Editor’s Note: Based on his experience as a software architect who has worked on a number of multimedia systems designs for the last decade, Rajeev Tiwari has his own personal list of tech trends he will be watching during 2015:
1. The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things finally became dinner table conversation (well, sort of) in 2014 thanks to Google Inc., Which helped to mainstream IoT with a $3.2 billion purchase of smart home thermostat maker Nest Labs. Home automation will continue to attract new attention next year and big players will continue to pour money into smartening up everyday items.
2. 3D Printing
The ability to print out real-world in-demand objects will become even easier and more applicable in 2015. An astronaut on the International Space Station used a 3-D printer to make a socket wrench in space, worldwide shipments of 3D printers are expected to grow 90 percent in 2015, followed by a doubling of unit shipments in 2016.
3. BLE (Bluetooth low energy) and iBeacon to add new options
* Gamification and scavenger hunts (as used at CES 2014).
* Location information and navigation assistance: A geofence can notify attendees where they are on a map and give guidance on where they wish to go.
* Personalized welcome and other location-based alert notifications upon arrival: For example, a badge is printed upon when the attendee enters the geo-fence with notification sent via the app to the badge printing location.
4. Cloud/Client Computing
The convergence of cloud and mobile computing will continue to promote the growth of centrally coordinated applications that can be delivered to any device. “Cloud is the new style of elastically scalable, self-service computing, and both internal applications and external applications will be built on this new style,” said Mr. David W. Cearley. In the near term, the focus for cloud/client will be on synchronizing content and application state across multiple devices and addressing application portability across devices. Today, mobile event apps offer an unprecedented amount of analytic data – a goldmine of useful, real-time information to improve the event experience! Every touch is trackable!
5. Software-Defined Applications and Infrastructure
Agile programming of everything from applications to basic infrastructure is essential to enable organizations to deliver the flexibility required to make the digital business work. Software-defined networking, storage, data centers and security are maturing. Cloud services are software-configurable through API calls, and applications, too, increasingly have rich APIs to access their function and content programmatically. To deal with the rapidly changing demands of digital business and scale systems up — or down — rapidly, computing has to move away from static to dynamic models. Rules, models and code that can dynamically assemble and configure all of the elements needed from the network through the application are needed.
6. Smart Wearables
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/JawBone/Netpulse continue to win over consumers who want an easy way to track their calories, but Apple Inc. and Sony Corp. are among the companies hoping to make wearable waves in 2015. “Smart Wearables will see strong growth with the entry of the Apple Watch and refined offerings from other players,” said Ross Rubin.
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.
7. Augmented reality/Virtual reality
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.
Meanwhile, Facebook, Sony, Google and Samsung have all expressed interest in conjoining with Hollywood to make virtual reality a, well, reality. New Deal Studios and other boutique movie studios have recently started to develop 360-degree films designed specifically for virtual reality headsets.
8. Advanced, Pervasive and Invisible Analytics
Analytics will take center stage as the volume of data generated by embedded systems increases and vast pools of structured and unstructured data inside and outside the enterprise are analyzed. “Every app now needs to be an analytic app,” said Mr. David W. Cearley . “Organizations need to manage how best to filter the huge amounts of data coming from the IoT, social media and wearable devices, and then deliver exactly the right information to the right person, at the right time. Analytics will become deeply, but invisibly embedded everywhere.
9. 4K and beyond
Moore’s law applied to pixels has been incredible. Apple’s 5K iMac topped off a year where we saw 4K displays for hundreds of dollars. In mobile, pixel density will increase (to the degree that battery life, OS and hardware can keep up) and for desktop and wall, screen size will continue to increase. Wall-sized displays, wireless transmission and hopefully touch will introduce a whole new range of potential solutions for collaboration, signage and education.
Rajeev Tiwar i is a Technical Architect at Technicolor, Inc. and has more than 13 years of experience in IPTV, Set Top Box, Video, Audio, Multimedia design. He has written extensively about such topics as SDN/NFV and HEVC and has multiple US patents related to video technology. He worked for Freescale Samsung and has broad experience ranging from the development of low level drivers, custom HW and multithreaded applications to high availability multiprocessor system architectures, video and web servers and networking management systems.