2015 was an absolutely incredible year and there is no doubt in my mind that 2016 will be even better. As the co-founder of a technology startup I find myself constantly reading more about where we are going, who is pushing the limits, and what that means for the future. We are living in very interesting times, a time where technological innovation is happening at a more rapid pace, in a more connected way, than ever before.
So what does all this mean for the year ahead? I think five thing are going to happen this year:
1. Virtual Reality will reach the masses
Oculus has promised a consumer product in Q1 of 2016 and it sounds like everything is on-track as they are ramping up marketing efforts ahead of launch. While many of us think of VR for gaming, I think 2016 is the year that people really get the power of VR and it’s potential as an entertainment device that can provide better television and movie experiences.
Now I don’t expect everyone to go out and buy a VR headset in 2016, but I do think it will reach the masses in a way it never had in the past. Soon you will know someone that has a VR headset, you’ll probably use one yourself in the next couple of months. This kind of penetration was once relegated to science fiction movies, now it’s here and anyone can use it.
2. Uber’s IPO reveals how deep their focus has become on self-driving cars
When you think of Uber, you probably think about the company that you now use instead of a cab. What you might not think of is a company that is investing a fortune into getting self-driving cars onto the road.
I’m not expecting self-driving cars to hit the road in 2016 but it is the year that we’re all going to realize how real the self-driving car thing is and how soon it is likely to happen.
3. Nintendo will finally release Zelda for Wii U
Nintendo fans have been waiting not-so-patiently for the latest installment in the Zelda series. Next year Nintendo will share more details about their new console, codenamed the “NX” and they’ll give the fans what they want, the next big Zelda hit.
No, I don’t expect Nintendo to launch the NX in 2016, that will likely come in 2017, but the new Zelda will hit this year, and fans all over the world will make some great memories in the land of Hyrule.
4. Oil will continue to go down
I don’t think the slide we’ve seen in oil is a fad, I think it’s a clear trend and that trend is down. Tom Kloza, the guy who predicted in 2014 that oil would hit $35 a barrel in 2015 expects it to go even lower in 2016 but some analysts think it could have a comeback.
I think a comeback is far away and we’ll end 2016 with oil hovering in the $20 – $30 barrel range.
5. You will start speaking to your electronics
By the end of next year there’s a good chance you will be speaking to one or more of your devices. Whether you choose Amazon’s voice concierge, the Echo, or Apple’s Siri built-into the new Apple TV there’s a good chance you’ll be feeling a bit more like a starship captain ordering your electronics around. Tea, Early Grey, Hot, anyone?