As part of this year's annual Community Awards we introduced a new category; Future Technology Predictions. Here we asked you not only to vote on which of our nominations you thought would dominate in 2016, but also to give us a few words about where you see the electronics world heading in the near future.
This has turned into a deliciously fascinating conversation, and it's also tied to a competition we ran alongside the awards for all those who earned the I Voted, 2015 badge. And today, we're ready to announce the winner!
I Voted Badge
To get the I Voted, 2015 badge was reasonably simple. All you had to do is vote in each of the seven Community Awards categories, and then leave your thoughts on the Future Tech Predictions about what's got you excited in the electronics world. Unfortunately, if you missed it you'll have to wait until next year to pick up this coveted badge; it expired along with the polls.
But a great many of you bagged it, and bagged it quickly, so we've had a lot of Future Tech conversations to weigh up in order to decide who wins our nominated products of the year.
Before we have the big reveal, here are some of the more inspiring comments the poll received, and we'd like to send each of you a CodeBug for your honourable mention (so make sure your postal address is up to date in your element14 profile).
An insightful notion about how wireless integration and the Internet of Things could benefit ordinary people in ordinary families, in their every day lives.
"Imagine your washing machine advising the other power devices so that the total peak load of the house could be reduced, and then sending a text when it's completed. How about integrating the oven so that it can override the washing machine, or tell the person who set it that due to power saving the roast will be 15 mins later than planned."
Bob shares a passion and love for The specified item was not found., just as we do, and we feel much the same that 2016 could mark the tipping point where STEM (and STEAM) hit the educational mainstream.
My prediction for 2016 is that STEM learning and education really takes hold and we see an huge leap in kids really interested in electronics. The reason I think this will be the year is I feel we are positioned better now than ever before with so many easy to use programming platforms such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi
Because we can't wait for self-driving cars, and those hallowed days when the commute could actually become a productive time! Ron sums this up very nicely in his comment.
"I think we will see more developments in transportation tech. The self driving cars and 'nanny' features will show up more and more. Also mobile connectivity so you have some thing to do while your car takes you where you are going."
Scott's thoughts on wi-fi continuing to evolve are interesting, given the proliferation -- and the expectation, as he rightly points out -- of this particular brand of wireless connectivity already.
"My prediction for 2016 is greater open wifi integration in a more mesh-like manner. In order for this to work, our idea of what it means to be connected will need to vary somewhat. Wifi drivers for phones need work, as they are not very aggressive at finding and connecting to wifi without wanting you to agree that the wifi might not be secure yada yada yada. Connect on some secure-ish level, move data, recognize low signal strength, find the next network, rinse and repeat. I think businesses are finally figuring out that providing open wifi to their customers is like providing drinking fountains and a place to sit."
I recall a small movement several years ago about "personal area networks", which seemed to die off before it had a chance to get going. But here, Alfredo has shown that the concept could be ready to live again.
My prediction, will be, the integration of human technology. M
eaning that we will use wearables, like coats, shirts, tennis shoes, with sensors, and communication systems, that allow us to go further with devices like power banks, bluetooth, wifi, GPS, altimeters, Facebook, Twitter... integrated on a coat, we are able to maintain communications, and link to web, without the need to sit, or stay at home."
You can hear Jack's sentiments echoed in the comments above, and throughout the Future Tech poll and the entire element14 Community. But the reason he's been picked as the winner of the I Voted, 2015 badge competition is his faith in the process of empowering new makers. If we can follow the example given by Jack below, the future will indeed be a very exciting and tech-filled place.
So our deepest congratulation to Jack, and a host of goodies including our Product of the Year nominations are winging their way toward you!
"Education is the future. S.T.E.M. is just a starting point for what is needed in all communities. New technologies don't come from major corporations, or established methods. All paradigm shifting inventions have come from the hobby communities. If the youth is provided with the fundamentals, and resources for following through with ideas, miracles will be created. What that will be is anybodies guess."