We roundup the latest news from IT analysts and firms to see which tech categories have been doing well, which haven’t, what’s forecast to be big in the near future, and what the latest trends are.
Virtual reality hardware to soar past the $2bn mark in 2016
Worldwide shipments of virtual reality (VR) hardware will skyrocket in 2016, with total volumes reaching 9.6 million units, says IDC.
Led by key products from Samsung, Sony, HTC and Oculus, the category should generate hardware revenues of approximately $2.3 billion in 2016. While VR will drive nearly all of the hardware volume in 2016, augmented reality (AR) hardware is forecast to ramp up over the next few years.
According to the first worldwide AR/VR forecast from IDC, the combined device markets will see hardware shipments surge past 110 million units in 2020.
Worldwide IoT security spending to reach $248 million this year
Worldwide spending on Internet of Things (IoT) security will reach $348 million in 2016, a 23.7 per cent increase from 2015 spending of $281.5 million, according to Gartner.
Although overall spending will initially be moderate, Gartner predicts that IoT security market spending will increase at a faster rate after 2020, as improved skills, organisational change and more scalable service options improve execution.
"The market for IoT security products is currently small but it is growing as both consumers and businesses start using connected devices in ever greater numbers," said Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner.
"Gartner forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 per cent from 2015, and will reach 11.4 billion units by 2018. However, considerable variation exists among different industry sectors as a result of different levels of prioritisation and security awareness."
Bluetooth low energy devices to account for 27% of total Bluetooth shipments by 2021
ABI Research has predicted that annual Bluetooth device shipments will reach 5 billion by 2021.
Though smartphones will still account for 43 per cent of Bluetooth device shipments at this time, Bluetooth Smart, also known as Bluetooth Low Energy, is exhibiting the strongest growth with a predicted 34% CAGR between 2016 and 2021, driven by new opportunities in beacons, home automation, and wearable applications in which lower energy consumption is critical.
As a result, Bluetooth Smart Devices will account for 27% of total Bluetooth shipments by 2021.
Mobile vouchers helped to drive £189.62m in sales in UK stores last year
Greater use of technology to offer shoppers a more mobile-friendly shopping experience in-store is helping UK retailers to unlock an extra £200 million in sales each year and can help driving footfall according to new international research from RetailMeNot, the operator of VoucherCodes.co.uk, and the Centre for Retail Research.
Although smartphones are increasingly used on all stages of their shopping journey, when it comes to payments most Brits are still sticking to cash or card to pay. UK shoppers spent just £17.24 million via mobile payment services in-store last year. Although this is almost twice as much as shoppers in France (£9.6m) and Germany (£9.6m), it pales in comparison compared to the US, where shoppers spent £173.23 million in-store in 2015.
However, shoppers don’t appear to be afraid to use their mobile device at the till, with mobile vouchers proving to be increasing popular. The study found that mobile vouchers helped to drive £189.62 million in sales in UK stores last year. Comparatively, shoppers spent £125.74 million using mobile vouchers in France, £105.54 million in Germany, and £591.58 million in the US.