Waiting for the gift of sound and vision – Digital trends for 2016
Update. Like. Share. Comment. There’s no two ways about it: the world has officially turned digital. Even my nanna, who, if I’d have told her a few years ago that she would be reading her favourite bestsellers from an electronic device, would have happily told me not to be silly. Now, every saturday she pops round, iPhone in one hand and Kindle in the other, asking what new books she can download or if I can help her set up the new Marks and Spencer’s app.
2015 was a big year for the digital world; to me it was the year that brought about the age of Contactless payments. No longer did I have to remember the pin numbers of credit and debit cards. One quick touch of my card on the reader – or even better – one fingerprint on my iPhone and that £23 Charlotte Tilbury lipstick, that I didn’t really need, was mine. Who knew that spending my hard earned cash could be so fun.
So what does 2016 have in store for us digital geeks? How can the digital world advance from the year of the iWatches, the Selfie Stick and Contactless payment?
Lets begin with the biggest digital interface in our lives: our beloved phones. Over 87 percent of this digital generation admits to never being without their phone. And it looks like 2016 isn’t going to let us put our trusty old phone down. This year is all about the interaction we have with our devices. Voice assistants are no longer going to be a fun little extra on our phone that we use when we’re bored. In 2016 we are going to see the growth of brands utilizing the likes of Siri, Amazon Echo and Google Voice to create a deeper connection with customers. Google Voice already allows its users to discover ‘new music with Shazam’ or to ‘travel like a local with Trip Advisor’ all through voice control. This growth in communication with our mobile devices will only continue to grow as technology becomes even smarter and more interactive.
Next on the list is the rise of the No Filter apps. This year will see the diminishing of apps where we can oh-so-simply add a Valencia filter and blur out that unsightly blemish that popped up just as we were about to take that #shamelessselfie. Instead, apps like Meerkat, Periscope, and Beme will become the new up-and-coming social media platforms for millennials. These apps, much like Snapchat, allow users to quick-fire their life moments to the world. There’s no chance to overthink captions or worry if you’re going to get double figure likes. You take the picture or video and share your experience: unfiltered and raw.
Last on the list is wearable tech. In our hectic lives, which modern man or woman has the time to count calories? Make it to the gym five times a week? Not many of us. 2016 is therefore the year of the tech savvy health conscious individuals. According to The American College of Sports Medicine, for the first time in fitness history, wearable technology is seen be the number one trend for fitness in 2016, outstripping HIIT and Body Weight Training. These wearable technologies will, in 2016, move away from the standard pedometer apps and move towards actually breaking your bad habits. Technology like BitBite – a device worn in your ear to monitor your eating, chewing and snacking habits – are the first steps towards breaking these habits. 2016 is the year where digital technology can be seen as promoting healthy lifestyles instead of being a leading reason as to why we lead such unhealthy and inactive lives.
So what is 2016 saying about digital trends? To me, this is the year where we stop seeing digital trends in isolation. The digital world encompasses our lives from the individual consumers to the large multinational corporations. For any business to succeed they need to understand the key technologies and embrace the new technological developments. On a consumer level, these digital trends are key to our modern lives. We don’t have the time nor the energy to overanalyze our photo captions on Instagram anymore; waste precious time using our fingers to navigate through our phone when our voice can lead us straight to the finish line; or monotonously type out how many grams of kale we had for lunch on our fitness tracker. I for one welcome these new digital trends of 2016. Well most of them. I don’t think I’m quite ready to give up my Valencia filter quite yet!