Emerging Technology Trends in 2016

During your crystal ball gazing exercises you may or may not have come across the Gartner’s Hype Cycle of Emerging Technologies. Keeping an eye on Gartner’s yearly report can be useful and interesting as it shows what stage of development emerging technologies are at – from conception to maturity and mass adoption. It has been used since 1995 to show the common pattern of “overenthusiasm, disillusionment and eventual realism” that comes with each invention and new technologies. It is often used by companies as a guide for when new technologies should be adopted for maximum impact and value.

A couple of years ago, for example, 3D scanning and 3D printing were at the “peak of inflated expectations”, which is when they got hyped up by the media and lots of people started talking about a “3D printed revolution”. It was more of an evolution rather than revolution as the technology had been around for some time, but not in the public eye. Just before then we launched the first 3D body scanning and 3D printing art installation in the UK in partnership with 3Dify and Emilia Telese, which took the city of Brighton by storm during the digital festival and gained lots of media attention.

Last year, 3D scanning reached the “slope of enlightenment” and this year it has completely disappeared from the graph, which means it has reached the “plateau of productivity”. Whereas 3D consumer printing is sliding into the “trough of disillusionment”.

Gartner's Hype Cycle of Emerging Technologies
Gartner’s Hype Cycle of Emerging Technologies

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are in the “trough of disillusionment” at the moment, expected to reach the “plateau of productivity” in the next 5-10 years.

However, with Magic Leap, a “cinematic reality” startup which has drawn lots of attention and resources from investors, Augmented Reality might get to the masses even quicker than predicted by Gartner. Below is one of the latest pre-launch demos of Magic Leap’s amazing technology. They are planning of bringing “magic back into the world”.



Car manufacturers have also been working on AR apps to replace hard copies of car manuals for example. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), one of the world’s largest trade shows, will have a dedicated Augmented Reality space for the first time in January 2016. Shawn DuBravac, chief economist for the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) told Fortune Magazine that sales of VR and AR headsets will increase from approximately 200,000 in 2015 to over 1.2 million in 2016.

What does this all mean for digital media? Well if the above didn’t get your creative juices going, then get in touch with us. We might be able to help you with your next digital media campaign by creating something attention grabbing with the help of emerging technologies.

6 thoughts on “Emerging Technology Trends in 2016

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