Connected Everything: Our Tech Predictions for 2015

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RocketSkates are carrying us into 2015.
RocketSkates are carrying us into 2015.

It’s fascinating to follow tech projects on Kickstarter and watch people build pieces of the future. Thousands of projects have made the leap from the workshop to the mainstream in a few short years. So we thought it would be fun to look at the year ahead through the eyes of the people who have checked out more tech and design projects than anyone else. John Dimatos, Julio Terra, and Nick Yulman are Kickstarter staffers devoted to these projects, and the time they’ve spent talking to creators and tracking trends makes their perspective unique. Here are their predictions for 2015, which build on the things we’ve seen bubbling up on Kickstarter in 2014.

Squink lets you create circuits like this one at home.
Squink lets you create circuits like this one at home.

John Dimatos

DIY circuit boards. Techniques, products, and kits allowing you to prototype circuit boards that are one step closer to production level, along the lines of Squink, Circuit Scribe, and Cartesian’s EX¹.

A factory on your desk. First came 3D printing, and now comes the spread of CNC milling — computer-controlled sculpting and carving. The Othermill, the Nomad CNC, and Carvey are the first of what are likely to be many inexpensive options for precision machining with easy-to-use software, opening up this technology to a much larger creative audience.

New flavors of 3D printing, using advanced materials and composites. We’ve seen magnetic filament, carbon fiber and flexible filament. What’s next?

More stuff made of carbon fiber, a material that’s still largely untapped. It’s popping up in wallets: Common Fibers, RCFibers, Carbon Leather.

Edyn monitors your plants and controls watering.
Edyn monitors your plants and controls watering.

Julio Terra

Connected everything. More smart Bluetooth and Wi-Fi devices, in the footsteps of the Pantelligent frying pan, the Noke padlock, the Edyn garden waterer, and the Point home monitor.

Smarter, smaller drones. We saw a lot of fun drone projects this year, including Hexo+. Watch for drones to get more sophisticated as their software starts to solve harder problems, like collision avoidance. And we’ll see more tiny drones like Zano and the Pocket Drone, shooting photos and video, everywhere, all the time.

Wraparound video. The 360-degree video camera projects we saw this year, like the 360cam and Joey, will make more of an impact next year, especially as the gear for viewing immersive video gets cheaper and more accessible.

Health tech for monitoring your every twitch will be pretty big. The Stethee heart monitor and the Quitbit stop-smoking device are recent examples.

DIYVR takes a keep-it-cheap approach to virtual reality.
DIYVR takes a keep-it-cheap approach to virtual reality.

Nick Yulman

Oculus for everybody. The mainstreaming of affordable virtual- and augmented-reality viewers and control interfaces, going beyond hardcore gaming applications. Viewbox and DIYVR are early efforts at this. Increased attention to audio and haptics in this area as well.

Touch screen burnout. More simple, single-purpose physical interfaces and notification systems that provide some relief from touchscreen/hands-free fatigue. More attention to choices of design and materials for these controls and displays too. These will let people set up their own tactile interfaces for different smart-device functions and make them feel good to use. Recent examples: Pressy, Spin remote, Palette, Ditto, Notti.

People movers. More innovation in personal transport and vehicles — electric, hackable, smartphone-connected things with wheels, along the lines of Onewheel, Acton RocketSkates, and Whill.

Comments
    1. Missing avatar

      Tyrone Mao on December 30, 2014

      Cool. what was your last year's prediction for 2014? how many came true?

    2. Chris Jordan on December 31, 2014

      All this amazing tech, and yet the powers that be over at Kickstarter can't even put together an app for Android... The most popular mobile OS on THE PLANET!!! What the hell is wrong with you people?

    3. David Gallagher
      Superbacker
      on December 31, 2014

      @Tyrone: These are our first tech predictions ever -- check back in a year to see how we did.

      @Chris: Have a little patience and a happy new year!

    4. Missing avatar

      chris andrews on December 31, 2014

      Agree....Chris Jordan. Amazing technology but where is the Android apps?

    5. Steffanie Yeakle on January 5, 2015

      any chance that the predictions include Kickstarter ever coming to France ????
      pretty please with sugar on it ?

    6. James Turnbull
      Superbacker
      on January 5, 2015

      Hi all - we're working on an Android app in 2015 - and since y'all so keen on it we'd love for you to help us find an Android Engineer to make it possible: https://www.kickstarter.com/jobs/android_engineer. Thanks!

    7. Missing avatar

      MICHAEL on February 4, 2015

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    8. Missing avatar

      Namaku Keren on October 20, 2015

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    9. Missing avatar

      teguhbejo on October 22, 2015

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    10. Missing avatar

      Doa Ibu Tersayang on October 23, 2015

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.