5 Tech Trends To Watch In 2016


Written By: Aaron Mayper, graphic recorder at ImageThink (@imagethink)

With the new year just starting up, now is the time to think about what trends will prove most influential in 2016.  ImageThink has been privileged with a view into the tech world; here are five trends we noticed as big topics at tech conferences.5TechTrends-01-Web

1) Live Stream Democratizes Content Even More

Social Media, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, has already made an enormous impact on the way brands (not to mention presidential candidates and political revolutions) engage with their audiences.

Live stream apps like Meerkat and Periscope promise a new level of real-time engagement.

Journalists have already used live stream apps to cover everything from Baltimore’s Freddie Gray protests in April, to the birth of Prince William and Duchess Kate’s second child in May.


2) Virtual Reality Moves From Sci-fi To Hi-Fi

Once the domain of science fiction, virtual reality is becoming a respected content platform.  Last year, storytellers and designers alike found ways to use the new medium.

The New York Times began a virtual reality documentary series on the lives of children displaced by war, viscerally immersing the viewer in their worlds.

At the WPC conference, the 3D designing platform Autodesk Maya announced a partnership with Microsoft Hololens, allowing architects and automobile engineers to view their creations in three dimensions as they edit in in real time.


3) The Marriage of E-Commerce and Brick & Mortar

As online shopping has largely usurped shopping in-store, marketplaces are finding new ways to make their brick & mortar shops relevant again. Menswear company Bonobos, for instance is treating their storefronts as enormous displays for online purchases, while others use mobile catalogues to drive customers to their shops.


4) Internet of Things and Machine Learning

We are getting better and better at integrating sensors that relay data in real time into everything from brake pads to refrigerators to shower heads; equally as important, we are getting better at interpreting and making sense out of that data. This is changing how we experience products, and how they respond to our needs as they “learn” our unique preferences.



5) The Sharing Economy Disrupts Traditional Industries

The “Sharing Economy,” peer-to-peer rentals and purchases moderated by apps, has changed the way we hail a cab, rent a room, and do our laundry. Even Ford is jumping on the sharing bandwagon, with its new Ford Credit Link program that allows its users to share vehicles.

These are just a few of the major trends we see on the rise, and we are excited by the ways that visual storytelling is finding new expressions in them.  What tech trends do you see making changes in 2016?  Tweet us at @ImageThink and tell us!

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