The New Year is an exciting time for technology companies. It’s a new start for beating the goals they set themselves the previous year. 2016 looks like it is set to be one of the biggest years yet.

Machine learning and neuromorphic computing architectures have progressed to a point where sensory and contextual information is more ambient for users. It is said that 2016 could be the year where physical and virtual worlds actually merge.

So what will 2016 bring?

The cloud – This year almost every type of technology jumped on ‘the cloud’ trend. As an invisible, storage bank that is accessible from anywhere, it’s the ideal place to backup work, photographs and music. This trend will become even bigger in 2016 as accessible external storage has been so popular.

Face recognition – Face recognition has become bigger than ever in 2015, with apps taking full advantage of being able to add functions that optimise their usage. Snapchat, for example, adds stickers and animations that create an entertaining morph to the human face. Microsoft built-in webcams will soon allow users to sign in using just their face.

Personality detection – Many devices have the ability to store and remember information that you read, things you search for and images you post, it then uses this data to recommend things that may interest you. This personality detection is algorithmic and is set to become even more accurate in 2016.

Bots – These are software applications that run automated tasks, in 2016 this kind of app will supercharge our productivity and help us track what other people are doing. Microsoft are experimenting with a Mandarin-language bot, Xiaolce, that is akin to Samantha in the movie Her. Xiaolce will be able to remember details from previous conversations as well as being able to scan the internet for other human conversations to mimic.

Language understanding (LUIS) – Language Understanding Intelligent Services is currently in private preview. The software takes short phrases and tries to understand them better. It is a step towards being able to speak (type) into a device exactly how you would speak to another human being and the device will understand how to perform an action in response.

At SCS we are always excited about new technologies, but 2016 promises to be more innovative than ever before.