The team at PCR has come up with their predictions for 2015, including the growth in cloud services, the rise in robots and the PCR awards. Check out the predictions here…
Jade Burke, staff writer
Taking on Bitcoin
The virtual currency has already been snapped up by the likes of Microsoft and Dell, and even retailers such as Scan Computers are getting in on the action. With this in mind, I think we’ll see more vendors and retailers taking on Bitcoin next year.
There is even a new online Bitcoin marketplace where vendors will be able to receive payments in the currency, which I think will really take off during the New Year. As more large vendors endorse the idea, I think smaller indies will start to recognise the benefits of the currency.
There have been many wearable watches and bands released over the past year, including the Pebble Steel, Samsung Gear 2 and Motorola Moto 360. Let’s not forget to mention the Apple Watch, which is expected to be released next year.
I think during 2015 we will begin to see B-brands develop such devices, and distributors will also begin to see the benefits of stocking such products.
However, I think we won’t see the trend take off until the Apple Watch is available and we get a chance to try all the promised features.
Laura Barnes, deputy editor
I think contactless payments are going to take off big-time in 2015, with Apple Pay leading the way. Although there are alternatives out there, Apple has already proved popular amongst the 220,000-plus stores and apps that started accepting the service just weeks into its US launch.
We don’t know exactly when it will launch in the UK, but seeing as companies such as McDonald’s, Nike and Subway are already on board, once it does launch, I fully expect to see it roll out very quickly over here.
Rise in robots
While there’s always talk about robots taking over the world, 2014 saw cyborgs steal the show at a number of events. The biggest stories from CeBIT 2014 were about pole-dancing robots and a life-sized humanoid bot called Robothespian. I had the please of meeting Robothespian recently, and while I think it will be a little while until there’s one in every home, I do think that as the prices start to drop, we’ll see robots in place at retail, public buildings and attractions.
Dominic Sacco, editor
AMD will take the fight back to Nvidia
In the eternal war of graphics cards and chipsets, you could argue Nvidia is currently winning. After launching its extremely well received GTX 970 and 980 cards in September 2014, AMD reacted with price promotions on its current range, but it will have to do more in 2015 if it's to take marketshare back from its main rival.
An AMD Radeon R9 390X card is rumoured to launch in 2015, and we'd expect it to be slightly more powerful – and efficient – than its current R9 290X. Samsung will also launch the first AMD FreeSync monitors in early 2015, which will rival Nvidia's G-Sync displays, which aim to reduce screen tearing and lag, and are already on the market.
Whatever happens, we can expect another fiercely competitive year for both chip manufacturers.
The cloud will become less cloudy
With all the talk of wearables, robots and 3D printing, it's easy to get carried away with emerging tech and forget about some areas which are already successful and better established in the channel.
Cloud products and services are making a huge impact on businesses (and consumers) across the world, and as more resellers become comfortable selling them, more customers will become comfortable with using them. There is still more education and simplifying to be done before cloud truly reaches its potential, and in 2015 we're sure we'll see this slowly come to fruition. It's still an exciting growth area and a solid sales driver, and we look forward to reporting on how the sector evolves and becomes easier to adopt in the coming 12 months.
Andrew Wooden, publisher
The awards will be a big hit this year, as we recognise different vendors, distributors and retailers’ contribution to the industry. The event will take place on Thursday March 12th 2015 at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, and those attending will get the chance to mix and network with each other, as well as go along to the after-show party.
I’m looking forward to seeing which companies will take home the various awards on offer during the evening, and celebrating with all those attending.
PCR Boot Camp
Next year will mark PCR’s fifth boot Camp event, and I’m looking forwarding to seeing people sign up, it’s going to be the best one yet.
It will be taking place on May 14th 2015, at Whittlebury Hall, Northamptonshire, where members from the industry will be able to have a look around the exhibition and attend different conferences throughout the day.
I think the event will be a great addition to the industry, and hope to continue it in the many years to come.
Phil Tottman, staff writer
The demise of the trusty password
With the recent hacks into Celeb accounts on iCloud and more recently the Sony Entertainment palaver, plus the endless email accounts that get breached around the world spreading malware and lots of other nasties, it is about time the online security world had a shake up.
Passwords aren’t as secure as they were in the past, and as the internet has turned into a dumping ground for all our personal data, financial information, details of our day-to-day life or plans for world domination we need to rethink how we protect ourselves.
Password manager services such as Dashlane – who PCR interviewed recently - are starting to appear, acting as an extra barrier for anyone trying to get ahold of what is pretty much our whole identity. 2015 could certainly be the year that the password breathes its final breath as people go in search of safer methods, no longer trusting the secrecy strength of their mother’s maiden name, or the name of their first pet.
Image source: Shutterstock
Mobile gaming hasn’t even nearly peaked yet
Avid gamers out there will deny this to the ends of the earth, but the reality of it is that mobile gaming – including tablets – is only at the beginning of its life span.
Do they think console gaming went from Pong to Skyrim just like that? No, it took 39 years – and within those years there was plenty of mistakes made along with an army of naysayers who had little to no faith in gaming, be it on console, PC or handheld.
Game Studios such as Rovio and King were some of the first to really discover what the mobile platform had to offer game developers, and that is just financially.
Now that mobile graphic quality is improving at a rate of knots, game mechanics are being designed better for the touch-screen and game legends such as EA, SEGA and even GTA’s Rockstar have invested a significant amount of money and time into mobile solutions, it is hard to ignore what used to be the home of Snake as legitimate console competition.
What mobile has really done is introduce serious active gaming, getting players up, out and about – not everyone’s cup of tea understandably, but with the epic rise in wearable tech this kind of gaming will grow within the coming year and pull mobile gaming up with it.
This time next year a gaming tablet or high-end mobile device will prove to be serious competition for PC and console platforms – and if it isn’t, then I will finally delete Flappy Bird off my phone.