Five tech predictions for 2016

1. — Virtual Reality will turn out to be a dud. Great initial “wow” experience, but ultimately just a big chunk of tech that will collect dust in the corner. At some point (years out) the right mixture of power, size, price, and reality technology will combine into a device that will see mass adoption (likely first in AR not VR). This is a very big chicken and egg problem, and sadly you’re going to need a lot of eggs. Without ongoing titles (with a true order of magnitude improvement over standard reality) consumers will always take the path of least resistance, that is, just watching normal TV and/or playing standard video games. I see this very much like the Wii controller and 3DTV, innovative, sure, but in the drawer after the novelty wears off. I don’t believe the hype and avoid investments in the VR space.

2. — Cryptocurrency will continue to be used by a niche audience. It’s too technical and doesn’t offer any advantage to the average Joe. This reminds me when people told me the future of identity was getting consumers to type in their URL and password (OpenID)...

However, on the geeky side (not for consumers) I do believe there is a use case here for a micropayment system that incentives user actions.

3. — Apple Watch 2 will launch and have mediocre success. Yes, Apple fans (aka M.G. Siegler) will still buy one, but most consumers don’t need yet another device to charge nightly. Eventually they will realize the device they should have built would be more akin to a Fitbit with long battery life and a simple display. At this point they’ll either buy Fitbit or develop their own.

4. — Uber will compete with Yelp. Expect to see Uber recommend you places based on the destination you’ve selected.

5. — The Uber delivery and Slack APIs will mature, with that expect serious ($100M+) businesses to be built on the back of these platforms.