Tech Trends for 2016: How Samsung Innovations Can Re-Shape Human and Social Boundaries


Samsung Electronics Europe shared its predictions for the key trends it expects to transform consumers’ lives in 2016 and beyond.

Using insights gained from experts in Samsung’s London based Design & Innovation Centre, the 2016 predictions range from virtual reality innovations that will blur digital and physical environments, to an increase in social conscience of younger consumers that will drive positive social change.

“We predict that 2016 will be a transformative year for technology” says Felix Heck, Head of Office at Samsung Design Europe (SDE). “Thanks to super-fast internet speeds, an explosion of data connections and the development of virtual reality, we believe that this will be the year that the digital realm will increasingly apply itself to the physical world in our homes, on our roads and beyond. These new trends will be driven by younger generations demanding ever more socially responsible businesses.”


Samsung Europe’s 2016 Technology Predictions:

Touching the Next Generation of the Internet

Next year, mobile internet speed and quality is set to overtake home broadband in cities around Europe. This boost in online performance will open new possibilities for entirely new applications and services we haven’t considered before.

As speed of technological change continues to increase, we believe the internet will evolve beyond engaging people’s eyes and ears. The boom in virtual innovation is indicative that the internet will also excite our sense of touch – what we call the tactile internet.

“2016 will see the beginning of a shift towards more emotive, immersive and sensorial technology. This is what we call smart empathy,” comments Camille Hammerer, Head of SDE’s Trend Experience lab. “Buoyed by innovations in virtual reality, we are now on the cusp of a fundamental shift in consumers’ expectations of their interactions with technology, from objects that serve a particular purpose or function to genuinely smart products and services that seamlessly integrate with day-to-day life and amplify and enhance our everyday experiences in new and meaningful ways.”

Virtual Reality Technology will Create a ‘Phygital’ World

The confines between digital and physical environments are breaking down and Samsung expects advancements in virtual reality technology will give rise to a new ‘phygital’ dimension.

As Samsung predicted last year, virtual reality has crossed into retail. Our Samsung Gear VR virtual reality headsets now supports companies ranging from travel operators, through to premium car manufacturers, which are already offering ‘virtual’ access to their products and experiences to people in-store and at home.

Smart Evolution Driving Change

The rise of the smart home has been predicted loudly and often in recent years. Indeed, it is predicted that 18% of houses in the UK will adopt some smart home technology next year*, underpinned by new and exciting products and services that control your home using your mobile phone. Hubs and apps to monitor, control, secure and connect homes like products from the Smart Things range will increasingly move into the mainstream.

But the boom in connections won’t stop at the front door. Smart, internet-connected innovation will move from the home to your car, culminating in the emergence of the first autonomous automobiles in the coming years.

“Driverless cars are no longer the stuff of science fiction, but are bringing a very real promise of greater road safety and significantly reduced traffic,” said Camille Hammerer, Head of SDE’s Trend Experience lab. “We’re at the start of that journey now, but big corporate investment is speeding up the process. Earlier this month, Samsung announced that we are setting up an automotive components team, which will initially focus on building its competencies in infotainment and autonomous driving vehicles.”

Great Expectations for Conscience-Driven Change

Millennials are increasingly demanding that companies adapt their processes and even products in line with their opinions and needs to create a more conscience-driven economy. Samsung predicts that we will develop new, smarter processes and technologies to help companies respond to this desire for more socially conscious brands. Through crowdsourcing ideas and crowdfunding investment to finance them, developments in new technologies will tackle issues such as sustainability or the shortage of ICT skills in the workforce.

In Samsung, we are addressing this shortage of ICT skills; so far, over 125,000 people have taken part in Samsung’s programmes for ‘digital creators’ across Europe.

“With data speeds improving and a groundswell of Millennial opinion supporting them, online communities will wield even more influence when it comes to addressing societal challenges. Crowdfunding and ethical campaigning is only set to grow further”, said Camille Hammerer, Head of SDE’s Trend Experience lab.

“It’s fantastic to see businesses as well as individuals taking a more socially responsible approach in new ways. This wave of ‘shared empowerment will hopefully encourage more individuals to realise the incredible potential of technology to improve the lives of future generations,” explains Camille Hammerer.

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