From Apple launching its first wearable, the Apple Watch and Tesla’s launch of the autopilot system which enables cars to self-steer, it’s safe to say that 2015 was a big year for the tech industry.

So what will 2016 bring? There has been much speculation about tech movements in the coming year, so we’ve compiled a list of 5 popular tech predictions.

A shift in online culture

There is no doubt that culture is changing rapidly, especially when it comes to the internet. While the internet is being used as a form of communication and commerce, it is increasingly becoming a space used to share propaganda.

With social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, there has become a fragmentation of independent online social group that define themselves by their controversial world views. Due to the rather uncensored nature of the internet, the potential for disinformation is large, which means finding accurate information and being well informed, can take more time and research than ever before.

Now more than ever, social media is becoming an explosive environment which has led to an increase of social justice warriors and extreme ideologies.

A rise in virtual reality systems

Samsung recently released a consumer-grade virtual reality system called the Gear VR, the first 360– degree entertainment system.

While the Gear VR only works with Samsung phones, other companies such as Oculus and HTC are releasing their virtual reality (VR) systems within the next year.

Even though not everyone will be an early adopter of VR, it is likely that most of us will have our first experiences with VR which is quite exciting!

While this is the case, it must be noted that VR isn’t for everyone and can be nauseating, or at least disorientating for some- this is something that is not likely to change in the near future.

A rise in innovation coming from India

According to David Kanter, principal analyst and editor in chief at Real World Tech, the era of overvalued Silicon Valley tech companies may be drawing to a close.

While it is likely that large private companies will need to re-evaluate their business’ worth, it is predicted that there will be a strong increase in start-ups out of both India and China, and less of a centralisation of innovation in Silicon Valley.

An increase in the Internet of Things (IoT) and security

It’s likely there will be an increase in growth regarding the internet of things, the concept of connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet.

In 2015, the market saw strong growth in the number of connected devices, and with that caused a rise to concerns about the security of IoT. This year, it is predicted that security will take the main stage whereby solution providers will be able to deliver secure, connected services to consumers.

Last year GM announced that every one of its new vehicles in the US would ship with 4G LTD embedded. While it is unlikely that all cars will be connected to the internet this year, initial findings indicates that connected cars will be the norm for all new vehicles produced worldwide within the next few years.

Anti-Drone Technology

While drones have shown us some really amazing applications over the last twelve months from planting trees to combat deforestation and monitoring hazardous air chemicals, there is immense danger in putting advanced technology on a remote switch.

What if a drone gets hacked?

Due to the frequent use of wireless transmission for drone control, and the potential for radio interference, hacking is a possibility which could prevent owners from controlling the drone manually and regaining control.

Drones are used regularly as invasive tools intended to spy on individuals or even top-secret business operations. Beyond that, military, governments and law enforcement are targeted by spy drones on reconnaissance missions.

The rise in drones and the subsequent security threats which follow, predicts that 2016 will see companies developing anti-drone technology.

In October last year, non-profit research and Development Company Battelle unveiled a device called the DroneDefender, a rifle-like device which can shoot down drones, allowing organisations and individuals alike, to ward off snooping drones.

To read more about the Internet of things, please check out the below sources

Agenda Sydney Morning Herald Wall Street Journal

Hayden McMaster