Virtual Reality has made big leaps this year. Facebook’s F8 conference, Google’s I/O 2015 and the E3 gaming conference have all provided enough hints at VR becoming a consumable experience next year. The Oculus Rift has been perfected and a 2016 Q1 release is expected. Sony’s Project Morpheus has a market name: the PlayStation VR, and is also expected in 2016. HTC and Valve are still developing the Vive (aka. SteamVR) which is perhaps one of the first VR headsets that can track your position in a room. VR truly has a bright future, it looks like, now that we have achieved super high-resolution displays that have a refresh rate of upwards of 90 fps. Basically, putting your headset on and walking around the Star Wars universe in first person is very much possible!
There are two meanings of Hoverboard in 2015:
- A floating skateboard that needs a particular track and usually uses superconductivity and magnetism to make it work.
- A 2 wheeled self-balancing scooter (that have made headlines for blowing up)
We also saw hoverboards that don’t hover, but became hugely popular. These 2 wheel scooters have been accepted as a fun alternative to walking, and adoption rates are off the charts. Still, because all of them are made in China, there is no guarantee of quality and these “hoverboards” are available for a wide price range - from a few 100 dollars to a 1000 dollars (and are absolutely identical in looks).
USB Type-C is the future of all I/O ports. This year, we saw it as the only port on the MacBook, the port on the Nexus 6P, 5X, OnePlus 2, and even the ChromeBook Pixel and Pixel C. With such widespread adoption, I wouldn’t be surprised to see USB Type-C as the default port on every device in the upcoming years. USB Type-C is a revolution in USB history: it is reversible, fast and compact.
What is Quantum Computing? It is the use of quantum-mechanical phenomenon like superposition ad entanglement in computer systems to improve their performance. Quantum computers use qubits, which are like bits in a normal computer. One bit can represent only a “true” (or “1") or a “false” (or “0”), but a qubit can represent a 1, a 0 as well as any superposition state in between. With 2 bits, you get twice the ability; but with 2 qubits, you get 2^2, or 4 times the ability thanks to quantum mechanics. If n is the number of qubits, you have 2^n times the ability of one qubit. That makes quantum computers insanely powerful. But quantum computers are also very difficult to make, because it involves altering structures at the nano scale. In 2015, we finally have Google’s D-wave promising a positive future for quantum computing. Quantum computers in the future will be used to calculate weather trends, solve complex mathematical problems and many more that we can’t yet imagine.
2015 finally saw drones become mainstream and drone regulations become a reality. The DJI Phantom has been rated as one of the best drones available and Amazon might just use drones to drop off packages onto people’s home backyards. Whatever the reasons be, drones will be a significant part of the coming year, just like they have been this year.
That wraps up this article of Topper of 2015. Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the final results of the survey and concluding the series in light of the new year.