Posted on 23rd December 2015 by Alex Heys
2015 has been a great year for innovation in technology across the globe. The sector continues to go from strength to strength and the growth of some big trends, such as the Internet of Things and wearable tech, has helped technology stocks perform well this year. So here we look at four pretty cool products that were released in 2015:
To write a technology blog without mentioning Apple would be unheard of! Each year the company announces something revolutionary in the technology space. In 2013 we had the iPhone 5C and 2014 saw the release of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus, and in April 2015 it was the turn of the Apple Watch. While sales of the product have been slow to gain momentum, it is still very early days.
So what is it? Well its a smart watch that not only lets you make phone calls, send texts and emails, listen to music and access maps it also doubles up as a health and fitness tracker and a wallet (through Apple Pay). Simplified, its an iPhone on your wrist. While other smart watches are available, critics are calling Apples one of the most refined wearables to date, with the best combination of software and hardware available on the market today. It is certainly of the most aesthetically pleasing available, but it does come with a hefty price tag.
Smart watches taking over from smart phones is a long way off, but Apple has certainly planted the seed this year with the Apple Watch and rumours have already started around an Apple Watch 2 event next year.
The Amazon Echo is a wireless speaker and voice command device that was released in June 2015. Alongside playing music, the Echos digital voice assistant, called Alexa, will happily help you with a variety of day-to-day tasks such as make to-do lists, give you verbal reminders, set alarms and provide weather, traffic and other real-time information.
Its similar to having Apples Siri available throughout your house you simply use the wake up word Alexa and then use your voice to control it. Cleverly, Echo is constantly learning and adapting to your speech patterns and personal preferences.
While it isnt currently available in the UK, we are expecting the Echo to arrive here in 2016. Watch this space!
Tesla Model X
This year also saw the launch of one of the most eagerly awaited vehicles in recent memory – the Tesla Model X. The car has been hailed as the safest, greenest, fastest and most capable sport utility vehicle (SUV) in history. It has a 90 kWh battery that delivers 250 miles of range per charge; it goes from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 3.2 seconds, with a maximum speed of 155 miles per hour making it completely unique in the automotive world.
While there are plenty of other electric vehicles (EVs) on the road, very few are SUVs, and none are in the luxury space or with a performance as high as the Model X. The car also has some amazing features such as the DeLorean-esque falcon wing doors, an impressive sound system with 17 speakers, and an enormous 17 inch touch screen on the dashboard.
The launch of the Model X really showcases the incredible potential of EVs lets hope it becomes one of many innovative vehicles that help to drive the popularity of electric cars.
In September of this year, former science minister Lord Drayson and the team at his research and development company Drayson Technologies unveiled Freevolt. Freevolt is a technology that harvests energy from unused radio frequency (RF) signals all around us, such as wifi, 3G, 4G and broadcast signals, and turns it into perpetual power.
Put simply, Freevolt is the first commercially available technology that turns thin air into energy! Effectively, devices wont need charging, will cost nothing to run and arent limited by the location of an external power source. In its current form Freevolt is still only viable for devices that require very little power, such as wearable technology, sensors and beacons, but the potential of the technology is huge.
Look out for part 2 of this blog series that looks forward to 2016 and predicts what the hottest technology trends will be.