New Year. New Tech. Same High Hopes!

8 Creative Tech Developments to Keep an Eye on in 2016

One of the most interesting things about working in tech — especially creative tech — is its unpredictability. You never know where innovation is going to come from, and what it’s going to look like!

We might not be able to fully foresee what 2016 will bring to the creative-tech world, but we can give you an overview of what’s getting us very excited, and what we’re hoping to see grow and develop this coming year.

1. Artificial Intelligence

If Mark Zuckerberg (and his personal New Year’s Resolution to develop a personal AI assistant a la Jarvis) is any indication, it’s a safe bet to say that all heads will be on Artificial Intelligence this year.

We’ve already seen some startling developments- and investments- in machine intelligence and deep learning in 2015; Facebook’s ‘M’, Google’s acquisition of Deep Mind, LinkedIn’s acquisition of Bright, to name a few.

Here at Brndstr, we’re particularly interested in the future of messaging and the role of AI in shaping that future. We can’t wait to explore the potential of smarter, automated and effective messaging systems.

2. Payments

The banking and finance industry is (and will continue to be) one of the sectors most vulnerable to technological disruption, with some experts predicting that developed societies will be ‘cashless’ within the next 5 years.

When it comes to payments, the new rule is “be innovative or be obsolete”. Financial institutions and merchants will need to adapt to changes in the digital sphere, and will need to be more social, more transparent, more communal and more efficient.

We’re looking forward to seeing how some of the big players step up their game in 2016, and are even more excited to be a part of this change.

3. Drones

Move aside selfie stick, the drone is here to stay and dazzle us all with its potential. Some of the cool things already happening in the drone-sphere? Twitter filed a patent for messaging with or from a drone, Amazon’s been teasing us all with drone deliveries for Amazon Prime, and Lily- a camera drone that follows her humans around- pulled in a whopping $34 million in pre-orders by the end of 2015.

We’ve been working on a new product- the SocialCam- for a few months now, allowing users to trigger a camera via twitter. Imagine the potential for that, with the additional element of drone technology?

4. Virtual Reality

Only now is virtual reality beginning to properly resonate with consumers, with players like Microsoft, Facebook and now Google are taking major strides to invest in VR technology, accessibility, and its association as a fun, practical and immersive experience. Just to demonstrate, despite the hefty price tag, pre-orders for the Oculus Rift are going “much better than possibly expected,” with orders made today expected to ship only in June, according to co-founder Palmer Luckey at a CES2016 interview.

What does this all mean? Because of its experiential and fully immersive nature, VR has the power to disrupt and transform even more than the flat web did decades ago. The rules of advertising will be re-written; rather the rules of everything from gaming, to retail, healthcare and education will be re-written.

We’re eager to see how VR pans out, and to see how and where we can jump in- and continue helping brands stay fresh, innovative and engaging.

5. Visual Culture

2015 was the year of the Emojis- to the extent that the renowned Oxford Dictionary chose an Emoji as its word of the year (😂). One year later, and one year more finely attuned to the nuances of visual culture, we expect to see the trend towards increased visualization only increase in 2016.

Emojis are as appealing as ever, and integration/support for video and GIF has been improving in leaps and bounds. We expect far more visuals in 2016.

6. Platform Innovation

We’re hoping to continue to see social media innovation 2016. More specifically, we’re excited to see more and deeper integration, and less apps. We’d like to see platforms do more, and dig deeper into improving accessibility and usability of their platforms. What else? Head over to our Social Media Wishlist by @brndstr #MD @fitzyrichard to read more!

7. Smart-er Everything

The Internet of Things has been hard at work for at least a decade, and we’re hoping to see the pace pick up a bit, both in terms of product/service development and user adoption.

Not even a fortnight into the new year and we’ve seen some ridiculously cool developments at CES2016: Connected kitchen suites? A smart air-freshener? Smarter, more automated, self-driving cars? Just to name a few.

Eagerly awaiting some of these gadgets to reach consumer- and developer- hands!

8. Paradigm Shifting

Lastly, we’re looking forward to seeing how paradigms and mind shifts will shape the coming months. Today’s consumers are value-driven, always hunting for amusement and delight, expect instant gratification, and with arguably lower attention spans, they are less and less loyal to brands; they refused to be talked to, and seek to be engaged with.

Brands have been slow to adapt to this, and we’re hoping that 2016 is the year of the big shift, and at Brndstr we’re happy to lend out a helping hand to any brands that are ready to take the plunge!

#Amina / Account Manager Dubai

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