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Move over desktops, laptops, and traditional personal computing devices. Mobile is taking over as the most common form of end user device in the digital space. Looking back, digital hardware evolution over the past century always seemed inclined toward mobility as a key feature. End user devices seem most in demand when they are the most compact and cartable solutions available without losing any ease of interface.

Yet 2015 was not entirely smooth sailing for mobile technology. The much-anticipated Apple Watch did not make a great first impression, while the brand’s other innovations and new platforms, such as Carplay, gained similarly underwhelming reactions from consumers. We saw what had previously been called the “sharing economy” turn into more of a “scrap-sharing economy,” as many brands under that umbrella experienced a number of significant growing pains.

However technology learns from its mistakes, and the 2016 market looks as if mobile technology still shines on as a key focus of digital innovation. As mobile technology diversifies, there are recurring trends that may show insight into which niches of mobile technology will persevere in 2016 and beyond.

Wearable Hardware

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Although the smart watch did not immediately catch on, it is only the beginning of a host of new wearable digital hardware that is forthcoming in the marketplace. From smart clothing to virtual reality headsets – there is a lot of activity happening in the wearable technology space. Soon, runners will be able to gauge not only their distance, but also their form, body temperature and heart rate. And while Google Glass seemed to quickly disappear, the Oculus Rift experience is very close to being released to the public and many believe it will change the way we look at the Internet.

Mobile Sharing Economy

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Apps such as Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit and Airbnb have set new precedents for mobile business models. The sharing economy continues to proliferate in many different niches, in spite of many challenges to its viability. While convenience and work flexibility were previously thought to be the key selling points in these models, consumer complaints and menial wages for workers have slowed the brands’ progress and affected their public image. But the movement also ushered in very important new mechanisms to cultivate trust between brands and consumers, by way of collective ratings systems and networked mobile apps.

Buying Your Own Apps

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As people and businesses start to understand the potential of mobile technology, opportunities flourish for mobile entrepreneurship as well as business simplification solutions. While business apps proliferate to aid our everyday lives, new software offers users the ability to design, publish and market original apps based on white label designs provided through simple graphical interfaces.

Conclusion

The world is mobilizing at a rapid pace. Smartphones and exciting new hardware innovations foreshadow a new era of mobile engagement, in which people can handle virtually any business task using mobile apps, or even custom design their own apps to use or sell. Some say that the future of network technology is in the Internet of Things, and virtually all objects will eventually be synchronized over some sort of network. Time will tell if we ever arrive at that level of interconnectivity, but 2016 will surely be an age of mobile innovation.