While domestic manufacturing jobs continue to be sent overseas to grow profits, the U.S. technology sector continues to move forward. Expansion of employees, research and development, and record profits indicate that the tech sector is not slowing down anytime soon. So what major factors are driving this industry? Will Americans and Canadians blindly adopt every new gadget that Apple and Google produce? Will retail sales continue to drop as millennials exercise their growing buying power online? Time will tell, but there are four exciting trends happening right now that will continue to expand tech markets.
1) Steaming services continue to rise – Cable and satellite television is declining rapidly. Millions of consumers are abandoning their pricey cable or satellite subscriptions for streaming services. Apple TV, Amazon, and Roku devices provide consumers with an easy interface to access Netflix, Hulu, and other content providers for a much more affordable price. Many users couple streaming services with a digital antenna to access local network channels. The future of TV involves on-demand, app-based providers.
2) Wearables – Experts predict that Apple will perfect the Apple Watch, making it a stand-alone unit. This move will continue to grow the wearables segment of the tech industry. Other makers such as Garmin and Fitbit stand to gain market share as the wearables segment expands as well. Wearable fitness bracelets continue to gain popularity in the U.S.
3) Virtual Reality – After years of speculation, virtual reality is finally here. Sony and Oculus are releasing virtual reality headsets this year, which should boost game console sales as well as new versions of video games for virtual reality. Oculus is owned by Facebook, which could integrate virtual reality into all the media in the Facebook universe. The possibilities for this technology will then grow into movies, tv shows, music videos, etc. The growth potential for this market is limitless.
4) Digital payment technology – Digital payment services will continue to grow as consumers get used to instant gratification. Android Pay, Apple, Bitcoin, and Blockchain will gain greater acceptance as consumer security concerns are put to rest. Retailers will invest in necessary technologies to accept payments from these services.
The tech industry is a dynamic environment that continually presents new opportunities. These four trends are by no means the only exciting ones taking place this year. They are, however, the most important trends to be aware of as technology continues to thrive into the future.