It’s often been said, and will continue to be said, that technology is changing at a more rapid pace than ever. Things that couldn’t have been dreamt of just 30 years ago are here today. Consider your smartphone. Even Captain Kirk’s communicator from the ‘60s Star Trek looks like garbage next to the low-end smartphones on the market today. The upcoming IT trends are indicative of how the world, and the gaming world, is changing and will continue to change for the next several years.

1 – Virtual and Augmented Reality

Google Glass caught on to virtual and augmented reality in the business sector, even though it was also marketed toward a wider audience. It provides a quick and easy on-the-go augmented reality solution for any user. Further developments of products like this, and for products like this, will be absolutely necessary to watch out for in 2015.

Even the consumer market is getting a piece of virtual and augmented reality with products like the Occulus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, and the Microsoft HoloLens that was announced at E3 this year. While these systems are mostly for gaming, utility programs can also be developed for them and with potential Internet capabilities, there could be even further developments in the market.

2 – Wearables

Many companies have had a wearable in some form or another. Even going back as far as the 90s with calculator watches, the consumer market has always had a desire for something to make their lives quicker and easier. With wearables like the aforementioned Google Glass, the Samsung Gear line of watches, the new LG Urbane, Apple Watch, and Moto 360, we’ll be seeing a lot of consumer and business sales of this new trend, and development directed at wearables is becoming almost as important as developing for standard mobile devices.

3 – Analytics and Metadata

There’s a fine line between gathering useful data and a customer considering that a company has reached too much an invasion of privacy. Customers will understand if an automatically updating cloud app needs to access their contacts and pictures but will not understand why a news app would need to, even if there is some customization that may allow the developers to create a better experience for the consumers. Being able to gain as much information as possible about customers while keeping their perceptions of privacy in mind is going to be an absolute necessity in 2015.

4 – Global Market

More and more countries are gaining access to high-speed Internet and, to keep up, companies need to develop practical applications that will enhance the life of users in newly online nations. This means a trans-cultural understanding, a creation of needs and wants, and finding niches that no one else is filling in that region.

Android, Apple, and Windows are somewhat ubiquitous, so continuing to develop for those platforms seems to not be a problem; it’s a question of what kinds of apps to create for a market that is up in the air. Beyond that, if there is an application that has a global appeal, such as a word processing application, it’s a matter of making it stand out to a certain region in a market that may be saturated with westernized versions of a similar product.

5 – Subscription-Based Software and Microtransactions

Think of all of the subscription-based services that are available and popular right now. Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go/Now, Spotify, Pandora, Playstation Network, Xbox Live, and even Microsoft Office are all subscription based. This trend doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon and customers seem to be willing to pay for convenient access to quality products.

Another related trend is the quickly growing usage of microtransactions. Although this is used more frequently in mobile games like Clash of Clans or Candy Crush, it has been utilized in almost every sector to great effect. Of course, not everyone will pay for a freemium mobile app, but the ones that will end up helping the developer turn a profit. While many users notice and are generally fine with smaller microtransactions for extra features, there is a fine line between utility or fun and exploitation. A great example of microtransactions gone wrong is EA’s foray into the market with the game Dungeon Keeper. Being able to turn a profit without turning your customer base off will be absolutely imperative in the future.

6 – Social Site Integration

Developing apps and websites that can be quickly shared on social media is another trend that seems to be in for the long haul. Everything from CNN to video game consoles are connected directly to social media sites for easy sharing and updates, and almost every entity that’s on the Internet has some kind of social media page.

It’s not enough to simply be able to link your applications and websites to Facebook. Now, since almost everything is social media, many developers will need to find a way to quickly and easily link to more professional sites, such as Linkedin, for networking and business purposes.

The Internet of Things is becoming more and more prevalent for businesses and consumers alike by integrating it with virtual/augmented reality, wearables, analytics, subscription services, and social sites, your business will stay relevant. Bringing your business and applications to a global market by reaching across cultural boundaries will ensure that what you’re developing will have staying power for the future.

Aniket Warty

Aniket Warty

Adventure Capitalist. The creation of wealth is merely an extension of my innate freedom to produce.

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