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Tech Trends to Watch in 2016

Technology changed dramatically in 2015, setting foundations for an exciting year ahead. There have been big changes in the home and in the workplace. We’ve listed four tech trends to look out for in 2016.

 Internet Explorer No More  

The End of Internet Explorer

The browser most commonly used for exploring the internet has been discontinued just shy of its 20th year in operation. It’s the end of an era, as for many Internet Explorer (IE) was probably the first browser they ever used.

After announcing IE’s retirement earlier in 2015, Microsoft confirmed it will no longer support versions 8, 9 or 10 from January 12.

Explorer 11 will continue to receive security updates and technical support until the browser is slowly phased out. Taking the place of Microsoft’s long standing home browser is the new ‘Microsoft Edge’ (ME).

One of ME’s features is your own personal assistant, Cortana. She can take orders through the search box or you can speak to her directly over the microphone. You can ask Cortana to send emails, take notes, find files or even cheer you up with a joke.

An additional feature is the ability to draw directly on any web page which can then be saved, stored and sent. This allows the user to highlight specific text with their mouse or finger or doodle on pictures and share.

Currently, Google Chrome is the most preferred web browser according to web analyst Clicky, quickly rising to market domination after its release in 2008. Chrome is favoured for its speed, apps, extensions, and sleek, user friendly interface.

While ME’s extensions are limited, many of the beloved characteristics of Chrome are being implemented in Edge. Showing if you can’t beat them, join them.

Chrome’s lead in the market is still considerable, but its lead in performance is not. As Microsoft broadens their own selection of apps and extensions we may just have another entry in this one-horse race. 

 Connected homes  

Connected Homes

According to NBN Co around 1.4 million premises are currently ready for the ultra-fast broadband service, a number growing by nearly 1,000 per week. There’s certainly plenty of uses for the increased internet speeds that come with NBN - the average Australian household currently has 9 internet-connected devices at any given time.

This number will rise by 30% in 2016 alone, according to industry analyst Gartner, for a total of 6.4 billion connected appliances. By 2020, we can expect a mind-boggling 29 connected devices per home on average. Garden appliances, home security systems, televisions, gaming consoles, fitness trackers and even white goods will all soon be interconnected.

The latest in connected appliances is the 'Family Hub Refrigerator'. The kitchen is thought of as the heart of the family home but who knew it could also be the brain.

Samsung’s Hub has a command screen on the exterior door which can manage the family’s schedules, post updates and leave notes, all operated from selected smart phones. The fridge also has three high quality cameras which can be accessed from your smartphone to check what’s inside without opening it.

Home automation will become much more accessible with connected wall plugs. A thin attachment set between any standard power point and home appliance means every electrical appliance can be operated directly from your smart phone.

Some of the wackier prototypes released this year are ‘Diaper Detectors’. A pager sized device strapped to a baby’s nappy to notify parents exactly when an accident occurs and what to expect. And the ‘Smart Belt’, which measures any changes in your waistline and records your daily step count and seated time.

Of course, to power all these data-hungry devices, you will need a high-speed internet connection like NBN. With speeds up to 100mbps, it will allow plenty of bandwidth to run all of your home’s new ‘smarts’.

Check out MyNetFone NBN internet plans for home and business.

Find out when the NBN will reach your address.

 The Cloud  

The Cloud 

As cloud computing improves, it’s becoming recognised as an increasingly valuable technology for both the business and at home. The ‘cloud’ to be put simply is an external computer network that stores and processes information.

As internet speeds improve it’s no longer necessary to store or process information locally as it can be accessed instantly from a distance. Using the cloud can cut costs, simplify equipment and make data storage/sharing more user friendly.

Cloud based technologies will promote the rise of digital only banks in 2016. These banks do not require a physical branch. All payments, applications and transactions can be made using a smart phone to be processed securely through the cloud.

For businesses, switching to cloud-based services often means significant operational savings and increased efficiency. From cloud-based Accounting software like Xerox, to storage based software like Dropbox, there are plenty of opportunities to embrace the cloud.

Where to start? How about a cloud-hosted business phone system – Virtual PBX from MyNetFone. Scaling from 2 to 20+ lines, it will grow with your business and is easy to manage via an online portal. Find out more.

 Smart Watch  

Wearable Technology

The Apple Watch released in April last year missed its mark in both sales and innovation, while Google Glasses have hit a standstill after the first generation was met with mixed reviews. There has been little success in the wearable technology market to date, but we’re expecting to see some new contenders in 2016.

L’Oreal recently released a wearable tattoo called ‘My UV Patch’ which detects UV radiation. The patch then translates this information into real-time data available to the wearer, warning them if UV exposure has reached a dangerous level.

Wearables aren’t just for humans. ‘Nuzzle’ is a new GPS tracking system that fits snuggly on a pet’s collar to be tracked by the owner’s smart phone. The tracking system will even send you a notification if your pup strays to far from home.

Tokyo based company Hitachi have taken wearables a step further and developed an electronic monitoring system attached to their employees. The ID tag worn around an employee’s neck will activate when in close range of a fellow worker. It will begin to record audio and video files to be sent to a central database to monitor workplace interactions. While Hitachi claim to have installed the technology with the best of intentions, they seem to be straying past the point of innovation and more towards intrusion. 


Advances in technology are having flow-on effects across a range of different industries. Improvements in infrastructure promote innovation in software, IT services and even home appliances. We're expecting an exciting year ahead.

The End of Internet Explorer

The browser most commonly used for exploring the internet has been discontinued just shy of its 20th year in operation. It’s an end of an era, as for many Internet Explorer (IE) was probably the first browser they ever used.

The face of technology changed dramatically in 2015 and laid foundations for an exciting year ahead. There’s been big changes in the home, the workplace and cyberspace too. We’ve listed four tech trends to look out for in 2016.

 

After announcing IE’s retirement earlier in 2015, Microsoft confirmed it will no longer support versions 8, 9 or 10 from January 12. Explorer 11 will continue to receive security updates and technical support until the browser is slowly phased out. Taking the place of Microsoft’s long standing home browser is the new ‘Microsoft Edge’ (ME).

One of ME’s features is your own personal assistant, Cortana. She can take orders through the search box or you can speak to her directly over the microphone. You can ask Cortana to send emails, take notes, find files or even cheer you up with a joke.

An additional feature is the ability to draw directly on any web page which can then be saved, stored and sent. This allows the user to highlight specific text with their mouse or finger or doodle on pictures and share.

 

Google Chrome is currently the most preferred web browser, quickly rising to market domination after its release in 2008. Chrome is favoured for its speed, apps, extensions, and sleek, user friendly interface. While ME’s extensions are limited, many of the beloved characteristics of Chrome are being implemented in Edge. Showing if you can’t beat them, join them.

Chrome’s lead in the market is still considerable, but its lead in performance is not. As Microsoft broadens their own selection of apps and extensions we may just have another entry in this one-horse race. 

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