If 2015 has taught us anything, it’s that there are some products which are looked forward to, some that are hotly anticipated, and somewhere the rumors, leaks, and waiting in line for days before the release date just seem a little bit too excessive. Just a little. But, of course, technology is always moving forward, and that’s why I’m going to be counting down the top 5 most anticipated tech products of 2016. So let’s begin!
Number 5: Microsoft HoloLens
Now this is an augmented reality headset, and you possibly thinking to yourself, “What is the difference between virtual and augmented reality?” Well, put easily, in a VR headset your entire field of vision is covered by an LCD screen that’s been magnified with a couple of lenses. But with augmented reality headsets, like the HoloLens, you can continue to see the real world, but you can also have computer graphics overlaid on top of it. Which is what makes this concept so futuristic and sci-fi. Now even though head-mounted displays have been available for ten years or perhaps even longer, the fact that his one will be made by such a large company as Microsoft, and the fact that it will have so much publicity and press attention, means that this could be the product which pushes augmented reality out into the main stream. But unfortunately, the prices certainly won’t be mainstream. The development kit will be released in the first quarter of 2016, and will cost, wait for this, US$3000. But if Microsoft can get the price down to reasonable levels, then I think that we might see the HoloLens become a must-have piece of technology in the not-too-distant future.
Forget about the Pebble, forget about Android Wear, it appears like Apple’s 2nd smart watch, which has been dubbed the “Apple Watch 2”, is going to be one of the hottest parts of wearable tech for 2016. So how will it improve over the original Apple watch? Rather, for a starter, it wil have better battery life. Just compare the battery of the PebbleTime Steel, which lasts ten entire days, to the battery of the Apple Watch, which actually needs to be charged every day. Now sure, the Pebble has an OLED screen versus an AMOLED, which does make it more power efficient by a significant margin, but surely Apple could improve their battery a little bit, even if it means increasing the thickness of the case. Anyway, the Apple Watch 2 will likely come out in June 2016, and I’m sure heaps of people will be looking forward to it.
You know, I’ve talked about Apple, I’ve talked about Microsoft, what other major tech company have I left out? Oh, that’s right, Samsung!
So the Samsung Galaxy S7, which is the newest interaction of the company’s flagship phone, is due to be liberated at the Mobile World Conference in late February. And judging by the rumors, it sounds like a really interesting device. It looks like it’ll have a pressure-sensitive touch screen, which actually sound just a little bit like the iPhone’s 3D Touch feature. It will likely add a USB Type C charging port, so no more fiddling around trying to get the USB plug in the right way. But sticking with the sci-fi theme which I explored earlier with the HoloLens, this is the most amazing feature: The S7 might have a retinal scanner. Now you’ve heard about fingerprint scanners on phones, but retinal scanners, I don’t think we’ve ever seen one of those before. Anyway, I don’t cognize about you, but I’m really looking forward to the S7 and we don’t have many months to wait now until it’s released.
Now, of course, I’m talking about the iPhone 7. Uh, need I say more? Now even before the iPhone 6S was actually released, I’m serious about this, rumors came flooding out about the iPhone 7, which shows you just how much people are excited about Apple’s new device. Now, of course, it’s more than six months until it’s due to be released, so we don’t have that much guaranteed information about it yet, but I did find this, it’s very interesting. This is a rendering, a concept, that was showcased on a channel called CTN technology news. Now, as you can see, judging by this, it actually looks like the next iPhone might have a kind of an elliptical shape at the end. It actually reminds me of the old iPod nanos, you know, the ones with the click wheel. In fact, another thing that reminds me of them is that you can see on the bottom of the rendering there, the way that it has the classic 30-pin dock connector. Now absolutely, the new iPhone will have nothing like that, it will have Lightning. But the interesting thing is that it might ONLY have Lightning, no other ports. Apparently, the rumor is that Apple is considering removing the 3.5mm headphone jack so that it can make the phone thinner. And that one’s got the Internet into a bit of a panic. But honestly, I wouldn’t worry at all about any of these rumored features, since the iPhone will be released in September 2016, so it’s still a long way to wait, but as a hotly anticipated piece of tech, it’s certainly up there with the best of them.
I bet you can guess what it will be. Now Palmer Luckey certainly is a lucky man. He started a collection of VR headsets when he was just a teenage, but he found none of them met his needs. So back in 2011, when he was only 18 years old, he developed the first prototype of what was to become the Oculus Rift. Three years later, he sold his company to Facebook for two billion dollars. Now maybe this price allows you to have a little bit of a feeling for how good the Oculus Rift really is. It’s not a ground breaking technology, but it’s certainly a massive refinement to what we had before in the world of virtual reality. And it’s such a sought after piece of tech as well. It’ll be released in the first quarter of 2016, and in my opinion, it could well be the first VR headset to gain massive mainstream acceptance. And I, for one, can’t wait until it’s released.