Last year, we took a look at some of the emerging technology trends that could influence the way that we browse and interact with the web.
We looked at how virtual reality devices, augmented reality, wearables and more and the conclusion was that we live in a very exciting time that’s only going to get more exciting!
But a lot can change in a year and if you thought things were exciting back then, you’ll be amazed at what’s just around the corner!
Flexible screens have been around for a while and Samsung has been tentatively testing the market for them with their ‘Edge’ line of devices.
But now analysts predict that truly flexible devices could finally be upon us. Samsung has listed several patents for foldable devices with some taking on a wallet-like form factor and others looking more like a Nintendo DS.
Videos have also recently shown off devices that allow you to ‘flick’ through the pages of an ebook by bending the screen different amounts. This is an entirely different form of input and it could have a big impact on the way that we design our sites in the future.
Think it’s a challenge creating a responsive web design today? Imagine having to ensure that layout can adapt to a screen that can be folded, bent a rolled up! Mobile web traffic has finally overtaken desktop traffic, so it’s the mobile trends we need to keep our eyes on.
Force Touch is a concept from Apple that allows the iPhone to sense the amount of pressure that users apply when navigating a website or app. This is something that they’ve also applied to their new MacBook trackpads, which also offer varying degrees of haptic feedback.
The result might be that the web is about to get a lot more tactile. If history is any indicator, then where Apple leads, other companies are likely to follow.
How might this impact your web design? Well for starters, it means that you’ll be able to bring back those ‘mouseovers’ in your mobile responsive sites. But come on, you can be more imaginative than that, can’t you?
The ‘wove band’ is an entirely new take on wearable technology. It’s currently in very early stages but it’s a highly exciting concept. Essentially, this is a device that is entirely made up of a screen and that can be wrapped entirely around your wrist.
In general, wearable devices have been upping their game and this is a trend that we can expect to continue. When flexible displays and wearables coincide, we might see the next step in convergence – full computers that we can wear on our wrists. Throw in tactile interfaces and you have an entirely different way to interact with information.
The question you need to ask is how you’re going to offer exciting, fresh content for your visitors that will make them want to load your site up on their wrists?
In the last post, we discussed how virtual reality and augmented reality could have a big impact on the way we experienced the web. A website can now become a museum, or a park, or a library – and this is already something you can get involved with.
That was possible through a tool called ‘JanusVR’. But there are more names getting involved in the race now too. MozVR for instance is a very similar option that runs through Firefox, while Samsung has also introduced its own VR web browser that will allow users to view your website on their Gear VRs right now!
And with the Oculus Rift now shipping its consumer model, the HoloLens shipping to developers and the (in some ways more advanced) HTC Vive launching imminently – we are literally standing on the precipice of a VR revolution.
Are you ready?