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IT Trends: Overt the top IT trends

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At this time of year, I have taken the liberty of having some fun and considering some “off the wall” results from technology advances we have seen in 2015 – and there has been a lot.

Extrapolating on some of these trends is fun and could even be scarily accurate. Only time will tell.

Passwords, I predict will become defunct – as users move to more easy ways to access their devices. PINs (personal identification numbers) – commonly used in banking transactions – will become more widely used.

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They are far more easily remembered and far less easily hacked. With the advances in biometrics, it would not be unfeasible for all connected machines – via the Internet Of Things (IOT) to identify a person through their voice, face or iris recognition or fingerprint, anywhere in the connected world. Imagine such a world.

Travelling, for example, should become much simpler, and all travellers (not just VVIPs) would not be expected to be delayed by lengthy security checks. Passengers will be booked in by machine, entry and exit visas will be automated and even luggage checks and scans will not need the human touch.

With the advent of big data, which will store ever larger amounts of your personal data, from financial to criminal, it will be very hard for anyone to remain anonymous.

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In the future, I would expect that all data for a person – right from birth – to be integrated by the IOT and big data functionality – and be available as required. I imagine alarms and flashing red lights when an individual with no data stored whatsoever is screened by such technology. Criminals and terrorists need to be very afraid, if this technology is used correctly.

3D printing technology is another area where my fertile imagination runs riot. Imagine downloading the plans (for a small fee), buying the raw materials, and printing out a required engine component for your car, that would otherwise need to be imported.

This year this technology has been widely and successfully used for prosthetics – a very precise science.

Think about clothes, or jewellery – you see a design in a magazine and just print it out? The possibilities are endless – what about medicines or tools in a non-manufacturing country such as Malawi? I believe the industry will evolve from larger companies, who can afford the high entry costs currently, initially offering a range of services; to individuals in due course being able to afford their own printers and producing their own product range.

How about the trend which may lead to connected computers and free internet being made available everywhere and to everyone free – by enlightened governments – or for a very small fee by companies wishing to increase their market share. I envisage large touch screen tablets available anywhere where large numbers of people gather – airports, restaurants and cafes, even bus stops.

Cloud services combining with big data and the IOT could allow users to access everything from the latest news to their personal correspondence, or even catch up on a book or TV show they were previously watching – all whilst waiting for their flight or bus.

Imagine if the massive queues at Road Traffic in Malawi, for example, could easily access their information whilst they waited? A sort of global internet café – but free!

And finally, with the advent of wearable technology which monitors a wearers’ health, fitness and wellbeing – how soon before employers require their employees to wear such devices.

Employers will seek to reduce employee benefit costs, and what better way to do this than by monitoring their health. Yes, there are privacy issues, but once again, it is the use of such personal data that will need to be monitored and regulated.

Despite the daily challenges we all face towards the end of the year – the advent and growing use of technology remains an exciting arena where we are all affected on a daily basis. How it is used to improve the quality of life globally will be up to each and every one of us.

Teri Sequeira is the Managing Director for SyncIT Solutions Ltd – established in 2003. Email terisequeira@hotmail.com or visit www.syncitafrica.com

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