Technology companies just love to surprise us consumers by bringing out bigger and better things than their competitors, constantly shaping and adapting the way we live our lives. So now in we’re 2016, what innovations should we be looking out for?
Firstly, Google shocked the world back in November by creating the ‘smart reply’, where machines scan the content in your email and give you an option of three automated replies based on the language you would usually use throughout your emails. Now some people may think that’s lazy but to those who are busy running around in their daily life, its total genius. This year could see this running on all email platforms so everyone can use it.
Scientists at a Chinese university have developed a new rubber like material known as PDMS. They then embedded very small wires in to the rubber, which are made up of lead zirconate titanate. These wires are extremely thin and are about 140x thinner than a single strand of human hair (wow!). Whenever those nanowires are bent, for example if they were tapped gently, they generate electricity. The scientists figured out that when the wires are viewed straight on they’re almost invisible, so by casing the wires in clear PDMS they can be attached to smartphones with a touch screen. Each time the screen is touched electricity will generate and charge up the smartphone – this is something incredibly clever and will lose the need for all those little portable charging packs!
Gone are the days when you borrow some money off a friend and then have to go to a cash machine or dare I say it, the bank to get the money and give it back to your friend. The next step was apps which allowed us to transfer money which was pretty easy if you had the account number and sort code of the person you wanted to transfer to. But now Facebook has come up with a new payment system. You register your debit card with them and can send cash to any of your friends via Facebook messenger! All you need to do is click the ‘$’ sign on the edge of the message box, type in how much you want to send and then it’s done, you’ve paid your friend back for the cash you borrowed at lunchtime!
One thing I would love to see this year would be digital wallpaper. You could be sitting in a room, and all around you would be your favourite television show so it felt like you were actually part of it! How amazing would that be?
I suppose we have to dream until someone puts it into practice. Is there anything innovative you would love to be created? We’d love to hear your suggestions.