Out on a limb: 9 tech predictions for 2015

  • Staying ahead of technology trends is a competitive advantage.

  • Expect more wearables, including watches and glasses.

  • How we work, shop, pay for things, and make decisions will continue to evolve.

“In 2015, there will be even more mobile apps in the cloud on cool-looking devices, and at least one of them strapped to the wrist.” Really? You don’t say! That’s like projecting dark skies and misty rain in Seattle tomorrow.

What about some truly risky, out-of-the-box technology predictions? We’ve come up with nine potentially prescient predictions. With some strategic thinking and bet-making, your company can carve competitive inroads as the year progresses, if even a few of these predictions come to pass.

1. Biometrics will boom

As anyone who has experienced it can attest, being recognized and authenticated by one’s digitized thumbprint is salvation at last—or, at least an amazing time-saver. During 2015, more devices, retail stores, ATMs and a range of interactions involving transactions will include biometric identification, from eye scans to voice recognition. Passwords will pass on. Good riddance.

2. Normcore wearables

As fashion looks more like it did in the early 1990s, with oversized sweaters and mom jeans making a righteous return (now, who would have predicted that!), millennials will accessorize the so-called normcore attire with wearables that measure their blood pressure, tally the steps they’ve walked in the office, and report the time in Timbuktu. In some cases, smart devices will be unobtrusively embedded in actual jewelry, like brooches and tie bars. Smartwatches will become as ubiquitous as smartphones. Store the designer relic in the safe.

3. Automobile ATMs

Cars are now offices on wheels. Executives dictate texts, have emails read back to them, and receive audible directions to client meetings. The ability to verbally make payments, transfer funds, and conduct other routine banking transactions will be next, as smartphones recognize users’ unique voices and as virtual networks become more seamless and connected.

4. Bank card vistas

Honestly, the new black stainless steel bank card is the dying gasp of a transactional method as old as Grandpa, despite him running the New York Marathon. Within a year, credit cards will be kaput, as smartphone payment services put them to pasture. Not that credit card companies will watch this transformation quietly from the sidelines. Prepare for a Battle Royale.

5. Impulse buying

In 2015, consumers and businesses will find amazing deals on everything, from steak at the supermarket to chairs that look like they belong in an office from the sixties. Thanks to social networking and Internet browsing, smartphones and wearables can determine and predict what products you need and like, and the GPS gadgets inside them know where you are located at any given second in time. Companies will compete to win your business and your business’s business by offering relevant promotions and discounting products like crazy.

6. Computer control

Finance and accounting, global supply networks, plant operations—the Internet of Things (IoT) will connect enterprises in ways unfathomable just a few years ago. This will radically change how people work. Employees will no longer have to ferret out information on the financial stability of a key supplier in China, the accuracy of transactions, or the condition of factory equipment. Computers connected to more powerful networks will handle these tasks, turning workers into sophisticated managers of information.

7. Rx for analysis paralysis

Cloud service providers will access and even assess the information business leaders need to make more insightful business decisions, becoming closer to consultants. Expect specialized data on market conditions, buying trends, and supply chain risks to flow from savvy software firms to organizations—sifted and pure.

8. Nice glasses

Head-mounted displays (HMDs)—yes, you read that correctly—will become the new power ties in the office. HMDs incorporating virtual reality and wireless telecommunications will make videoconferencing feel about as intimate as texting. Your colleagues will look like Cyclops from the latest sci-fi flick. (Not that this isn’t a very cool look.)

9. Connections, connections

IP network solutions will become increasingly user-friendly and intuitive on an ever-widening range of devices. The wired and wireless worlds in 2015 will disappear into each other, seamlessly connecting to deliver an incredible collection of secured services.

We’d love to really go out on a limb and posit the next transformative technology—the 2015 equivalent of the smartphone. We are sure it will be something so envelope-pushing that it will make all other projections fade in its limelight. What will it be? Darned if we know, but we predict that by embracing the next big technology, you can help your organization gain and maintain a competitive edge.

Learn more about how AT&T Internet of Things (IoT) Solutions will help transform the way people work and live.


Russ Banham is a Pulitzer-nominated business journalist and best selling author. AT&T has sponsored this blog post.

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