Not a day passes that the world of technology isn’t evolving, and it can be difficult to keep up with all of the changes. As the pace of progress grows, people need to be prepared for whatever might come next.
Predicting the next big trends is no simple task. Movements currently gaining steam might fizzle out at any moment, and the uncertainty surrounding the future of COVID-19 has all but eliminated any sure bets there might’ve been. That being said, there are a few developments in tech that every savvy user should be keeping an eye on.
Preparing for the future means paying close attention to what’s going on in the present. If you’re hoping to ride the next wave of technology, be on the lookout for these four upcoming changes:
1. More Safety Features
As technology grows increasingly powerful, consumers are looking for more ways to ensure it doesn’t go off the rails. Multifaceted devices like cell phones might be must-haves nowadays, but not everyone wants or needs to have that much computing power packed into one device. As a result, more protected options like kid phones are rising in popularity. This trend isn’t just in the mobile world — high-security options are emerging for everything from laptops to smart TVs.
While certain products today are designed to ensure high levels of security, these integrations will soon become mainstream across all products. Gone will be the days of putting tape over webcams: Businesses can no longer afford to leave any safety feature unincorporated.
2. Rise in Wearables
Wearable tech might have had a rocky start — Google Glass, anyone? — but a comeback is all but guaranteed in the coming decade. Projected to grow at a rate of 15 percent a year, wearable devices have quickly moved away from niche markets and into the mainstream.
While just a few years ago, the term “wearable” was virtually synonymous with step-tracking bracelets, the market has begun to expand into more general-use categories. While technology like VR headsets may have introduced a whole new sector to the digital economy, more accessible products like smartwatches are taking the consumer world by storm. As competition drives prices down and increases usability, be sure to free up space on your wrist for whatever comes next.
3. Greater Connectivity
As popular as wearable tech is poised to become, users will always be looking for ways to connect it to their existing devices. If your devices aren’t integrated now, they likely will be sooner rather than later. Between 2018 and 2021, the Internet of Things market is predicted to double in value — pushing connectivity to new heights in the process. As industry giants like Apple start moving into new spaces like health and entertainment, expect their competitors to not be too far behind.
While the big players in tech might currently be figuring out ways to integrate all their products in single platforms, consumers don’t need to sit and wait for them. Developing your own Internet of Things app is now easier than ever, and doing so allows you to access greater levels of customizability than you might have access to otherwise.
4. Increased Personalization
One of the biggest hurdles that new tech products have long had to jump over is their lack of personality: As functional as something is, dealing with a cold, clinical piece of metal will never quite feel natural. With nearly 60 percent of shoppers claiming that personalization affects their buying decisions, businesses are starting to see how putting cash toward personalization will earn them even more cash back.
This doesn’t just mean businesses getting you ads with your name on them; it means a complete upheaval of the logic that has driven big tech for years. The iPhone, once offered in one size and color, now has more options available than anyone could be asked to keep track of. Businesses are willing to put in the effort to court your attention, and they’re hungry to know exactly what you want — mass consumer data collection is likely to come alongside any increases in personalization.
If you take your eye off the tech industry for any amount of time, it’s liable to change before you get the chance to look back. Technology is always evolving, and knowing what it will look like next is crucial to staying ahead of the curve.