IEEE: 2016 will be the year of the drone, but there's bad news for MP3 players, digital cameras, and wearables


43 percent of UK consumers expect drones to be the most influential technology in 2016, according to IEEE’s annual survey, with smart phones (38 percent) and 3D printing (31 percent) close behind.

The online survey, conducted in November 2015, questioned over two thousand adults to find out what technology they expected to see more/less of. While the list of devices predicted to fall from favor included obvious tech like digital music players, standalone digital cameras (both 15 percent), and ebook readers (9 percent), some 8 percent of respondents declared wearables had had their day.


Kevin Curran, IEEE Senior Member and Reader in Computer Science at University of Ulster states: "It is no coincidence that the three technologies predicted to become redundant result from the success of one -- the smartphone. It is the defacto way to listen to music and read ebooks; it’s taken over the digital camera market and many believe it will also bring about the demise of the tablet and PC. With sensors now being added to phones, the future for wearables and scanners could be questionable too. Strangely, one of the smartphone uses which is declining is making phone calls".

When asked which technologies respondents would like to see more of this year, home automation (20 percent), electric cars (19 percent) and 3D printing (17 percent) topped the bill.

Image Credit: Intel

7 Responses to IEEE: 2016 will be the year of the drone, but there's bad news for MP3 players, digital cameras, and wearables

  1. johnrc2 says:

    Isn't "demise" too strong a word?

    • barely_normal says:

      I KNOW de facto is?

      "Strangely, one of the smartphone uses which is declining is making phone calls".

      I've got it! England is where they need to send Fagioli, they think as he does.

  2. ATL_VM says:

    >>43 percent of UK consumers<<

    You lost me after that... get a different source of consumer, they are WAY behind in knowledge.. sorry but that is NOT a good example.

  3. EGGM says:

    The problem with ebook readers is that their software is limited almost entirely to ebooks. Potentially eink technology has limitless applications, as many people want a usable device that can last a month on a single charge. Until the software can do more though, comparatively few people are going to buy dedicated ebook readers.

    • Nil_Einne says:

      There are Android eink readers but they are less popular than more specialised devices. Cost is a factor as are size and weight concerns but I think you're overestimating the eink advantages and underestimating the disadvantages.

      Don't get me wrong, I like eink devices particularly as ebook readers, but the truth is given current limitations they're not so good for many other purposes. The slow refresh rate means anything which requires significant interaction simply doesn't work well. Further, if you do need to refresh so often, the actual advantage starts to disappear.

      Plus even if we ignore the screen, if you are interacting so much it's likely there's a lot else going on. Have you ever looked at your phones battery usage? It's easy on many versions of Android. If you have, you'll likely quickly realise the display is generally not using 90% of the battery. A big percentage sure, but the reason why your tablet or phone may only last a day or two is not simply because of the display, and replacing the display with eink is not going to give you a months usage if everything else is the same.

      Most ebook readers have relatively low capacity batteries compared to tablets AFAIK. And getting back to my earlier point on size, weight and cost, you'll probably find the hardware on most eink Android devices is still fairly low end. But none of this is particularly surprising since if you bulk up the specs, you'll raise the cost, size and weight.

      And then people will see this expensive Android eink device with some limited advantages and many disadvantages, compared to a comparably priced Android tablet; well it doesn't take a genuis to figure out which one they'll choose. Worse, the eink device is going to be far less mass market than the tablet meaning you get less economies of scale.

      As said, eink those work well for certain purposes and personally if I had the money I would definitely choose an eink ebook reader. However for many people a tablet or smartphone is good enough, and they feel it isn't necessary to own both. Different software isn't going to change the eink device into something most of these people want, nor is it going to make the eink device the better choice than a tablet. (Stand alone digital cameras and to some extent music players are similar.)

  4. godafoss says:

    Ok then 2000 tossers in the UK know the future do they. Leave your hand off it Arthur. Time to talk to someone intelligent.

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