The technological revolution is still very much in full swing as new and exciting technologies are continually being revealed and a number of new technology trends look to set in imminently.
Technologies like social networking smartphones have proved immensely popular over the last decade or so and have drastically changed the world we live in. But what’s next?
We look towards the future to give you all a heads up.
Forget science-fiction movies, the virtual reality market is coming to an outlet near you. Virtual reality headsets – that look pretty much the way you expect them to – have already crept onto the consumer market and are available to purchase. The biggest product to hit the virtual reality store is the long-awaited Oculus Rift, a product owned by Oculus VR, a company that have been bought by Facebook.
Available in March 2016, the Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that you can connect to your PC and play compatible games in a 3D environment. The headset reacts to motion whilst you control other game controls via a controller. This means that by turning your head you can look around your surrounding and peek around corners.
But this really is just the start. If the Oculus Rift is as popular and as immersive as we expect it to be, then this is almost certainly going to represent the next big step in video gaming. Whilst it may not replace traditional video gaming (you know, actually looking at a screen) for some time, there are already a number of companies producing similar technologies, meaning virtual reality is going to be big business soon. And we get to witness the very beginning of it all!
Just watch the hilarious video below of people testing the Oculus for some indication on just how immersive this headset can be. We can’t wait! (Disclaimer: Bad language used)
Most of us are aware of wearable technologies by now, like the Apple Watch, but despite their growing reputation, actual purchases have remained comparatively low. However, with better technology, more features and more independence (Apple watches, for example, need iPhones to work properly at the moment) this technology is going to take off soon.
Industry and marketing experts predict wearable technology will become the norm in only a few years where most people will have some type of wearable technology on them when out and about. Can Apple and co. make wearing watches fashionable again? We can only wait and see!
We have to include video on-demand services because, despite them being around for a number of years or so now, their growth is really going to sky-rocket in the upcoming years if the numbers are to be trusted. And this will be at the expense of network TV, satellite and cable channels.
The number of people using on-demand services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Video is expected to skyrocket and it is only a matter of time before TV programmes will see the number of people using “catch-up” or “on-demand” services to watch them overtake the number of people tuning is as they air.
After that the next step will see the majority of TV shows being produced especially for specific on-demand services, as we’re seeing now with original shows appearing on services like Netflix and Amazon. In the future it is likely that on-demand services will be what TV stations are today. So the problem of having two shows you want to watch being on at the same time will soon be a thing of the past!
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things refers to the increasingly “connected” world that we live in. By connected, we’re referring to a connection to the Internet, whether directly or indirectly. For consumers, it used to be only your laptop or PC that could connect to the Internet, but those day are long gone. Now it’s your phone, your car, your TV, your kids toys and so much more.
The Internet of Things, often abbreviated as IoT, is a vision where practically everything, including us, will be able to both send and receive information across cyberspace.
Convenient? Yes. But it is not without its controversies. For one, activists argue this will have serious implications for both our privacy and security.
HDR and 4K Displays
TV sets and monitors are always improving and it’s been one big timeline of exciting sounding lingo ever since those old black and white TVs so many years ago.
And now HD and “HD Ready” have well and truly taken over, the next step in this ever on-going journey is HDR and 4K.
4K, if you didn’t know, refers to the resolution of a display. It’s about 4 times more detailed than traditional HD (or FullHD) which is 1980×1080 pixels. 4 times the pixels means 4 times the detail, and it can be appreciated more on larger displays. Despite TVs and monitors supporting 4K already available to buy, you’ll be hearing a lot more about it when services start becoming available that are able to send a 4K signal to that TV or monitor (Yes, this does mean that simply plugging in a 4K TV isn’t going to give you 4K video, you need the source of the video you watch to send a 4K signal, which TV channels can’t do right now.)
HDR refers to High Dynamic Range and industry experts claim that of the two, this is the more exciting prospect. HDR simply means a more vibrant, intense and varied range of colours displayed on your TV set, because apparently the colours our existing TVs are producing only display a fraction of the colour range our eyes are capable of appreciating. So this means blacker blacks, whiter whites and more vibrant colours for everything in between.
Just like with 4K though, you need the source of the video to send a HDR signal to your display, and TV channels can’t do that right now either, meaning once again plugging in a HDR capable TV isn’t going to necessarily give you HDR video. But again as services start sending out HDR, you’ll start hearing a lot more about it.