Tech trends that will rule 2016

March 1, 2016
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We are now in a current state of progress that will change again the way we live, work and communicate to each other. We are living the fourth industry revolution which is going to bring big changes as we saw in the first industrial revolution with the water and steam power to mechanize production, the second with the use of electric power to create mass production and the third with its electronics and information technologies.

We are stepping into an era of changes that is characterized by a mix of technologies previously seen and it is breaking barriers between the digital, physical and biological spheres. Barcelona Technology School’s academic board keep that kind of trends in mind in order to ensure master programs aligned with the digital talent needs that will be translated into professional opportunities for BTS students.

The technological possibilities are unlimited in a world where we live continually connected to the Internet through our mobile devices which have exceptional processing power, data storage and allow us to analyze everything. According to the world economic forum, these options will be multiplied by emerging technology breakthroughs in fields such as the Internet of Things, Big Data / analytics, self driving cars, mobile commerce and cyber-security. That tech trends are orchestrated by the Artificial Intelligence (AI) with endless possibilities; virtual assistants, drones, robotics, software that translate voice in real time, etc. During the recent years AI has been developing a huge progress thanks to the big increases in computing power, the availability of Big Data and the machine learning.

Here there are six technological trends to keep in mind in 2016:

Big Data / Analytics

Big Data and data analytics are transforming the whole digital ecosystem. It’s been estimated that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are collected and generated every day. That is an incredible amount of data that can be harnessed into some useful form of information thanks to the tools, techniques and algorithms that make it possible. Predictive analytics, which will drive greater use of cloud computing, would tell me what time I’m going to arrive to some place or which team may win tonight’s sport event. Big Data is going to be more predicting in every aspect of our lives and every aspect of our business.

One of the most advanced sectors where this concept is present is in the machine learning, a branch of the AI. The idea is that instead of teach a computer what to do; we just conduct data to the problem and tell the computer to figure out for itself. Machine learning is based on many things we use online: engine searchers, automatic computer translation and voice recognition system, among others.

According to the Data Editor of the Economist Magazine, Kenneth Cukier, police is one of the sectors where Big Data can be useful because it can allow avoiding crimes. The idea is that by collecting big amounts of data and with the use of algorithms it can predict where the crime is going to be committed and the cops can send patrols in order to avoid the infringements. In addition, they can track former criminals to know their credit record, their behavior on the Internet, like for example: if they are awake at night and if they have a job, in order to predict if they are going to break the law. Cukier also talks about a digital physical controller that can identify biochemical data which can show if criminals have aggressive thoughts.

Mobile Commerce

Shopping is now everywhere and everytime thanks to people bring its own 3.5 inch shop in their pocket, their mobile phone.

The statistics are saying that 91 per cent of people keep their mobile phone within less one meter distance and they check it 150 times a day. According to Google mobile search is already surpassing desktop traffic. Also, we are spending almost 9 out of every 10 minutes in mobile apps.

In view of this situation, android and iOS developers are working constantly in new software to update mobile commerce technology, starting to enter in a period where m-commerce is surpassing other types of commerce.

According to statista, in 2016, m-commerce will grow 300 percent faster that e-commerce, and many companies are innovating for what they believe will rule the market in the next months, improving the smartphone shopping experience.

Cybersecurity

Cyber attacks have been happening during the last 15 years and are still being a huge problem for the companies. Criminal and activists groups act organized to take websites down and steal valuable data that can be sold in the dark web or use for its own benefit. The amount of infrastructure that connects to the Internet these days is increasing: power grid, traffic control systems, nuclear power plants or even jet engines and they can be hacked. Also, thanks to the Internet of things we are exposing bigger amounts of data that can be stolen from our home devices. For these reasons, companies have to be prepared to face all the risks and hazards related to security, it is expected that in 2016 we will see huge tech development in this area.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is transforming the entertainment and the way you watch TV, play videogames and attend events such as concerts or sport matches.

Everything you see, hear, feel, taste and smell is an interpretation of the reality, generating a virtual reality allows you to live in a parallel world without limits.

One of the personalities that are rooting for this technology is the founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg who made an appearance during a Samsung’s event in Barcelona. He explained how its social network is being impacting the virtual reality.

A wonderful example of the virtual reality experience is the HTC Vive, a headset that allow users to experiment situations in other ways. Do you dare to dive among whales? If so, check this video before:

Self Driving Car

We expect to see the autonomous driving become bigger in 2016 thanks to the artificial intelligence. Nowadays, this technology is a set of technologies that includes sensors, radars and motion detection cameras; advanced control systems that analyze data to identify the optimal route, the obstacles and the traffic signs.

One of the innovations that show us what self driving car is capable of in the future is a taxi service developed by the Intelligent Vehicle IT Research Center at Seoul National University that can pick up and carry people without a driver. It is currently being tested in the campus and the car, called Snuber, works with the help of a mobile app developed by the university which find your location and by knowing the route that you want to take, and the route of its current passengers it will send you a vehicle to pick you up.

During the last six months the vehicle has been driving around the meter campus without any collision thanks to the devices that analyze road conditions. Snuber also has a camera, laser scanners and other sensors that measure the distance to objects.

The autonomous driving will hit 2016 and the fact that companies like Tesla, Volvo, GM, Nissan and Audi are working in its own self-driving modes it will prove the upcoming growth of this technology.

Internet of Things

During 2015 the Internet of Things (IoT) experienced a huge growth and we start to saw new implementations in the industry. 2016 can be the the year when IoT becomes expansive and we expect to see several technologies, that will construct services and bring large amounts of data together. It is going to allow companies to implement automatic methods and help link them to capabilities they can rely on without having to administer manual processes. Another system that will impact in the IoT is the application programming interfaces which will connect relevant data and useful information to the Internet of Things, making it useful by connecting many devices into the network. The use of cognitive computing systems is also important because is going to introduce new ways of processing an increasingly important abundance of data and that is going to allow us to optimize the use of the Internet of Things to a high level.
Areas such as car safety, transportation, water industry, advertising, robotic or travel, among others, are adopting that technology.

Healthcare is also one of the sectors where the IoT is helping the most, a clear example is how doctors in the USA, in order to get a better diagnosis, are testing a pill that carries a biodegradable sensor that obtains the vital signs and it sends all the data to an app. This is a huge progress for the medical industry and it is just the beginning of a set of revolutionary innovations.

IoT is one of the leading trends of the technology industry like we have seen recently in the Mobile World Congress and like we will see in the next Internet of Things Solutions World Congress, that will be held from 25 to 27 October in Barcelona.

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