I recently wrote an article with my 2015 predictions for the great folks at Ponderosa, but admittedly got carried away; my first draft was far too long to be usable! Instead, I’ve listed a few more in this post. Here’s another look into what I think could be coming for digital in 2015.
Web-capable wearables & the multi-screen experience
No, this isn’t a modern-day prog-rock outfit. As consumers typically surround themselves with a multitude of gadgets and devices, multi-screen experiences are becoming more common. A good example of this is the WWE App, which lets users keep viewing the action on their tablet even when a commercial break hits the TV, as well as keep up on Tweets which drive the on-screen storyline.
Now wearable technology is entering the fray, and will bring a new aspect to this. The screen of a smartwatch may be too small to keep watching a live stream, but producers could push messages and information out to viewers on their second screen. This could range from stats during the football to relevant voting options on reality TV, adding another layer of depth to every day television.
Vloggers lured away from YouTube by emerging rivals
YouTube is not just home to countless creators, but to networks as well. These networks, such as Polaris and Machinima, provide production support and help with advertising while asking for something in exchange – such as a percentage of your revenue, or some semblance of control. These relationships permeate YouTube, but what were to happen if another video service stepped up to challenge YouTube – and try to poach some of these networks?
It may seem far-fetched, but I wouldn’t be surprised if another similar website emerged and tried to do exactly that. All it would take is to lure away one or two of these networks – taking dozens of creators, hundreds of videos and potentially millions of subscribers – to really hit the ground running.
Another possibility is that one of the networks try to go it alone. Many of these networks have collossal viewer numbers and are big business – Polaris is owned by Maker Studios, which in turn is owned by Disney. If anyone has the might to try and take on Google and YouTube, it could be Disney.
Uber will not see 2016
Ride-sharing service Uber has had a pretty stellar few years, including raising $1.5 billion in venture capital and huge international expansion. But things aren’t looking quite so rosy anymore; after a spate of controversies including assaults by drivers and harassment of journalists, the service has been banned or suspended in a number of cities including Brussels and Portland.
It seems like every time I look on tech news sites, Uber is making headlines – but not for the right reasons. Prices were quadrupled during the recent Sydney hostage situation, as people tried to leave the area. Uber were sued by hometown San Francisco for misleading customers over driver background checks. Medical checks were introduced after an epileptic driver suffered an accident.
Uber made its’ way to Leeds in November 2014, but at the rate they’re going the service as a whole may not see 2016.
Consumer-ready 3D printers
A small-format 3D printer aimed at consumers will set you back around £500 at the moment. Cheaper than at their inception, but hardly pocket change. Within the next 12 months, 3D printers will drop in price.
By this time next year it could be feasible that the must-have Christmas present for kids will be a small 3D printer. They may not be all-singing all-dancing, but they will be small and cheap.