With 2015 fast winding to a close, it’s a good time to look ahead, so here goes.

 

(1) Expect a GAMA Drone announcement.

By GAMA I mean Google-Apple-Microsoft-Amazon, the current Fab Four of tech.  One of these four will announce a drone for the masses.  Drones are becoming a huge phenomenon and 2016 will be the year of the drone.  Drones are so big that the FAA just put out Drone Registration Rules where you will have to register the drone you buy.  Over 700,000 drones are expected to be sold this holiday season.

 

(2) 4K HD Blu Ray disc players on store shelves

Look for 4K Blu Ray discs and players that will upscale regular Blu Ray discs to 4K and even downscale 4K Blu Ray discs to play on regular HDTV (but who cares about that?).

 

(3) Google Cardboard is the new Glass

This idea will work.  It’s cheap and will power 3D movies for all.  Glass was torpedoed by privacy concerns since everyone thought that pair of glasses was secretly video recording you and could have been.  Cardboard is a curiosity now, but will be big by the end of 2016 and measure that by the amount of content produced for it.

 

(4) Danger Meters rise

Police now routinely mine crime data to figure out where to go after the bad guys and where to best deploy their cops.  Why can’t consumers do the same to avoid crime-ridden areas?  A Danger Meter is just an extension of analyzing traffic cams for traffic jams.  Bomb threat?  Possible terrorist at large?  Soon there will be an app for that to warn you.

 

(5) Personal Curation Tools

Google Photos is showing the way here with their story-making tool for your photos.  With current digital cameras and smartphone cameras encouraging us to be snap happy and generate tons of photos, we need some way to organize them and Google Stories are a great first step.  We need that curation for other aspects of our digital lives, whether it’s finances, spreadsheets, word processor documents, you name it.  Curating your data and feeding it back to you with some high level analysis will be big in 2016.

 

(6) Video Game daycare

At a local indoor mall where a store should have been was instead a series of lounge chairs, each with a big screen TV and an X-box.  You rented the chair and video game from a counter inside.  The clerk at the counter told me many shoppers dropped off their kids to play games while the parents shopped the mall.  I see this evolving into a full-blown daycare service.

 

(7) Wearable cameras go mainstream

You could always wear a GoPro with some hideous attachment, then Narrative came up with a simple clip-on camera.  This is the direction for a personal body cam.  Yes police will get them, but look for baseball caps with cameras to appear in stores.

 

(8) Amazon Echo teaches you a foreign language

It’s in your home.  You talk to it.  It talks to you.  Soon you will be learning a foreign language from it.  Bonjour!

 

(9) Big data converts low-fi bootlegs to pristine studio sound

All music is either live (as in live performed) or dead (as in no one will pay anything for it).  The iPod became the iPhone which became Pandora.  Since all songs are in the cloud, except what you bootlegged at a concert, you need something to turn your bootlegs into studio version tracks.  Shazam is a music recognition app that can match your bootleg to the cloud, but requires you to PLAY YOUR BOOTLEG to recognize the audio.  With the massive amount of data we now carry in our lives, this process has to be streamlined.  Look for a music service where you upload your bootlegs to the cloud, music tracks are recognized in the background and then you are offered the chance to buy the studio versions of your bootlegs or subscribe to a channel which is the studio versions of your bootlegs.  You could think of this like a Dalek, sterilizing your live version into a clean version.  This will be a way to sell music that you’ve heard back to you.

 

(10) Forget identity theft, the future is identity erasure

What about the right to be forgotten in Europe?  How far can that go?  Once things are in the Internet, are they forever in some data center’s memory?  The answer is basically yes, but I expect a service designed to clean as much up about you as possible.  Remove all traces of you on social networks (delete posts before removing account), shopping sites, email sites, cloud storage/backups, etc.  The flip of this service is a private investigation tool to pull all that data without deleting it.

 

So there are 10 predictions for 2016.  I see 2016 as the Year of the Drone and expect to see Drones buzzing everywhere taking our selfies for us (making them “dronies”).

Look for mobile technology to keep on improving and check back at pdxmobile.com for an insight or two.  Follow @pdxmobile on Twitter to figure out the tech news as it happens too.

 

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