The tech world develops lightning-fast. Some of the things in 2015 which will see become reality in the last few years, but is expected in 2015 to reach its peak.
We will continue to witness the war between manufacturers of mobile devices and the manufacturers of cheap laptops, and many other interesting moments.Surely there will be things that will be yet established and their trend this year will begin to impose. One thing is certain, we expected a really interesting year, and why not the most interesting.
Phones and Tablets
Big, durable, and flexible will be three major phone trends for 2015. We’ve seen them signaled this year, and they’re here to stay. Part of 2015 will be putting these three separate trends together, with large, flexible screens on devices that are often durable or waterproof. The Windows world will remain pretty sedate until midyear, when Microsoft’s Windows 10 will result in a flood of new Windows phone and tablet ideas.
Mainstream Android tablets and iPads will continue to take a hit from 6-inch phablets, which are here to stay. To counter, Google and Apple will have to aggressively position their tablets as productivity-centered laptop replacements. Microsoft Office will definitely help there, but look to see Apple and Samsung, especially, ramping up enterprise sales of their tablets in an intense way.
Laptops and Desktops
2015 will be the year that we actually recommend cheap PCs. Sure, you could buy a $250 laptop or desktop prior to 2014, but they were likely glacially slow bargain-basement systems with two-year-oldtechnology. The PCs you’ll see in 2015 will have full versions of Microsoft Windows 8.1, like the Editors’ Choice HP Stream 13 $199.00 at Microsoft Store. Additionally, inexpensive processors from AMD and Intel have improved to the point that they can easily handle Office tasks, video chats, and multimedia websites. PC manufacturers will pass the savings on to you, and you’ll end up with a fully functional desktop or laptop for the same price as a smartphone or tablet. On the other hand, if you’re a power user or an Apple fan, you’ll still pay top dollar. –Joel Santo Domingo, Lead Analyst, Desktops and Laptops
Wearables will arguably become the most popular category in tech in 2015. The release of the Apple Watch is sure to increase smartwatch interest among the mainstream public, and the market for activity trackers will just continue to grow. I predict the two will become more closely entwined in 2015, with more smartwatches that track activity, and more activity trackers with smartwatch functionality. And wearables won’t just stop at the wrist. Smart glasses and VR headsets will increase in popularity as more hardware becomes available, attracting a larger developer community. We’re also likely to see an increase in smart clothing, with built-in sensors to track our movement and send that information to a mobile device. And wearable technology won’t be limited to just individual consumers—I think we’ll see a lot of companies begin to test it as well, particularly eyewear. –Alex Colon, Senior Analyst, Consumer Electronics
Health and Fitness Tech
In next 12 months health, fitness, and technology will continue to merge, but I expect to see a slowdown in the release of new products from the biggest fitness players like Basis, Fitbit, and Jawbone, as their significant releases have either just hit store shelves or will be debuting in January. Instead, companies will push to keep those devices relevant through firmware updates that offer smartwatch features (push notifications from phones, for example) and accessories, like more stylish watchband options. Health companies, meanwhile, will focus on software services, such as telemedicine and telehealth platforms. –Jill Duffy, Senior Analyst, Software
Home is where the tech is in 2015. Nest will be just one name in a sea of connected thermostats, as more and more devices around the home are enhanced with Internet connectivity. In addition tothermostats, the biggest trends to look for will include connected lighting, smart locks, and home security. Of course, you’ll need a way to control all of these devices, so I expect to see a number of new home automation hubs as well. Hopefully companies will begin to adopt a standard connection protocol as well, which will make it easier for all of these devices to communicate with one another. And greater integration with automation services like If This Then That could allow you to control just about everything in your home without even needing to press a button. –Alex Colon, Senior Analyst, Consumer Electronics
4K will finally come into its own in 2015. All major HDTV manufacturers will offer 4K screens across a broad range of price and feature tiers, presenting viable options for general consumers, and not just early adopters. Besides price, the biggest problem with 4K has been a lack of viable content, and streaming media is changing that. While physical 4K media will remain abstract and out of reach, services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video will expand their 4K content offerings.
With plasma panels all but completely gone, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology will become the new premium display technology. Based on our tests, it produces the best contrast possible and can display excellent color accuracy, making it extremely appealing for high-level consumers. Expect a slightly wider and more affordable selection of OLED HDTVs to become available in 2015, though they will still be largely priced outside of the range of general consumers. Manufacturers will also continue to push curved screens, which offer dubious value for consumers on their own, though combining them with 4K resolution and OLED panel technology will present a premium, all-in-one luxury HDTV to fill the role that high-end plasma panels once held. –Will Greenwald, Analyst, HDTVs /Home Theater
3D printing will continue strong into 2015. As sub-$1,000 3D printers improve in quality, expect to see the prices of high-end models geared toward hobbyists and designers come down. One or more easily usable sub-$500 3D printers, coupled with a holiday-season marketing push, should provide the impetus for many consumers to take the plunge. There may not be a 3D printer in every home, but by the end of the year you’ll likely know at least one person who owns one. Expect to also see plenty of sub-$500 3D scanners, as well as several 3D printer/scanner combos.–Tony Hoffman, Analyst, Printers and Scanners
Nikon and Canon have dabbled in the mirrorlesss marketplace in the past, but I expect them to make serious second efforts, perhaps with full-frame models, in 2015. Pentax will release its first full-framedigital camera, but it’s expected to be a traditional SLR. The low end of the market will continue to erode, as the advantages of bargain-basement cameras over smartphones aren’t substantial. Expect camera makers to continue to deliver mid-range and high-end cameras with longer zoom ratios and larger image sensors to set themselves apart from the smartphone crowd. On the video side, expect more action cams, flying camera drones, and small cameras with 4K recording capabilities. –Jim Fisher, Senior Analyst, Digital Cameras
Unfortunately, we’ll continue to see major data breaches in 2015, with more significant consequences for the victims. Right now, employees are suing Sony for exposing their personal data, and the courts have green-lighted a lawsuit by major banks against Target over last year’s breach. I anticipate legislation to impose HIPAA-style regulations on entities that store any kind of personal information. Breaches will still occur, but a company found negligent will face crushing fines.
Contactless mobile payment systems like Apple Pay and Google Wallet will gain greater acceptance, because they’re significantly more secure than traditional credit cards or chip-and-pin cards. Of course, this enhanced security will last only until attackers devise ways to crack those mobile payment systems
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This article was originally post in PCMag