2015 was the year things didn’t happen, thank goodness it’s 2016
Last year was disappointing in more ways than one. There were definitely a few highlights along the way, and the Gadgets 360 staff were impressed with quite a few gadgets in 2015, but overall it was a pretty boring and disappointing year. At the beginning of the new year, we are more optimistic for the new year 2016; everything is new and we are taking a fresh start to find all the new things that will disappoint us.
But one thing is certain – the new year is unlikely to be another 2015. Last year started with a splash of cold water as the Google Glass reality check rolled around – in January, Google halted consumer sales of Glass to rethink and prepare for the next generation. We are now starting a new cycle of hype, but hopefully people will be more cautious about the technology this time around.
It was also a pretty boring year for Apple, with one exception: the iPad Pro. We’ve been pretty impressed with the tablet, despite its price, and think it has game-changing potential. It does what Apple has always done – belatedly enter a category that others have already tackled (in this case the Surface) and fill in the gaps with a device that might have fewer features, but “just works”. It’s become this pen pal’s go-to device for work and play, which is pretty cool. However, Apple’s new iPhones really suffer from the curse of being so good they’re boring.
The iPhone 6s may be the most accomplished iPhone to date, but it’s hardly exciting, despite the addition of a whole new mode of interaction: 3D touch. To such an extent that he almost wasn’t on our list of ten smartphones we loved in 2015.
Speaking of disappointments, Intel’s Compute Stick, which aims to change the way we view computers, turned out to be mediocre at best, and our Intel Compute Stick review gave it a 3 out of 5. Spectacular memes, we don’t live in a world where 5/7 is a perfect score, and neither is 3/5. Desktop computing continues to become irrelevant, perhaps because PC makers insist on building such awful laptops.
The Internet of Things was another hype train that was going nowhere in 2015. The widespread proliferation of sensors and data connectivity meant that many, many people predicted that 2015 would be the year of the IoT, and luckily they were wrong. There are far too many problems with IoT devices right now, from compatibility to a lack of proper security measures to the fact that many of these devices fix problems that absolutely no one has. The IoT has been forever just around the corner, and while some IoT devices are becoming more mainstream, we’re still turning the corner.
Unfortunately, the same can be said for two very interesting technologies: 3D printing and virtual reality. Both have been on the verge of having their moment for some time now, and as things stand, we’re seeing a lot of people predicting that 2016 will be a big time for one or both of these technologies. Realistically, we’re still a long way from seeing either of them go mainstream; held back by a lack of practical applications, a high cost of entry and the difficulty of using these types of products consistently. And that’s without even getting into the fact that you don’t really need it, most of the time.
However, the fact that today you can perform surgeries that were not possible ten years ago, thanks to 3D printing, is simply amazing, and virtual reality allows you to explore the Lourve and , to attend a class at MIT, to ride in space. Mountain at Walt Disney World, or just gutting aliens in a video game, if that’s what you want to do. The possibilities are truly endless.
But while these technologies are very cool, they haven’t come much closer to the consumer products that most of us can afford to have in our homes, and that was one of the big disappointments of 2015.
Social media also had its ups and downs – and it was mostly downs. There’s a lot of talk about intolerance in India these days, but whether you agree or not, everyone will agree that it’s definitely true when it comes to Twitter. Having an opinion will put you in the crosshairs of one group or another, and frankly, it becomes tiring to the point that you want to disengage completely. As more and more people join Twitter, it becomes quite difficult to manage, and 2015 was one of the worst years many of us have had on the network.
Meanwhile, Facebook is making big changes and many of them have also shaken up for different reasons. Instant Articles could significantly improve the browsing experience for mobile users, but it could also significantly harm publishers. When a single, for-profit entity is your web gatekeeper, you know there are real reasons to worry.
Unfortunately, so does another Facebook effort – Free Basics (formerly Internet.org) is just as promising in how it can open up the internet to people who didn’t see the need for it or weren’t willing to spend money. for this, but Free Basics also stumbles as it could potentially become the sole guardian of the web for a number of reasons. As a result, there is a lot of backlash against Free Basics, from groups like IAMAI startups like Paytm, Zomato, and Mouthshut, professors from IIT, and many others.
If that wasn’t enough, there have been other times where well-known companies have tricked and hurt users. Lenovo made headlines not once, but twice for installing malware on your computer. Meanwhile, hoverboards – or more accurately, self-balancing electric scooters – have taken to catching fire, making it one of the worst new fads to sweep the world (thanks 2015).
Pretty much the only thing that made us happy this year was the movies – geek chic is the dominant aesthetic, and whether you’re talking about the best movies of 2015 or the best TV shows of the year, it’s is nice to be right on target. middle of the target population. We’re a little worried it’s too good to last, but we’ll enjoy the ride while we can.
All in all though, it’s a good riddance to 2015, and I hope the new year 2016 won’t just be the same, but shake things up and surprise us all. There are twelve months left – anything can happen.
Check out the latest from the Consumer Electronics Show on Gadgets 360, in our CES 2023 hub.
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