What are your predictions for 2015?

Comment with the best idea or learning you had this past year and what you expect will be big in 2015!

Cheers and happy new year!

I think 2015 is going to be all about the shift from analytics to augmentation. Were going to see less accelerometers and many more hardware devices that actually change something about the user.

I also think 2015 will be the year of disposable hardware. We’ll see the first startup built burner phones. The first ingestables. The first one-time use hardware.

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I agree with a lot of what’s already been posted here; additionally, I think it’s important to heed this warning from AVC about 2015:

5/ Another market where the reality will not live up to the hype is wearables. The Apple Watch will not be the homerun product that iPod, iPhone, and iPad have been. Not everyone will want to wear a computer on their wrist. Eventually, this market will be realized as the personal mesh/personal cloud, but the focus on wearables will be a bit of a headfake and take up a lot of time, energy, and money in 2015 with not a lot of results.

(from http://avc.com/2015/01/what-is-going-to-happen/)

One of the things that continues to surprise me is how universal of a solution a mobile phone really is: modern phones really eclipse a lot of wearables - at least in terms of their accessibility and flexibility. I especially agree with @zak that wearables are going to be held to a much, much higher standard: they need to really give someone superpowers that vastly exceed what they can currently do - not just act as the sensor-du-jure.

1st - Sure, wearables may take longer than they have. Its only been a few years, and the IOT already has a market expectation of like 100 billion dollars. Its going to take time. I don’t think any of this is bad its just a side effect of the technology adoption lifecycle.

2nd - I think the phenomenon with smart phones seeming perfect. Seemingly being the unifying device. The pinnacle of hardware. Is really just a phase. We’re seeing a massive increase in the volume and quality of non-smart phone hardware. Most of it does things that your smart phone simply can’t do, and simply will never do. The part that always strikes me is that people forget that smartphones need to be manufactured in incredible volume and they are very, very expensive.

Short of the work Motorola is doing, there is no such thing as a customizable smartphone. And as a result tons, and tons, and tons of hardware will never be built into the smartphone. Smartphones will never read blood glucose. They will never replace security cameras. They will never get mounted on the wall. They will never replace cheaper micro-controllers. They will never be wearable (at least in their current form). They will be minimally used for medicine. They wont be strapped to drones. They wont make clean water. They wont be embedded in cardboard. etc, etc, etc.

For all of these other problems, and really for most problems, smart phones are wrong. They are great at being portable COMMUNICATION devices. Not bad at COMPUTING. and pretty shit at everything else.

The future is filled with lots, and lots of hardware. Not a single, unified and perfect device.

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To me, personally, this one is crucial. I think that the integration of a huge variety of devices into the built environment will herald a much broader market that what you’re able to carry with you.

Certainly, modern construction already includes all sorts of electronics: climate controls, fire safety and suppression systems, speakers and intercoms, elevators, not to mention access controls and security. If it’s a condominium or similar arrangement, the development might also include several major appliances.

One of the reasons I’m so bullish on the hardware revolution in the non-wearable space is that most of these “built-in” electronics are absolutely abysmal. They’re terrible on every level: expensive, impossible to work with, ancient, unmaintainable, proprietary, closed, and phenomenally insecure.

Built-in hardware is appalling for similar (historical) reasons that enterprise software sucks: the user isn’t the buyer. Until quite recently, it was commonplace for a company with a profoundly mediocre product to invest heavily in gargantuan sales teams to sell their wares to people such as building developers. On the IT side, the same thing occurred with database systems, “groupware”, etc.

Things have been changing for some time, however. People no longer care what corporate IT has to say about smartphones: they’re using the one they like and that’s final. Similarly, people have clearly started to demand quality appliances from developers. I don’t think it will be long before it will be untenable for developers of the built environment to be outfitting structures with elevators that need to be physically set on service with four-pin mailbox keys, or to forever dissuade residents from cooking by installing the dumbest smoke detectors on the market.

If you want to get some sense of what form the built environment will look like in 2025, I recommend looking into the accomplishments of vehicle engineering. As for 2015? Maybe we’ll finally get USB wall sockets.


This not a prediction … rather a request … Please … in 2015 …designers be bold about wearables ( WIOT ) IOT is everywhere and it should be all over your body … see http://arts-tech-creation.blogspot.com/2012/01/what-i-want-in-body-computing-ibod.html

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  • We’ll see another wifi SoC or two
  • Texas Instruments will chop the price of the CC3200 to compete with the ESP8266 (but not by enough)
  • Or they’ll launch lower cost successor with most of the network firmware in mask rom and onboard EEPROM
  • The Librem 15 will fail fantastically
  • People will keep cloning Node-RED

@zak For a while I had a smartphone mounted on my wall as a lightswitch. You’re right - it was a pain in the ass.

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The debate @zak and I were having regarding this was that there seem to be an enormous number of hardware projects that are slightly reconfigured mobile phones. So, taking mobile phones as { ARM, motion sensors, camera, wifi/cellular/bluetooth, display, battery } in about 150 grams of mass, a lot of projects seem to end up as 5/6 of those listed capabilities, with perhaps a heads-up-display instead of an LCD.

I also feel as though there’s probably a lot of redundant engineering that goes into making all these non-mobile-phone mobile-phones.

There’s a lot of similarity - the chipsets, peripherals, software, etc. Along with that similarity comes a lot of shared engineering - product uses Linux? Great, xx% of the drivers are already written and upstreamed. Buying a peripheral from a decent company? Awesome, the reference design works perfectly.

To me, the hard part of building a mobile-phone-like product is in the DFM, supply chain management, and quality controlled manufacturing. Those are all hard problems that don’t share well.

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In order to think about what big things are going to happen in 2015, we have to think about what significantly changed in 2014.

2014: The price of smart phones dropped significantly, which enabled the world’s poorest populations to become more connected.

2015: Although I believe there will continue to be a focus on home automation that serves the need of wealthy populations, we’ll begin to see a rise in connected hardware for the world’s poorest populations. The first phase of these products I think will address basic survival needs. Rather than copying infrastructure that exists in the developed world, we’ll start to see a totally new kind of infrastructure that is formed on the foundations of rapid development, connected sensors, and AI.

Drone Networks for Food Distribution
Machine Vision and Robotics for Waste Management
3D Printing for Housing Development


I can’t predict when the technology will be up to speed but I eagerly await communication devices that don’t require a screen. An example would be an ear piece that dictates and receives all your messages and commands.

I can’t wait for my hands and eyes to be freed from the constant engagement with my phone. I use my headset as much as possible but even this is not enough for me. I even find it annoying when I see other people in public holding their phones instead of keeping it in their pocket, even when they’re not using it and need their hands for other things (like holding the subway pole or carrying coffee).

When I saw the movie Her I was blown away by the subtlety of the technology and the way it blended organically into the futuristic landscape. It was a notable change from the futuristic technology of movies like Minority Report where Tom Cruise was flying through the air to escape explosions and communicating with his holographic swipe-the-air computer projections.