2016: The Year of Tech

To many, 2015 was not a great year in terms of technology. We never got the hoverboard Back to the Future promised us, and the Virtual Reality products still haven’t hit the market. If you are one of those people, worry not: 2016 is right around the corner and things are looking great. There are lots of technological breakthroughs hitting the shelves next year.

2016 in phones

It’s no surprise that the mobile industry titans are going to release new iterations of their popular brands. A reputable source has already leaked the Galaxy S7, which is said to have the same size as its predecessor, the S6, but will have better internals. Another Galaxy phone to be coming soon is the A9, which will feature a 6-inch screen and a 4,000 mAh battery.

There are few details about the next iPhone on the Internet at the moment, but what we know is that Apple will release two phones in September 2016, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The expected price point will be $1000-$1200 for one, much to the displeasure of the public. Still, we have to wait and see if Apple actually has something new to add to the current iPhone formula before we can judge the price.

Virtual Reality to become a reality

2016 will be the year in which Virtual Reality gadgets finally hit the store shelves. After Mark Zuckerberg bought Oculus, the first company to design a VR headset, other companies noticed the potential of VR technology, and have joined the development race. From Samsung to video game developer and publisher Valve, almost every capable company has a VR headset ready for 2016.

While the Oculus Rift was the first headset to launch its in-development versions to the public, people are more impressed with Valve and HTC’s headset, the HTC Vive. Initially having a “Holiday 2015” launch date, the Vive was pushed back to Q1 2016 due to HTC discovering a “major breakthrough” which will be integrated into the headset. Both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive are to be released in Q1 2016.

There are other competitors in this market, even though their products aren’t in the spotlight. Sony has announced a VR headset for the PlayStation 4, currently named Project Morpheus. There are also plenty of VR headsets competing in the mobile market, with Samsung’s Gear VR being the most notable one.

A different vision

While other companies are struggling to add notable features in order to differentiate their headset from the others, Microsoft is taking this technology in a completely different direction. The Microsoft Hololens is an “Augmented Reality” headset, which features a transparent visor, combining the things you see in front of you with “holograms” displayed on its screen. This is, without a doubt, the most promising headset to come, as it will improve people’s daily life.

With the Hololens, you will finally be able to make holographic calls like the ones seen in Sci-Fi movies, or you will be able to play games such as Minecraft on your floor.

While a promising gadget, the Hololens will also be priced at the absurd sum of $3000. Microsoft has stated that its headset will come out in late 2016, but that it might be pushed back to Q1 2017.

2016 in video games

Gadgets won’t be the only ones thriving in 2016. With brand new game engines recently on the market, such as the Unreal Engine 4 or Unity 5, the upcoming games are going to look absolutely stunning, especially on the PC. 2016 will be a year of reboots, with a brand new DOOM game coming out, but it will also feature plenty of new IPs, such as Quantum Break or Sea of Thieves.

By the end of 2016, we might also see Nintendo’s new console on the store shelves. The project, currently only known as the “NX”, is currently confusing the gaming world. It features a lot of patents which indicate it will be a combination of portable and home consoles. Apparently, Nintendo has already sent out development kits to third-party developers, so we will see what their new console looks like soon.

Other promising tech coming in 2016

Phones and VR headsets aren’t the only tech breakthroughs coming soon. Google has recently announced that they are going to work with Ford to release a self-driving car. While it might not be the first time such a car has seen public roads, with Google’s involvement, this might be the opportunity to launch such cars to the public market.

The 3d printer industry has also been flourishing lately, and by the end of 2016, the technology may improve so much that we will actually be able to afford buying them without selling a kidney.

2016 will feature lots of hot improvements to the tech world. With a lot of breakthroughs and innovative ideas, we might actually witness the rise of the Internet of Things. Even though companies might encounter problems in development, the future of technology is definitely looking good.