It's hard to believe there is only about a month left of 2015 and Juniper Research has already put out a list of its top 10 tech predictions for 2016. Even if half of these come true, it's going to be a brave new world ahead.
Gaming is actually a major part of Juniper's projections. It believes 2016 will prove “a watershed year” for virtual reality, as well as a year of big revenue growth in the eSports market. Given what we know about these markets so far, these predictions aren't out of line. After all, 2016 is set to be the commercial release for Oculus Rift as well as PlayStation’s VR system. With these two in the market, calling 2016 a watershed year for VR is pretty on point. Knowing also Juniper's earlier prediction about eSports beating NFL viewership by 2020 gives the 2016 projection extra credence. A prediction about a hybrid cloud and console gaming system also makes sense in light of recent developments.
Devices were also a big part of predictions, with Juniper projecting wearables will find an increased role in the business setting, the rise of consumer robotics, and the race for 5G development will also be on in earnest. Again, all valid predictions given recent events, as Google Glass has been spotted in several professional environments of late and 5G development has already visibly begun with firms like Ericsson.
Even the general technology landscape would be impacted. Increasingly, more devices will share common platforms in Juniper's assessment, banks would take a cue from Bitcoin by embracing blockchain technology, new security models would come into play to take on new threats, and crowdfunding will fundamentally change the way start-up firms come into being.
All of Juniper's assessments are sound and, though most are about as daring as predicting tomorrow's weather, represent some very big changes ahead, changes that we've been building to collectively for some time.
We've already seen companies get a start on Kickstarter, landing initial cash on the strength of huge lists of preorders. We've seen game franchises come back from nowhere and entire new devices get a startup that way. We've even seen competition in the market as crowdfunding platforms emerge; Indiegogo has produced advancements on par with Kickstarter. We know 5G is coming; who was going to rest on laurels and say that 4G was fast enough? We know security methods will change because we also know security threats are changing.
Sure, there's every possibility that these won't come to pass. But if conditions remain similar to today, this shouldn't be an issue. Juniper Research's predictions may not be very bold, but these are highly likely representations of 2016 as we're likely to know it.