Technology had a rather interesting 2015. There were a lot of areas that gathered the attention of the masses. There were a lot of developments in many upcoming, rising areas of Tech and there were also a lot of improvements in existing tech. So, to round off 2015, lets take a look at some of the top trends that happened in Technology.
Smartphones are getting Smarter.
Smartphones are the most important piece of Tech in our lives today. So, no doubt the top smartphone makers are looking at new innovative ways to make it even smarter and much more integral and part of our lives than its today. In 2015, there were not a whole lot of features in the world of smartphones that surprised us apart from a lot of touches, fixes, improvements in various top end line of smartphones that to be fair really did made our smartphones work even smoother and smarter. We got little big news from the top phones of Apple, Samsung or Google’s Nexus Line. All of them were good and even excellent in many aspects. The Cheaper Phones also got good and some even better but none of them brought any bold, new features. But, Saying all that I’m also hoping that the minds at Cupertino, Mountain View, Seoul and many other smartphone makers brew something up cool to make our 2016 even better.
Microsoft is Back.
After completely losing the 2007 smartphone revolution and releasing a confusing and totally flawed version of its Windows, it looked we had seen the last of Microsoft much like Yahoo as its today. But unlike Yahoo, Microsoft looks like is back on track in 2015. During the year, the company from Redmond, launched the last version of Windows which must be said is a much more improved and refined version of Windows compared to the earliest versions. Also, they released a much more refined version of their Surface Pro Tablet and also they launched their first netbook. Due to all the improvements, Microsoft has begun to see an increase in Sales and also, a definite increase in Praises as well.
The Company is also delivering more and better versions of its softwares and online services to its competitor’s mobile operating systems and cloud platforms. This is a new strategy devised by Microsoft to spread its apps and services regardless of which device or platform the customer uses, to compensate for the fact that the company lacks its own popular mobile platform.
No doubt the company still has a lot of work to do specially in smartphones, but the new CEO Satya Nadella looks like has a clear vision for the future of Microsoft and it’ll be very fascinating to watch as to how Microsoft gets itself back in the game.
Apple’s Entry into a new Category.
2015’s biggest hype was Apple’s entry into the first big new hardware category, since the 2011 death of Steve Jobs. While the Device definitely garnered a lot of attention, especially the pricey $10,000 Gold Version, Apple has yet to share any specific sales numbers. However, just based on the build quality and the Apple brand, it wouldn’t be a surprise if it’s the world’s bestselling smartwatch. But I think smartwatches themselves are just a niche now but maybe 2016 will be different.
Google becomes part of Alphabet
In August, Google surprised the world by announcing that it has planned to completely revamp its corporate structure. CEO Larry Page announced that Google’s core business — which includes search, YouTube, and Android — would become a subsidiary of a larger parent company called Alphabet.
Other businesses, such as the company’s life science division and its “moonshot” factory Google X, were also spun out as their own companies.
The reasoning behind the large shuffle was to enable the separate businesses to move more quickly and independently, Page said.
AI gets Better and Better
All the major platforms now have intelligent, voice-controlled AI assistants. And all of them got smarter, capable and even faster in 2015. Apple’s Siri got really reliable and useful and it can now even conduct searches in the new Apple TV. Google Now also got really smarter and very useful in 2015 with really smart fixes and improvements from the search giant. Amazon and Microsoft also jumped into the game with their really good Amazon Echo and Cortana respectively.
If we look at it separately each and every one, then I’m sure the improvements doesn’t seem as much but if you compare Apple’s Siri of 2015 to Siri 2011, or Google now of 2012 to Google now of 2015, then the improvements are really Impressive. Also, according to recent developments the biggest news in the field came from Google when they announced that they are making a powerful AI System called Tensor Flow Open Source. Google uses Tensor Flow in a lot of its products including Search, Photos, and Translate. And the Company has made the software Open Source so that researchers can make even progress in Machine Learning.
And 2015 will also be remembered as the year that Elon Musk formed a non-profit designed to make sure AI advances remain open source, to protect against some potentially dangerous version down the road.
More Developments in Upcoming Fields
There were also quite some developments in various technologies that while it didn’t become Mainstream but took some real giant strides in 2015 towards its future. Firstly, there is virtual and augmented reality, which Oculus, Samsung and others are pushing. In 2015, even the New York Times, distributed cardboard VR viewers with its newspapers to try storytelling with the technology.
The second is mobile contactless payments, which could someday replace credit cards. Apple has Apple Pay, and Google has the similar Android Pay. Also, surprisingly, Samsung — the largest Android phone maker — has its own system, Samsung Pay. Most of the services are accepted but still there very few vendors, offline and online, for it to called an integral part of our daily life. But the things is, there was lot of development in this field and it grew in 2015, and there’s definitely a chance that it’ll continue.
The third is driverless cars. Google is the leader here, having done years of work on the idea through its Google Maps Driverless Car. But Apple is believed to be working on it. And every conventional car maker is as well. There are even rumors of a Google-Ford joint venture of some kind. Mainstream use is years away and it surely faces regulatory obstacles. But a lot definitely happened in 2015.
The same can be said about civilian drones. They’re still not a daily sight on our average street, but they’ve become so common in 2015 that various governments is requiring that they be registered. Also, due to development in the fields of Drone are so much; we are also hearing about things like Anti-Drone Technology being developed. Also, Amazon last month showed off their prototypes for a fleet of package-delivery drones and according to CEO Jeff Bezos “technology is very advanced already” statement regarding the Drone delivery system. Also he said “We continue to work with different regulators around the world. One of the regulatory agencies that’s moving fastest on this is the UK, so it’s possible that drone deliveries will start first in the UK”.
So, to End it we can say that well this wasn’t the most exciting year in personal technology. But it may have sown the seeds of great things to come.