2016 will surely usher in a number of interesting technology innovations. Here are some of my predictions for the areas of IoT, payment and loyalty programs, and the increasing value of APIs, given what is happening in the marketplace and the type of work Ness is doing with its own customers.
- Internet of Things will gain significant momentum as the ‘Things’ become more commoditized in the Connected home market. The hubs such as SmartThings, Wink, Insteon, Apple TV / HomeKit and the likes will gain momentum. Interoperability becomes key in these gateways, and hums and integrators like Amazon Echo will be at the forefront.
- The mesh products in the IoT space will explode in the marketplace as reliable products are released by companies such as GE, Phillips, Samsung, Google, Lutron, Amazon buttons and many more that are based on ZigBee, Z-wave, Bluetooth Smart and other IP-based stacks. A number of solutions will be built around these solutions, such as IFTTT, DO, voice control through Amazon Echo, Apple TV with Siri, etc.
- Wearables will make significant strides in the analytics of what the devices provide, including more fine-grained data that will help in providing a reliable, overall health picture of a consumer. Health insurers will start to move towards comprehensive wellness programs and offer benefits / credits to healthy insureds. Virtual Reality wearables will redefine experiences with products from Oculus, Samsung, HTC and a host of others – immersive experiences will change content production.
- Nearables will make significant inroads into all areas with retailers, hospitals, healthcare, public transport, banking institutions and cities reaping the benefits. All the data that is being collected will be monetized for use across businesses. The data from nearables will be valuable to determine the changing behavior of consumers. The analyzed data will provide actionable insights to help businesses fine tune approaches and offerings based on behavior.
- Payment methods will become more secure as Point of Sale systems are fortified with technologies that not only address past security breaches, but also bring about new innovations such as an integrated payment. This will integrate cash, credits, points and other virtual currencies into a single unit. Convenient devices like Coin 2.0, Pastc, Wocket – other than paying with phone, will evolve and become mainstream.
- Loyalty will shake out this year as the Plenti program, with a diverse group of businesses participating, offers consumers a more aggregated loyalty model option. Airline loyalty will continue to consolidate under the OneWorld Alliance and Star Alliance, but these programs will remain on their own outside options such as Plenti. Businesses will start to target households rather than individual consumers to increase customer stickiness and sales by expanding relevant engagement points.
- It will be the year of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), with many businesses realizing the value they can provide to their customers, other businesses, and end consumers. The magnitude of the value APIs can generate will be determined during the course of the year, as pricing based on monetized data and what it means will be understood by the consumers of APIs, as well as the producers. Companies such as IBM Bluemix, Apigee, Apiary, Mashery and a host of other API providers / enablers will help advance the API economy.
I’m looking forward to seeing how these capabilities play out in the coming year, and I’d be interested in hearing about your predictions too.