This Year, Look Out For These Innovations
Data That's Driven by Creativity: Look for a paradigm shift in data analytics this year. Whereas enterprises are just getting comfortable with the array of suites and solutions that allow them to parse enormous data sets into actionable information, they'll begin to question to what extent, if any, does becoming captive to all that data do away with a company's culture of innovation and creativity. The answer will be that Big Data will increasingly be used to encourage the creative side of the company instead of stifle it. This will be made possible by boundaryless information platforms, as Infosys refers to as creativity-driven data usage. This will enable real-time analytics to run along with business focused analytics apps and visualization to get more insight about customers and operations, equipping the right people in organizations with right information at the right time.
Crowd Capitalism: Look for a sea change in how Wall Street works during 2016 because crowd-funding has arrived. Don't confuse it with feel-good Grameen Bank-style solicitations for enough pennies to lift people out of poverty. Technology (and ensuing regulations) is becoming such that people can buy directly into IPOs and promising startups. No middleman taking a commission. Democracy is coming to Wall Street this year.
Bionic Hearing: Where there's a demand for headphones that can pump out music and telephone conversations louder than ever before, there is also a technology that counteracts the damage being done to our eardrums. Bionic hearing aids are here - and they're earbuds as well. Look for them to be one of the hottest technologies of 2016 as digital users seek to block out ambient sounds in order to hear their music more clearly. That way, they won't have to turn up their volumes as high and risk further damage to their hearing. Consumers are finally learning the difference between sound quantity and quality. The best part is that bionic hearing gear is controlled by an app on a mobile device. So wherever your loud music goes, so does this piece of restorative medical technology.
Solar Cells That Are as Clear as Glass: Is there anything uglier than 1970s-style solar panels affixed to the roofs of buildings--especially houses? OK, we get it. You value the energy thrown off by the sun's rays. But there has to be a more aesthetically pleasing way to harness solar power. Enter solar panels that are as clear and transparent as windows. The ramifications of this innovation are tremendous. Think about entire steel and glass skyscrapers covered in clear solar panels. Inhabitants wouldn't even know that the windows they look out of are absorbing precious solar energy and powering the building. From buildings, that same technology can be used as the screen in mobile telephones, which, left within the rays of the sun, can absorb enough energy so that they never have to be plugged into a wall outlet again. Solar harvesting surfaces will become ubiquitous without consumers even knowing they're surrounded by them.