Technalysis Research
Previous Blogs

December 18, 2014
Insider Extra: Mobile App Development Challenges

December 16, 2014
Custom Mobile Apps for Business Still in their Infancy

December 11, 2014
Insider Extra: The Next Target for Enterprise Mobile Apps? Line of Business Field Workers

December 9, 2014

December 2, 2014
The Next Performance Challenge: The Battle for the Burst

November 25, 2014
Rediscovering High Resolution AV

November 18, 2014
Making Makers Mainstream

November 11, 2014
Going Vertical

November 4, 2014
A New Wearables Forecast

October 28, 2014
The Next Evolution for Wearables: Business

October 21, 2014
Size Does Matter...When it Comes to Screens

October 14, 2014
Insider Extra: Does Windows Stand a Chance With Enterprise Mobile Apps?

October 14, 2014
Does Big Data Equal Big Brother?

October 7, 2014
Is Windows Still Relevant?

September 30, 2014
Tablet and Smartphone Futures: Specialization

September 23, 2014
Is the App Ecosystem Sustainable?

September 16, 2014
The Wearable-Identity Connection

September 9, 2014
The Password Dilemma

September 8, 2014
Insider Extra: SanDisk--Driving Flash Forward

September 2, 2014
Smart Connected Devices: A New Forecast

August 26, 2014
Phablets—aka Pocket Computers—Drive New World Order

August 19, 2014
Device Usage Diversity

August 12, 2014
New Life for the PC

August 5, 2014
Hot Items for the Holidays: Large Phones, Notebooks and Smart TVs

July 29, 2014
Smartphones: Life's Remote Control

July 22, 2014
The Joy of Vintage Tech

July 15, 2014
Digital Generation Gap

July 8, 2014
Virtualization Reborn

July 1, 2014
Portable Digital Identities

June 24, 2014
The Future of UI: Contextual Intelligence

June 17, 2014
Moving to Markets of One

June 16, 2014
Insider Extra: Dell and the Battle for Business

June 10, 2014
Screen Overload to Drive Screen-less Devices

June 3, 2014
Apple Drives Vision of Seamless Multi-Device Computing

May 27, 2014
Surface Pro 3: The Future of PCs?

May 22, 2014
Insider Extra: SanDisk: The Many Faces of Flash

May 20, 2014
The Technological Divining Rod

May 13, 2014
Computing in the Cloud

May 6, 2014
Device Usage a Question of Degree

April 29, 2014
The Next Smartphone Battleground: Durability

April 22, 2014
BYOD: A Work in Progress

April 18, 2014
Insider Extra: AMD Back in the Groove

April 15, 2014
The Mobility Myth

April 9, 2014
BYOD Dilemma: Devices vs. Data

April 8, 2014
Insider Extra: Qualcomm's Evolving Story

April 1, 2014
A Wearables Forecast

March 25, 2014
Measuring Success in Wearables? It's Thousands of Thousands

March 24, 2014
Insider Extra: Intel Strategy Moves Forward

March 18, 2014
IOT: Islands of Isolated Things?

March 11, 2014
Wearables Cautionary Tale

March 4, 2014
The New Platform Battle

February 25, 2014
Watch What Happens

February 18, 2014
Talkin' 'bout Touchpads

February 11, 2014
The MultiOS Conundrum

February 4, 2014
Computing Redefined

January 28, 2014
The Apple Problem

January 21, 2014
The 2-in-1s People Might Want

January 14, 2014
The Post Tablet Era

January 7, 2014
The Innovation Asymptote

December 31, 2013
Top 5 2014 Predictions

December 17, 2013
Holiday Shoppers Gifting Themselves

December 10, 2013
Companion Apps

December 3, 2013
Aisle Check

TECHnalysis Research Blog

December 30, 2014
Top 5 Tech Predictions for 2015

By Bob O'Donnell

As the New Year approaches, I’m inexorably drawn to making predictions. I can’t seem to help myself, honestly. As an analyst, it just seems to be in my blood. So, without further ado, here are my top 5 picks for predictions in what promises to be a very interesting year.

Prediction 1: Retro Tech Will Be a Major Theme in 2015
The tech products we’ve all come to know and love—smartphones, tablets, 2-in-1s, etc.—have arguably reached a plateau in their physical design. As a result, we now all own several pieces of thin, flat glass that can be used for an enormous variety of amazing applications, services, communications and thousands of other uses. Don’t get me wrong, that’s great; but be honest with yourself. At a certain point, isn’t “smart glass” kind of boring?

In the quest for finding something new and dramatically different from the norm, I believe we’ll see a variety of experiments this year with adding buttons, knobs, switches, sliders and other analog controls onto our digital devices. Much of these developments may come initially from the “maker” movement instead of large vendors, but I sense a growing interest in bringing a more visceral, tactile experience to our digital devices. Plus, I’d argue the devices are in desperate need of character and distinction as one piece of smart glass looks a heckuva lot like another piece of smart glass. It’s time to shake things up and this is the year I think it will happen.

We’re already starting to see signs of these more retro tech developments. Vinyl records made a big resurgence in 2014 and many of today’s young hipsters have rediscovered flip phones. In an era of clean, multifunction devices, the need to create unique, single-focus products that can cleverly leverage technologies of the past is an intriguing opportunity that I believe several clever entrepreneurs (and maybe even large vendors) will start to tap into.

Prediction 2: There Will Be More “Dis-Connected” Homes Than Connected Ones in 2015
One of the big themes predicted to influence the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is products and services designed for the smart or connected home. In fact, I have no doubt that we will see quite a few intriguing new developments in that area at this year’s show. But there are still fundamental challenges around connectivity and standards that will ultimately put a damper on many of these efforts.

The bottom line is that there are a number of interesting products that can bring specific functions to your home. Each one typically requires its own app or service, however, and trying to get them all work together in some sort of unified fashion is challenging, if not impossible, even for tech-savvy consumers. As a result, consumers willing to dive in will likely find they have to manage a series of disparate, disconnected solutions in order to achieve their dream home of the future. Don’t get me wrong, I love the concept of a connected home, but I don’t think we’re there yet.

Prediction 3: Custom Mobile Applications Will Go Mainstream in Business, But Android Will Lead
The Apple/IBM announcement regarding building custom mobile applications for business was widely seen as demarcation point in this burgeoning market. Not only did the announcement bring together strange bedfellows in a historically intriguing way, it signaled that a wide variety of industry players and potential customers were finally ready to get serious about mobile apps for business. The truth is, despite all the hype, most companies only have a handful of active mobile apps versus hundreds that they have for PCs.

Despite all the Apple/IBM efforts, however, making choices about what platforms to support for those mobile apps isn’t necessarily as simple as it appears. In many instances, it’s about the numbers. Like it or not, Android’s dominant share of the smartphone space, even in the US, gives it a huge advantage and I believe it will lead Android to become the platform of choice on more custom business apps than any other platform (even in spite of some of its potential security flaws).

Prediction 4: Windows 10 Will Be a Hit and Will Reinvigorate the PC Market
Microsoft’s forthcoming release of Windows 10 is arguably one of the most important releases in the company’s long storied history. The Microsoft haters may not like it, but the company still holds a powerful sway with both consumers and businesses and many have been eagerly awaiting how they would pull themselves out of the whole they put themselves into with Windows 8.

Early signs and early reports are all very encouraging and I believe Windows 10 will end up being a bit hit for the company. More importantly, Windows 10 will keep Microsoft as a relevant point of conversation when it comes major platforms for smart connected devices.

Windows 10 will likely lead to intriguing new designs from major PC vendors and give them a renewed sense of vigor. For consumers, Windows 10 will be a fresh new choice that delivers on the promise of what Windows 8 could have been—all the while maintaining strong links to the familiar (and popular) Windows 7. Most importantly, for businesses, Windows 10 represents a desperately needed clear path forward. Even though I don’t expect many businesses to quickly jump to the new OS shortly after its introduction, just knowing it’s there will provide them with a roadmap for where they’re going and give them the opportunity to skip Windows 8 entirely.

Prediction 5: Wireless Charging Will Be Broadly Adopted
The general reduction of wires necessary to use all our devices has been a blessing, but the one umbilical cord that’s remained attached to most everything we regularly use is a power cord. After several false starts, I believe 2015 is the year wireless charging will finally deliver on the promise of a completely cord-free device.

As with the connected home, there are still some standards wars brewing in the wireless charging arena, but the general momentum seems to be pointing towards the A4WP’s Rezence standard. Another driving factor will be the more widespread deployment of charging pads in public places. These deployments started in 2014 but are expected to expand greatly this coming year. Like many core technologies, it’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg game with device makers waiting for ecosystem partners to support it and vice versa, but I expect to see a lot of wireless charging-enabled wearables, smartphones, tablets and even some notebooks in 2015.

Here's a link to the original column:

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A list of the documents that TECHnalysis Research plans to publish in 2015 can be found here.