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The shape of techs to track

Steve Plunkett headshotFollowing last week’s CES 2015 in Las Vegas, Steve Plunkett, chief technology officer, Red Bee Media, presents his take on  some of this year’s key digital technology trends.

Following this year’s CES, here is a look at the most likely trends that will develop in the next 12 months. There’s a lot to be excited about with a number of consumer technologies looking to make an impact and revolutionise the way we all live.


Internet of Things

It will not be long before the number of connected objects outnumber people and, clearly, the proliferation of products and services transforming the physical world into a virtual version is, in many people’s minds, set to explode; so far the party has not really got started – but could 2015 be the year that all changes? One of the main driving forces supporting the adoption of IoT is that the price is coming down and rapidly reaching a point whereby all sorts of objects can effectively be connected.

The Cloud

The cloud will become more prevalent in conjunction with the Internet of Things, as consumers increasingly adopt and trust home automation and as they do so the systems used to control, monitor, configure and setup these new consumer tech services will move into the cloud. Cloud based software is becoming increasingly viable as a tool for enterprise and is proving its worth as a development and operating environment.

4G Becomes The Norm


4G has now established itself in many countries and the speed and low latency it provides have become the new norm as excitement about it quietens. The high uptake in many markets means 4G-enabled devices and mobile video usage are likely to be increasingly common in 2015, which means content must be optimised so that it runs smoothly on these devices.


Huge TVs


4K UDHTVs headlined last year’s festival of consumer technology gizmos. This year they are set to be bigger and cheaper, although it is also possible that we might see some consumer fatigue slow the anticipated take-up of 4K sets in 2015. Why? Put simply, the jump from 1080p to 2160p will not be as exciting for most consumers as the transition from SD to HD.

More frames per second


We are likely to see more demand for high frame rate content in 2015 because average screen sizes are getting larger and picture resolution is increasing. In order to eliminate motion related artefacts at 24, 25 and 29.96 frames per second there will be increasingly a move towards 50/60, 100/120 and even up to 300 fps. At 4K resolution, 50/60 frames per second is a must and even higher frames in sports content produces noticeable improvements for the viewer.

High Dynamic Range


Another technology to watch out for in 2015 is High Dynamic Range (HDR), these are the techniques used to increase the range of luminosity captured and represented in an image, meaning that a much greater contrast between dark and bright areas of an image can be achieved. The result is that visually stunning video can be made, when it is produced well and displayed on a capable screen.

Wearables

Wearables are looking to reach into the mainstream. Adoption has yet to really take off but. with one of the world’s largest consumer tech brands, Apple, due to launch an Apple Watch in the spring, this could all change in 2015. Consumers want to use wearable devices to monitor a whole array of information on anything from how well they slept through to how fast and far they have run, and 2015 will therefore see more devices and more usage than ever before.

Drones


Drones may be set to dominate the skies in the not so distant future, at least according to some analysts and other industry commentators, so whether you have an opinion for or against them there is likely to be an increase in their usage. When it comes to aerial photography and shooting video they are undoubtedly a great tool for achieving incredible results and consequently they are already becoming commonplace in TV and movie production.

VR

Interest in the potential of virtual reality as the Next Big Thing has already been and quietly dissipated. However, as technological advances mean that there will be interest once more in this technology’s potential, this in turn is driving a new round of development. On the companies front it will be interesting in 2015 to see what Facebook and Sony do regarding virtual reality, as the former has acquired market-leader Oculus Rift, and the latter may launchd its Project Morpheus headset before the year’s end.

Well that’s all folks! Please check in next year for more predictions from CES. Keep your eyes peeled for flying drones, talking fridges and a plethora of fitness bands in 2015. It really is a year to look forward to in tech with a lot of exciting changes happening and even more on the horizon.

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