Ted Leonsis
Jan 20, 2016 · 3 min read

10 Predictions for 2016: The Year of Drone Domination, Caution Against Driverless Vehicles, and E-Gaming Becomes the next Major League

Our world is changing at a faster pace than ever before and it shows no sign of slowing down. Even the oldest industries in America like transportation and manufacturing are no longer immune to disruption and the sports world is being catapulted into a new era with the integration of wearables, virtual reality and data — all of these changes are primarily fueled by new technologies. Every aspect of our lives — from the transportation we take to how we fight our wars to how we govern our society — is changing.

In 2016 we’ll feel this pace of change more acutely than ever before — It will be both exciting and daunting, interesting yet sometimes confusing, and what you never dreamed possible will somehow plausible. Take driverless cars for example — it’s exciting to think about a world where we’re no longer worried about distracted driving and in our busy worlds we can take the time to be more efficient — we can read, text, and talk all we want while the car drives itself from point A to point B. And it’s closer to reality than ever before. But it’s not without its drawbacks — and in 2016 I think society will take a step back and reconsider the realities of driverless cars, like cyberterrorism and safety.

It was estimated that over 1 million drones would be sold during the 2015 holidays.

Last year, the race to drone domination was on once Amazon announced it would be delivering its’ shipments by drone and since then the industry has taken off. While, I think it’s unlikely that package delivery will be the main way we think about drones it has certainly left an impression on consumers. It was estimated that over 1 million drones would be sold during the 2015 holidays, but the number of drones in the sky is putting our society at risk and creating the potential for a major conflict between consumer drone usage and commercial. While the FAA has started to put rules in place with safety in mind; I think it’s safe to say that consumers and even corporations aren’t waiting for government policy and will continue to move forward in 2016, safety standards in place or not.

Every aspect of our lives — from the transportation we take to how we fight our wars to how we govern our society — is changing.

One of the most influential media companies in the sports world, ESPN, just launched a new section dedicated to eSports in the hopes to capitalize on a $500 million a year industry dedicated to professional leagues and tournaments for video and online games. They aren’t unwise. In 2014, 205 million people watched or played eSports and this trend is already taking hold in places like China and Korea. I have been watching the evolution and virility of these games through my teams and believe e-gaming teams, stars and leagues will emerge to rival our traditional sports leagues — the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB.

These predictions, and the others I’ve laid out in this slide deck, reflect my daily experience navigating multiple disciplines — from sports to film, investing in young companies to serving on the board of Fortune 500 companies, and as a resident of the politically charged Washington, D.C. region, a philanthropist, husband and father to two millennials.

When you look through my ten predictions for trends that will take hold — some are positive and others not so much, but they are driven by recent advances in technology, the economic climate, changes in consumer behavior and many other factors. Many of my predictions have been slowly building over the last five to 10 years, but in 2016 I expect many will take giant leaps forward and become part of our everyday lives.

So dig in, take a look, and let me know what you think:

Ted Leonsis

Written by

Entrepreneur, Sports Team Owner, Philanthropist, Venture Capitalist, and Filmmaker. Follow me for regular updates from my blog, Ted's Take.

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