Tech

5 Digital Trends to Watch and Where They’re Headed

As the Internet of Things continues to blossom and integrate technology all around us, we’re moving towards a completely connected society in every way. From cars and homes to entertainment, the digital innovations of 2016 aren’t necessarily new but trending towards accessible (for all consumers). The following technologies are moving our lives forward and setting up a foundation for a flourishing future.

  1. Autonomous Cars

The world’s largest carmakers have began production on a sweeping fleet of autonomous cars that will be available in the market these upcoming years. The long-awaited Bolt EV by GM is up for a big debut for consumers looking to drive a car of the future at an affordable price ($30,000, to be exact). This is a landmark step for not only car technology, but also overall transportation because it will indirectly help the environment with the reduction of gas and human error.

  1. Video Streaming

In 2015, digital video usage surpassed social media for the first time ever which was a significant indicator of its rise in popularity and a reflection of mobile and connected technology that has adapted to enable it. As consumers continue to cut the cord on pricey big cable and opt to subscribe to low-cost monthly streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, video streaming will continue to gain eyeballs. Powerful processors within mobile devices like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge enable smoothly functioning digital media consumption, with service providers simultaneously teaming up with these phablets, smartphones and tablets to sweeten the deal. T-Mobile encourages more video streaming activity with its Binge On initiative that allows users to stream video for free without using their data plan. By 2019, 80% of the world’s internet traffic will be video, making this video stream “trend” more of a staple.

  1. Smart Homes

Smart appliances like Samsung’s collection of smart home SmartThings have already been introduced, but innovators will push the needle further by capitalizing on connected technology and data collection. More partnerships will begin to form between tech companies and other industries like consumer product goods. For example, smart refrigerators will work as a hub, collecting user data and leveraging this data to provide recipes (from a partnering brand) right on the refrigerator door. Smart objects are doing the unthinkable and becoming even smarter.

  1. Virtual Reality

VR isn’t new but making 3-D a real consumer reality is. Advanced visual and graphic technology is finally accessible and consumers are getting their hands on it, first hand, in their mobile devices. With mobile processing technology enables ultra-high definition graphics, tech innovators have created headsets the everyday person can buy and attach their phone to immerse themselves in a modern day Gameboy experience. Additionally, VR will make its way into other markets aside from technology. For instance, the healthcare industry is beginning to benefit from increasing integration of VR technology in everywhere from medical education to the operating floor.

  1. Wearables

Last but not least, wearables are, well, becoming more “wearable” in a sense that they’re beginning to provide realistic use and better value to everyday lifestyles. They’re getting fashionable (with partnerships forming between tech innovators and designers) and smarter, with improvements to tracking fitness, managing communications and doing work. With increasing data, brands are starting to utilize this data to deliver services in ways that deem valuable to consumers and these wearables are the top trackers for this vital information.

The tech trends of the past decade aren’t just trends anymore. This year, they’re making their stance, here to stay for the long run to pave the way to a very digitalized future.

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Jennifer Thayer is a freelance journalist who loves writing about technology. She enjoys showing readers how they can use devices like laptops and smartphones to make their lives easier. She is an editor at FreshlyTechy.com. Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @TechyJen.

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