Looking at 2016, our online lives will continue to evolve and improve. My online predictions for next year include the increasing impact of internet TV on traditional broadcast television and the way in which new living spaces incorporate an online lifestyle.
1. Online living
New lifestyle developments such as Waterfall City that mix work and living spaces, increasingly incorporate an online lifestyle. Fibre connections to homes and offices are built into these areas to enable a range of online tools that require fast network access. Internet TV, security and gaming take on a real time dimension with built-in fast access.
2. Voice assistants
Running your home will increasingly become voice-based via digital assistants such as Amazon’s Echo. Internet TV remotes for players such as Apple TV, Roku and Fire TV will all be voice-activated for convenient searching of entertainment. Security and other lifestyle management systems will be directed through these intelligent digital devices.
3. Internet TV
With the looming launch of Netflix in SA comes the prospect of internet TV gaining ground here. ShowMax, Front Row and other local players will all vie for your internet TV attention, in addition to the big gorilla. My online prediction for internet TV in 2016 is that many more people will either start cutting traditional pay television all together, or use it in addition to internet TV, due to the low entry level cost of the likes of ShowMax and likely Netflix.
4. Even bigger mobile devices
This 2015 trend will continue into 2016, with phone and tablet screen sizes going one way: bigger. The trend for device sizes to grow smaller has found its match in bigger screen sizes. As network access speed increases, so does the demand for HD video on bigger screens. iPhone was late on this trend, but Apple will accelerate the bigger device screen trend, even with the problems experienced with the super-size iPad Pro.
5. Increasing social customisation
As increasingly demonstrated by Facebook, personalisation and individual customisation through individual choice and the social network’s own artificial intelligence efforts will gain ground in social during 2016. Other tools such as the Safety Check in Paris-type initiatives will ensure the network remains woven into the fabric of our online identities. Oh, and selfie-picture-taking prowess will be analysed with AI robots. Eek!
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