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4 Technology Trends For 2016

Michael Singer - Monday, January 25, 2016

There were numerous notable developments within the technology industry in 2015. Apple released its most recent version of the iPhone that was a hit, particularly in China, and additionally the Apple Watch, which was not. Google continuously made strides towards placing a self-driving vehicle on the street, touting this type of technology as transformative. However, it remains to be seen, if consumers feel the same way.

Amazon, meanwhile, became profitable on a consistent basis, ironically not because of its retail might yet due to its cloud computing model, Amazon Web Services. The plan of investing almost all its revenues within high-growth areas looks as if it’s starting to pay off. Not to be left out was Facebook which continuously was aggressive, and refined its advertising platform and added new, important features, which included live video feeds, as they targeted additional promising areas like virtual reality and speech recognition.

What is in store for tech in the year 2016 and beyond? Here is a peek at 4 trends:

Streaming services continually will gain favor at the expense of satellite and cable companies. Network TV has been declining for years. Now, it is satellite and cable’s turn to experience suffering – and the fall likely will be thorough and swift. The “cord-cutting” revolution which started a few years back is here to stay. Every year, a growing amount of consumers are abandoning expensive satellite and cable subscriptions for more reasonable options like Amazon Instant Video, Hulu and Netflix – all of which made substantial investments to obtain and generate their own unique content as the streaming arms race warms up. Nobody on the satellite and cable side is immune, and not even ESPN -- that in spite of holding the rights to a lot of live sports content is losing millions of subscribers, according to one recent $10,000 filing from Disney. The future clearly is app-based, on-demand entertainment providers. Traditional players such as ESPN must adapt to survive. Roku TV includes an ideal example of how the future of television will appear.

Apple is going to resolve the issues that surround the Apple Watch, assisting wearables in becoming an even quicker-growing section of the tech sector. Apple Watch was met with a lot of fanfare as it was released last April, yet the hype didn’t translate to widespread adoption. As the technology was innovative and fitness features were appealing, the cost (at $400) raised eyebrows.

An additional issue was that it had to be bound to the phone, a big deterrent to a few would-be purchasers who had a desire for a standalone device. The following edition of the Apple Watch must be less expensive and detachable from phones. We believe that’ll happen. However, to make the product resonate with consumers, the marketing strategy behind the initiative requires a bit of re-tooling. Young people aren’t wearing watches, and it is up to Apple to do a better job at informing them why they should. It’s what occurred with the first advertising campaigns that surrounded the iPhone, which eventually became an ingrained portion of the culture. In 2016, a successful introduction of the following Apple Watch ought to lift the whole wearable sector, including leaders Fitbit and Garmin.

It’ll be the first complete year that virtual reality is going to be a viable product. Sony and Oculus are coming out with Virtual Reality gaming headsets in 2016, and it potentially is a game changer. It should increase game console sales, as well as re-energize existing successful franchises such as “Madden,” “Call of Duty,” and “Halo,” potentially making Electronic Arts and Activision huge winners moving ahead. However, Facebook, owner of Oculus, may be the largest beneficiary. It has the capability of seamlessly integrating immersive Virtual Reality experiences within their platform, and as almost everybody is on Facebook, that’ll cause Virtual Reality’s momentum to snowball. VR is the next major thing, possessing the possibility of fully upending a cross segment of diverse fields beyond merely video games, from medicine, to movies, to education and sports.

Digital payment technology and Fintech will continually expand. Financial advice always will require a human component. Specific elements of financial planning are too complex for an internet-driven solution, which include tax, estate, as well as business succession planning. With that said, there isn’t any question that as a growing amount of investors think about Internet financial planning choices money advisors and managers are going to need to tweak their companies to accommodate the trend. In addition, digital payment services such as Android and Apple Pay, as well as Blockchain and Bitcoin, will receive more acceptance as consumers become more informed and retailers make the needed capital investments in order to accept these types of services.

In 2016, there will include many thrilling trends emerging. Even with that happening, things change fast and new opportunities constantly arise with technology. That’s why it is so vital that you position your portfolio for future times as those themes continually evolve into 2016 and beyond.


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