A new year brings new innovations and technology, so what can we expect to see in tech this year? I asked our team here at Eureka, did additional research, and came up with these 5 tech trends to expect in 2015.
#1 – The digital wallet wars have only just begun.
Although 2014 seemed to be the year of the mobile wallet, 85% of transactions are still done via cash today. TechCrunch predicts that password-less authentication, along with social online shopping, is the key to pushing mobile payments into the mainstream:
“Today, Apple and Samsung’s latest smartphones and tablets have fingerprint authentication to make secure, one touch mobile payments a reality. In 2015, every company is positioned to make authentication – and shopping – much easier and more secure.”
– The Payments Tipping Point Will Be In 2015
Apple Pay, Google Wallet, PayPal mobile payments, and let’s not forget MCX’s CurrentC, were all on our radar last year, but 2015 will be the battleground year for digital wallets. Banks and retailers are already partnering with different mobile payment providers. It’s only a matter of time before customers abandon inflexible companies and instead opt for more convenient and secure shopping experiences.
#2 – More à la carte options for entertainment.
Cutting the cable cord has been a fear for some time now, but 2015 may see the largest increase in cord-cutters. HBO plans to open its standalone streaming service HBO Go to non-cable subscribers in April, CBS has announced similar plans for Showtime, and ESPN will soon be available to stream on the web for $20 a month.
On a similar note, the Washington Post reports that online streaming services are also impacting the sizes of televisions we’re purchasing:
“Consumer research firm NPD Group found that over Thanksgiving week, sales of TVs that are 32 inches or smaller fell 50 percent compared to last year. Meanwhile, sales rose 21 percent on 33-to-49-inch TVs and soared more than 35 percent on TVs in the 50- to 64-inch category. For the biggest TVs, 65 inches and up, sales volume doubled.”
– How Cord-Cutting is Changing the Kinds of TVs We Buy
Add a Roku player, Apple TV, or Fire TV, and you’ve got yourself a home theater that plays what you want, when you want it – and for a much better price, too. Sony’s The Interview broke records when it made $15 million from online rentals and purchases (compared to the $2.8 million it made from its limited theatrical release) in its opening weekend. With larger TVs in our homes and more streaming options coming in the next year, this is the year to cut the cable cord if you haven’t already. (I cut the cord 5 years ago.)
#3 – Healthcare will be smarter and more remote.
Apple Health Kit and Google Fit are just the tip of the iceberg. Google is already testing telemedicine within its search results. Users might see “Talk with a doctor now” when researching symptoms online, which gives people the option to meet with health care providers via video chat free of charge (Google is footing the bill for now). Additionally, effective January 1st, 2015, Medicare and Medicaid rules have been expanded include reimbursements for select telehealth services, like remote patient care.
Here’s another reason to expect more telehealth/telemedicine services, remote health monitoring, and of course, apps. International Business Times reports that the CES tradeshow saw a 35% increase of biotech and health companies participating in 2015, compared with last year.
#4 – Internet of Things will rule us all.
Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic. But with self-driving cars and connected homes, it’s hard to believe that we’re not already living in some futuristic, sci-fi movie (no Back to the Future 2 hoverboards… yet). There are two key areas where we expect to see growth: home automation and wearables.
Check out at this excerpt from a recent Nest blog post to get an idea of the home automation marketplace at this year’s CES.
“A car charging station that lets you know when energy prices are high. A washer and dryer that automatically run on a quieter mode when you’re home. A phone service that automatically forwards calls to your cell when you leave the house. Things that magically happen around your house aren’t just sci-fi anymore. They’re real-life Works with Nest connections…”
– What Works With Nest at CES
Sony’s Life Space UX is also pretty impressive, combining the use of lights, sound, and projectors to create a cinematic and elegant experience in the home. And there are plenty of other companies trying to enter this space, too. Just check out all of the gadgets and gizmos on Smarthome.
Likewise, wearables may already be a cluttered market, but that isn’t stopping companies from trying to break in. Apple Watch will be released later this year. We all know that the masses will flock to the Apple Store, but is that really going to be the smartwatch to look out for? From the Fitbit Surge to the Sony SmartWatch 3, we can expect some stiff competition this year.
Of course, there are concerns about privacy and security, but that leads to my next point…
#5 – Cyber liability insurance policies will become the norm.
In light of the infamous Sony hack of 2014, more companies will purchase cyber insurance policies, leading to significant improvements in Internet security. A cyber insurance policy mitigates risks and costs associated with denial of service attacks, phishing schemes, hacks, and more. But don’t expect insurance companies to just cough up the money; they’re going to make sure companies are taking steps to protect their own data, too.
Although the premiums are not cheap, purchasing a policy with ample coverage is still the smart way to go. Sony reportedly paid $356,963 in insurance premiums for up to $60 million in damages – far too little for the hack that is estimated to cost more than $200 million.
We’ll have to check back on this post next year and see how well we did. What tech trends do you expect to take off in 2015?