Smart Homes >>
Today, we randomly use technology to take care of our electrical appliances. The only problem is that all the smart appliances are quite expensive. But now, with Apple and Google pushing aggressively into the smart home market with the smartphone as the centre of the universe, the component prices have also decreased. So in the New Year, things would only improve and one would finally be able to unlock the doors using the smartphone without having to fish out the home keys.
Every tech company is trying to find out the next big thing after the smartphone. For some, the future lies with VR, while for others, the answer is a wearable. Be it a smartwatch or a smart shoe, the companies believe that smart wearables are the next milestone. Apple gave a big push to the idea with the Apple Watch last year. Now with Apple Watch 2 set to see the light of the day, and companies like Samsung and Sony too stepping up their game, this could well be an interesting year for the wearables.
Focus on Phones
Be it changing status on Facebook or checking bank balance, we do almost everything using the smartphone. This year too, the smartphone market is set to create more buzz.
iPhone 7 and iPhone 6C >>
If things fall in place, Apple will launch iPhone 7 in September. It will not only come out with a new design, but will also be thinner and faster than the previous models. But will it do away with the iPhone jack? Will the home button disappear? And will it be made of liquid metal? So before its launch, one will have plenty to think about. In all probability, there will be an iPhone 6C this year with a smaller iPhone 5-esque screen.
Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Phones >>
Be it the new entrants Oculus or tech giants Samsung and Google, many companies have been trying to make some Virtual Reality headsets for quite some time. No one outside the tech bubble cared about them. Even with Google Cardboard, VR failed to take hold. No one from the cheapest Google Cardboard to the costliest Oculus Rift could figure out how to stop users from puking their brains out while donning a VR headset.
This year, with better screens and powerful processors capable of playing video at better frame rates, could see VR finally making it to the mainstream league. And it is not just VR. With Microsoft promising to ship a developed version of its HoloLens sometime this year, it could also be the year when augmented reality, where we see images superimposed on real life objects, could enter the popular imagination. The second generation of Google Glass also is set to be in the market soon.
LG G5 >>
LG has been making some of the most admired Android phones recently. The next iteration, the G5, is likely to be a stunner if we are to believe serial phone secret leaker Evan Blass. It will reportedly come with a second screen for notifications and stuff, will sport a full-metal body and the most surprising of all, it will come with a ‘Magic Slot’ that will be used for the likes of ‘VR, 360 and Party’.
Surface Phone >>
Microsoft is like the McDonald’s of the technology world. Yes, it is selling and making tons of money from its Windows and Office products. But the younger lot don’t want them anymore. They want something brand new. This year could see the company coming up with its elusive Surface Phone. Will it be the dream phone to make Windows fans swoon? Will it be the iPhone killer? Only time will tell.
Samsung Galaxy S7 >>
Samsung hoped that the Galaxy S6 will revive its fledgling fortunes. But it didn’t. They also expected the S6 Edge to do the trick, but even that failed. Samsung will inevitably come back this year with the S7 and its curved sibling, the S7 Edge. Both the phones are expected to be launched sometime in March during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and both the phones are expected to be pretty similar to their predecessors. They will be packed with more powerful internals, a bigger camera and the new USB C port for charging and data transfers.
Matham is a tech geek.
Follow him on Twitter @AdarshMatham