Canny consumer or Early Adopter?
The dust has settled on the year and we’re back in the groove. Blue Monday is behind us and the big credit card bill has been settled. Must be time for a treat. A new toy, maybe. Or something practical.
But what to buy? Some wearable tech? Or maybe we should treat the house to faster broadband? Hang on, though, those new driverless cars are just around the corner – shall we blow the budget on one of those?
You’d better do some research first, because we came perilously close to getting caught up in the Google Glass hype in 2014, and look what happened to them. Here are our ‘three to watch’ for 2015:
2014 was supposed to be the year that wearable tech took off, but the wave of enthusiasm that greeted Google Glass quickly dissipated when people found them – let’s be frank – a bit creepy.
When a person in the street or opposite you on the train can be taking pictures or videos of your every move, or recording your conversations without your knowledge, it’s no wonder they didn’t catch on quite the way that Google hoped.
But 2015 will see the launch of more acceptable wearable tech, and with the Apple watch, Microsoft band and assorted fitness trackers all coming down to a reasonable price, you’re on safe ground.
It’s expected that Apple alone could sell at least 10 million units of its Watch this year, with some analysts predicting figures far in excess of that estimate.
In fact, investment bank Cowen predicts the overall wearables market will reach £100 billion by 2020.
So the chances are it won’t be long before you have one and it won’t necessarily be the ostentatious item you once feared it would be. Although if you do like ostentatious items, we’ve no doubt there will be a product just for you. (Probably plastered in diamonds… or diamanté)
Most people take YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc for granted, so as consumers we’re putting more and more strain on the ISP infrastructure.
BT have been rolling out FTTP (fibre to the premises) which for businesses, or wealthy homes, offers 330Mbps download speeds (around EIGHT TIMES that of BT Infinity). Pretty quick, huh?
Virgin are also competing with their ever faster broadband services, delivered via their own fibre/copper networks, and offering you speeds you could have only dreamed of a few years ago – as long as you’re in their area!
We’re predicting that 2015 will see even faster broadband offerings from Virgin media on their cable network and a general increase in available bandwidth across the main internet providers, so peak time congestion will be reduced and we can all stream BBC iPlayer to our hearts content. After all, you can’t get enough Eastenders, right?
We think it’s pretty unlikely that we’ll be seeing fully driverless cars on the roads in 2015 (although Tesla claim their flagship Model S is ready to go hands off via a firmware update once the relevant laws are passed), but cars are getting smarter, there’s no doubt about that. Driver assistance aids such as adaptive cruise control, auto-braking, lane assistance and radar are allowing your car to make split second decisions for you.
We think 2015 will see more smart driver aids creeping into cars, especially into the mid-range market (typically this technology was found in luxury/super luxury models) and we expect to see new laws passed on driver-less cars this year. So don’t be surprised to see some old Tomorrow’s World clips surfacing…. Here’s a couple for you to enjoy until next time:
See how broadcasters in the 1960s fared with their visions of the future and tell us your favourite segment: