Top 5 Failed Technology Predictions of 2016

Throughout the years there have been many predictions related to the future of technology. While some of these concepts have come to fruition, most of them have missed the mark entirely. Experts had predicted a variety of different things for 2016, most of which ended up being completely wrong.

#5 Technology Products Get Better With Age

A rather unusual statement, as we live in a society where consumerism is reaching new levels every quarter. It is not in the best interest – financially speaking – of technology manufacturers to make products better with age. Instead, new products have a shorter lifespan than previous generations, forcing consumers to spend money every year to remain up-to-date. This trend can be noted on both the hardware and software side of the equation. Not the most positive development in the technology sector, that’s for sure.

#4 A More Tech-oriented In-store Shopping Experience

Despite best efforts by some retailers, technology has not made it into most everyday stores just yet. Cashiers still deal with the same payment methods, and the whole shopping experience has not changed all that much in 2016. Popular mobile payment and shopping solutions have made a minor impact but did very little to shake up the industry as a whole. Innovation needs time to settle in, and it may take several more years before trends such as geo-location become a mainstream thing.

#3 An Increased Focus on Cyber Security

Technically this prediction has not been wrong, although the reason for the increased focus happened for the wrong reasons. There has been an increased focus on cyber security but only due to new problems that arose, instead of due to existing issues. 2016 Has seen a stunning number of social engineering attacks, data breaches, and other hacking attempts. Unfortunately it seems that the trend isn’t stopping anytime soon and will continue in 2017.

#2 2016 Is The Year of The Blockchain

Blockchain-related news was a hot topic throughout 2016. Strategic partnerships and funding rounds have brought positive attention to the sector. However, as it turns out very few projects have come to maturity in 2016, which brings to light a larger issue. It remains unclear how most of these projects expect their blockchain to work moving forward. Conducting small-scale tests with positive results does not mean a distributed ledger solution will behave in the same manner in a real environment. It is expected a few blockchain projects will come to fruition in 2017.

#1 Global Internet Services Provided By Balloons

The concept of balloon-provided Internet services sounded ludicrous a few years ago. But with the help of companies such as Google and Facebook, this idea is not impossible to achieve any longer. Bringing the unconnected people to the World Wide Web is a daunting challenge, and balloon internet is a promising project to make it all possible.

Unfortunately, 2016 has not brought any significant developments in this sector. Google still plans to deploy Loon networks to dozens of countries, but they have not made any significant headway in 2016. The same can be said for SpaceX’s plans to launch low-orbit satellites providing internet access. Both projects are formidable in their own right, but it will take a few more years before they can become a reality.

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