Posted on 4th January 2016 by Alex Heys
You may have seen our previous blog post that looked at some of the ground breaking innovations that came out of 2015. This time we are going to look forward to 2016 and explore some of the technology trends that we think will make a splash next year:
Today virtual reality (VR) is far from mainstream, but some important developments in 2015 mean that 2016 could be a big year for the technology. Companies developing it continue to draw massive investment, and the scope for VR across numerous sectors, from gaming to advertising, has meant that it is certainly one to watch in 2016.
VR devices are typically headsets, they immerse users in three-dimensional worlds, letting you look around and feel like youre somewhere else. The main use for VR is initially expected to be gaming and with three highly-anticipated VR product launches in 2016 (the Facebook owned Oculus Rift CV1, HTC Vive, and the Sony Playstation VR) this is where the technologys success is likely to be in 2016. However VR has huge potential beyond gaming, and could extend to other areas such as movies where users might be able to use the technology to immerse themselves in the environment of the film.
There is currently a lot of hype around driverless cars, especially with the recent revelation that Google has been in talks with the Department of Transport to discuss plans to put its self-drive vehicles on UK roads.
While its unlikely well see driverless cars on our roads in 2016 (Google has said 2017, while Mercedes Benz has mentioned 2020) it will certainly be a big year for research and development as well as ironing out some of the finer details around regulation and insurance implications.
Earlier this year American fashion brand Joes Jeans launched a pair of jeans that can charge a smart phone while you wear them. The jeans have a dedicated iPhone pocket which is next to a hidden battery pack, enabling your phone to charge whilst on the move.
According to Gartner, sales in smart clothing such as Joes Jeans will go from practically non-existent in 2014, to 26 million in 2016. One particular area for potential here is the health and fitness sector, where companies such as Hexoskin and Jabil are planning to build sensors into t-shirts and sports bras to record biometric data without sacrificing comfort.
In the latter part of 2015 there were a number of renewable energy cut backs announced by the government, including the removal of onshore wind farms and support for small-scale solar power. One area that has been left unharmed in the UK is the feed-in-tariff for micro-combined heat and power (MicroCHP). Here at Flow we use this technology to power our ground-breaking, energy generating boiler.
The Flow boiler which is designed and manufactured here in the UK, provides heating and hot water, while also generating low cost, low carbon electricity to power your home. It can slash your home energy bills, and your household carbon emissions, and it even comes in a package where it effectively pays for itself, so you dont have to.
It is predicted that by 2030 more than one in three of the 115 million boilers sold in Europe could be a microCHP system. From early 2016, the Flow boiler will available to purchase for your home, click here to find out more.