What can we expect from 2015? Which trend will become really hot? Difficult to say. Especially if we consider that every trends has its initial period of hype followed by a consolidation time, in which the underlying infrastructure is built…a lot of players enter and exit the markets and winners emerge, often with the huge support of venture capitalists.
Given this general scheme, try to figure out what can grow and become big in 2015.
Bitcoin: 2013 was the year of its public birth with a lot of hype and discussions following. The first issues (at the end of 2013, beginning of 2014) shifted the interest on security. In our opinion, 2015 will be the year on cryptocurrencies in terms of public acceptance, although central banks continue to look at it suspiciously and in an investigatory way. During the year, some winners will clearly emerge and the first acquisitions can take place.
The acquisition of Oculus VR by Facebook (FB) at the beginning of 2014 enlighten the potential of Virtual Reality (VR), the technology that promises to allows players to step inside games and immerse themselves in the virtual world. With hardware and infrastructure to build on, developers and content creators are also creating applications and experiences beyond gaming. 2015 will be year in which the first of them will come to light.
Internet-of-Things: the communication of different things (enabled by the connection between the Internet and smartphones sensors) help make data more usable and useful and solve problems in several sectors including healthcare, life sciences, energy, daily activities, government, business and finance, etc. Data will continue to be analyzed and applications to be built during 2015. The acquisition of Nest by Google for 3.2bn and SmartThings by Samsung for $200m represent just the begininning of the maturity of a sector offering a sea of innovation possibilities.
Growth in Cybersecurity is being driven by the increase of advanced criminal capabilities and in the number of Internet-connected devices via the Internet-of-Things (smartphones, wearable computers, gaming systems, other mobile devices, industrial computers, smart meters, smart TVs, etc.), and the ineffectiveness of solutions currently available. These factors have led to a general growth in the number of startups and investment opportunities for early stage investors in 2013 and 2014 (mainly in the USA and Israel). The need for continued innovation is to remain constant in 2015.
Fintech, which also includes cryptocurrencies, represents the largest effort to disrupt banks. At different stages of development, mPos systems, mobile first banking, remittance, crowdfunding, P2P lending (with the recent IPOs of Lending Club and OnDeck), credit scoring and investment platforms, just to cite a few, are re-imagining the way financial services have been delivered to date.