These Technologies Are Poised to Go Big in 2015
Virtual reality: Expect a lot more action on the virtual and augmented reality front. 2014 saw the $2B acquisition of Oculus Rift by Facebook. In 2015, we’ll see action from companies like Philip Rosedale’s High Fidelity (the successor to Second Life), immersive 3D 360-degree cameras from companies like Immersive Media (the company behind Google’s Streetview).
Then there are game changers like Magic Leap (in which Google just led a $542 million investment round) that are developing technology to “generate images indistinguishable from real objects and then being able to place those images seamlessly into the real world.”
Mass-market robots: Late 2013 saw the acquisition by Google of eight robotics companies. 2015 is going to see the introduction of consumer-friendly robots in a store near you. Companies like SU’s Fellow Robots are creating autonomous “employees” called OSHbots that are roaming the floors of Lowe’s and helping you find and order items in their store. We’ll also see Softbank’s Pepper robot make the leap from Japan to enter U.S. retail stores. Pepper uses an emotion engine and computer vision, to detect smiles, frowns, and surprise, and it uses speech recognition to sense the tone of voice and to detect certain words indicative of strong feelings
Autonomous vehicles: In 2015, we will see incredible developments in autonomous vehicle technology. Beyond Google, many major car brands are working on autonomous solutions. At CES, Volkswagen will bring the number of car brands on display into double figures for the first time this year. Companies like Mercedes say they will show off a new self-driving concept car that allows its passengers to face each other.
Drones everywhere: 2015 will be a big year for drones. They are getting cheaper, easier to use, more automated, and are now finding more useful and lucrative applications. These “drones” include everything from the $20 toys you can buy at RadioShack to the high-powered $1000+ drones from companies like DJI and the super-simple and powerful Q500 Typhoon. These consumer drones equipped with high quality cameras and autopilot software are military-grade surveillance units now finding use in agriculture, construction and energy applications.
Wireless power: “Remember when we had to use wires to charge our devices? Man, that was so 2014.” Companies like uBeam, Ossia and others are developing solutions to charge your phones, laptops, wearables, etc. wirelessly as you go about your business. And this isn’t a “charging mat” that requires you to set your phone down… imagine having your phone in your pocket, purse, or backpack, and it will be charging as you walk around the room.
Data and machine learning: 2014 saw data and algorithm driven companies like Uber and Airbnb skyrocket. There is gold in your data. And data-driven companies are the most successful exponential organizations around. In 2015, data collection and mining that data will become more turn-key. Platforms like Experfy, for example, allow you to find data scientists who will develop algorithms or machine learning solutions for your business/project.
Large-scale genome sequencing and data mining: We are at the knee of the curve of human genome sequencing. In 2015, we will see explosive, exponential growth in genomics and longevity research. As the cost of sequencing a single human genome plummets by orders of magnitude (now around $1,000) and the amount of useful information we glean from mining all that data skyrockets. At Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI), a company I co-founded, we are aiming to sequence 1 million to 5 million full human genomes, microbiomes, metabalomes, proteomes, MRI scans, and more by 2020.
Sensor explosion: In 2015, expect “everything” to be “smart.” The combination of sensors and wearables, increased connectivity, new manufacturing methods (like 3D printing), and improved data mining capabilities will create a smart, connected world, where our objects, clothes, appliances, homes, streets, cars, etc., etc. will be constantly communicating with one and other. Soon, there will be trillions of sensors throughout the world. These sensors won’t just power smart ovens and sweatshirts, the same technology will allow companies like Miroculus to create a “microRNA detection platform that will constantly diagnose and monitor diseases at the molecular level.”
Voice-control and “language-independent” interaction: Using our fingers to operate smartphones/technology was “so 2014.” In 2015, we will see significant advances in voice-controlled systems and wider mass market adoption. Think the first steps towards a Jarvis-like interface. Siri, Google Now, Cortana, and other voice-control systems are continuing to get better and better, so much so that they are being almost seamlessly integrated into our technology, across platforms. Soon, almost all connected devices will have voice-control capabilities.
3D printing: 3-D printing will continue to grow rapidly in 2015 as the number of applications increase and as printers, scanners, and CAD modeling software become more accessible, cheaper, and easier to use.
This is just a summary, read the original article for more: