The year 2014 is almost at an end, a year of Bendgate, Gamergate, Ice Bucket challenges and the classification of the Lumbersexual (+10 Eye Spy points). We dusted off the Matchbox crystal ball, reshuffled the tarot cards, and asked our crack team of tech prognosticators to stare into the future. This is what they saw…
The new iOS programming language Swift will become more and more sought after as a skill, with people looking to develop iOS apps with Swift in place of Objective-C to be ‘future-proof’. Within the year, no doubt some ill-informed recruiter will advertise a job looking for a candidate with 5 years minimum Swift experience.
I predict a massive move in healthcare towards wearables and intelligent self-learning apps. Moving away from relying on patient inconsistency and towards a more customised self-guided approach. Social interaction will also help, like Candy Crush and friends competing, people with the same medical conditions can interact together and share/compete to improve themselves.
This year sees the ability to persist and continue actions, represent your self and your state, across multiple devices over time – think Apple Handoff – making specific computing platforms invisible, irrelevant, replaceable.
Coins and notes will continue to become a legacy monetary format. Contactless card payments are now ubiquitous, on my mobile phone I can buy bus and train tickets, pay for coffee and order from amazon with out ever emptying my pockets. Apple Pay is another reason good old hard cash is going to become an increasingly rare sight. In fact the only thing I tend to carry coins for these days are for lockers at the local swimming baths.
There’s a lot of talk about next year being the year of the wearable, and quite frankly, I agree. But I’m not talking about wristbands, watches, glasses or anything so mundane. I’m talking proper wearables, good stuff like jetpacks and hoverboots! I can see myself moonwalking in some hoverboots and backflipping with my jetpack. It’s the future, and it’s gonna be next year.
VR 2015 predictions: 2015 will be the rebirth of VR in gaming. With the Oculus Rift suspected to have a 2015 release, Samsung Gear VR paired with Oculus, and new rumours of an XBOX One VR headset coming, one or multiple of them are bound to make a splash. We already see a large list of games with native, modded or promised support for the Oculus, so VR PC gaming is pretty much a sure bet, if that does extend to consoles in a big way, then there will be a a whole new market opportunity.
First you wasted time playing computer games, now you can waste time watching others play! With the rise in popularity of watching hosted game streams as entertainment (and operating them for profit), it’s no surprise that Valve have gotten in on the act with their successful Steam gaming platform for PC. With their reach and credibility amongst core gaming audiences, this could well be the year of the Steam Stream.
With 2015 being the year when wearables really breakout, UX teams will revisit their products with a clean sheet of paper, in order to deliver more tailored experiences. These devices will call for fresh approaches, instead of cramming in a full or even half-feature set. Witness apps like Pip!, which may appear limited at first blush, but provide a concise feature set and experience, ideal for quickly messaging from your wrist.