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Technology Trends for 2016 – And Beyond…

9th November 2016

The New Year is just around the corner and the hunt is on to seek out the newest gadgets and trends. In an ever-changing technological world, brand-new ideas, products and ground-breakers are hitting the streets all the time. Here is our look at what we think 2016 will bring to the world of techno for both events and everyday life.

Geo-fencing

We have touched on beacon technology before, but if you haven’t heard of it already, let us introduce you to geo-fencing: A type of software program which allows you to target a customised market within a specific geographical area as an interactive source of engagement. It can be used to send triggers or alerts to mobile devices when an individual enters or exits a specific zone, thanks to GPS and radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology.

As one of the more modern methods of communicating with your target market, it is now gathering pace as a way of engaging with potential clients – or even better – grabbing the attention of would-be passers-by.

Imagine being able to pinpoint the whereabouts of your target market, and using that information to offer your goods and services with a simple push notification – the new standard means of communication through smartphones.

As for event planners, it’s an absolute dream. Say you are hosting an event. One of your attendees shows up but is not entirely sure where to go. Why not send them a quick map to use once they arrive with a breakout timetable? Or allow them to ‘check-in’ on social media to let their friends know where they are (without having to click link after link)? You can even give them information on their on their current surroundings, based on their location. Equally you can store information on statistics such as attendance and peak attendance.

With software programs such as Apple’s iBeacon still at its infant stages, expect the world of geo-fencing to get bigger and bigger…

Wearables

The growth of wearable technology is an intriguing phenomenon that is beginning to revolutionise how we consume and use information. Wearables are specifically designed to make the most out of the 24/7 business environment and are regularly used in the workplace to track health and productivity. This area of the tech market was valued at $6.3 million in 2010 and is predicted to surpass $12.8 billion by 2016.

The recent release of the Apple Watch has triggered a vast increase in the interest of smartwatches, but despite this being a relatively new market, it seems that this area is heading in the same direction as mobile phones. Sony, Microsoft, Samsung, LG, Pebble Steel and Asus are just a few of the brands that have released smartwatches in this rapidly growing market.

Wearables come in all shapes and sizes; such as the new Smart Ring, which allows you to keep up to date with calls, texts and social media through vibrations in your finger. This is a release that we are expecting to see more of in the New Year. And it comes at a very reasonable price – bonus!

4D Projection Mapping

We are sure you have all become familiar with 2D and maybe event 3D projection mapping, but for 2016, 4D projection mapping is another trend that is predicted to advance, particularly in events and advertising. As standard, projection mapping is achieved by using image mapping and projections onto a surface in order to enhance the overall experience for the audience. This fourth dimension can extend to interacting with senses, such as smell in order to portray a more memorable message – a key concept within experiential marketing.

Ralph Lauren were the first to attempt this, creating the ‘World’s First 4-Dimensional Experience’, which is regarded to be the most memorable example of project mapping to date. The advert brought the streets of New York to life with 3D motion graphics, live action pre-recorded footage and products were put into a 3D projected environment. Scent generators were also used to release the smell of the company’s latest fragrances throughout the streets.

This is an idea that could revolutionise product and event launches and is arguably one of the best ways to get a message across to the target audience. We will therefore be hoping to see an increase of 4D projection mapping in the near future and can’t wait to use it ourselves.

Drone Deliveries

The idea of a drone or a robot delivering your shopping directly to your front door in just 30 minutes seems almost laughable, but in 2016 this could become reality.

A six-wheeled, small and self-driving robot has been designed by the co-founders of Skype and is rumoured to be making test appearances on the streets of London in 2016. This new device is designed to cut down delivery costs and increase shopping efficiency for a variety of customers in the near future. These robots will use GPS, sensors and cameras to travel along the streets at walking-speed, with the ability to climb kerbs and small stairs. A two-way communication system will be installed with a human operator at the control centre. Don’t worry; your future shopping is in safe hands with a remotely controlled speaker and a direct call to the police to escape potential threats.

Amazon Prime Air are also in the process of producing a similar device that they predict will one day be seen as the expected method of service. Their “octocopters” would be able to carry packages weighing up to 2.3kg; however, we don’t expect to see this for some time.

Mobile Payments

Still a relatively new craze in the world of tech, paying via mobile devices has also gained momentum in recent years. The turning point for this was perhaps the introduction of Apple Pay (from, yes, Apple again), which sent the amount of mobile payments through the roof. In fact, its rapid growth has led some to predict that it will overtake the usage of credit cards and even cash within the next five years – an interesting thought.

More and more, mobile phones are forming a fundamental component of our day-to-day lives. By the end of next year, mobile phone sales are expected to pass the £2bn mark. This is hardly surprising given that, according to the United Nations, only one in seven people do not own a mobile phone worldwide.

So are we set for a wallet-less, cash-less world as mobiles threaten to transform the global side of money and finance for the foreseeable future? Here’s looking at you, 2016.

Mobile Apps

Staying with mobiles, the world of mobile applications is experiencing a similar growth spurt. Apps are continuously in increasing demand and with this comes the desire to have the best app around. Apps are continually becoming smarter, faster and more useful. After all, no one wants to lose a potential client over a low quality standard of service.

One integral part of mobile apps is advertising. Expenditure on mobile advertising is expected to increase – despite studies1 claiming it already accounts for around half of all digital ad spending. Across the next 12 months, spending on mobile ads are expected to top $40bn – a 40% increase on last year. Within the next five years, mobile ads are projected to account for around 75% of all digital ad spending.

With the hype over mobile apps showing no signs of stopping, it seems that the mobile industry is threatening to dominate the world of technology in the years to come. By 2017, apps will have made $77bn in revenue. It could be fair to say apps are becoming something of a beast – watch this space!

So there you have it: Our predictions for 2016 and beyond as we look to innovate our world of events.

One thing is for sure, we are excited to see what the future holds for technology…

References

  1. Bosomworth (2015) Mobile Marketing Statistics 2015

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