market of has quickly attracted widespread adoption to the point of mainstream with the introduction of the wearable wave of 2015.
Google, Apple, Sony, and Samsung will be introducing a few lines of anticipated brand new wearable tech as early as January of next year.
VR and Augmented Reality Devices
With all the talk surrounding wearable tech accessories, along with the lowering price of modern chipsets, it was only a matter of time that VR devices would be readily available for the general public. Higher end VR devices like Oculus Rift and passive tech eyewear such as Google Glass are set for a public 2015 release.
For those who don’t know, Intel and Google had recently announced a partnership in order to produce a new mass released version of Google’s Glass eyewear with new Intel processors. The partnership between the two plans to promote offer its uses to a variety of companies such as hospital networks and other workplace manufacturers to aid in a number of ways.
The Oculus Rift VR headset will also be a major hit to gamers and enthusiasts alike next year. In fact, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is heavily invested in the idea of VR, and has bought the rights of the Oculus in the recent months for about $2 billion. While this buyout had some mixed reactions on the internet in terms of the Oculus’s freedom and direction, it will no doubt be one of the pioneering techs of the upcoming year.
According to CES promoters, Sony and a few other potential companies are said to reveal the recently popular passive “Glass” tech with their own rival version of the augmented gadget. It is also mentioned that the VR Oculus Rift headset will also have other competition at 2015’s CES with other companies releasing alternatives of the device as well. Overall, it will be a big year for wearable tech in 2015.
Three Dimensional printing is, without a doubt, one of the major hits in recent times. They can create just about anything from basic shapes to human organs The only downside to it is that the machines available at the moment are normally a hefty investment for only enthusiasts or for mass production companies. Either way, 3D printers are currently quite expensive and have a learning curve that can detour the general public from investing their time into.
With the rapid advancements of the popular machines, they’ve only become cheaper and much more user friendly to the consuming public. A few companies as well as Kickstarters such as Peachy have created many different types of these 3D printers for just about any type of person ranging from under $100 or less.
Really, there is not much else to be said about them other than they can be extremely useful will be available from many different companies and will progressively get better and cheaper as time goes on. I’d go as far as to say expect them at your local Walmart store within at least a year or so.
Mobile Device Lifestyle
Last but certainly not least – no big surprise here. Everyone and their grandmother has some type of fairly modern mobile gadget around their house. Chances are you’re looking at this through one yourself. It’s hard to even go out without seeing someone not glued to a glowing screen. Phones and Tablets alike are the most practical trend of recent years and for good reason. With the combination of increasingly affordable ARM based (with some x86) mobiles and the rising mobile marketplace, portable tech has been taking over many other devices without even trying anymore. You don’t need a camera anymore, you don’t require a notepad, a pen, paper, flashlight, compass, a watch, an mp3 player, a gaming device, or even a PC. Really, you shouldn’t need anything else if you have a modern mobile device on you already to get the majority of the job done. Next on the list will be ID’s and credit cards that will quickly replace your purses and wallets. Mobile identification and wallets have been on the rise for a while now, but there is a strong chance of it becoming the norm within the next few years.
Many companies like Paypal, MasterPass, and Visa Checkout have even recently adopted pretty solid discounts for people to move onto mobile payments. In fact, most mobile payment companies charge much less per transaction than any credit card company which, in turn, equates direct saving for the company themselves. With the introduction of Apples “Apple Pay” system in the first quarter of 2015, the market will only grow from here. What’s not to like?
Regardless, here’s to a more efficient and progressive 2015 new year.