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2016 Technology Predictions

Happy 2016!  Here are my predictions for the year :)
  1. Virtual Reality - Facebook, Microsoft and Samsung (or may be Xiaomi) will play major roles.  VR isn't a single breakthrough, it's a combined breakthrough of 3D imaging, eye tracking and motion (or even emotion) sensing.
  2. Messaging as a Platform - Facebook will finally roll out consumer to business payment support and make it available for third-party developers to build on top of it. WeChat will also open up its existing (China-only for now) APIs to rest the world.
  3. AI as a service platform - Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Baidu, Apple and Amazon will all push forward with their own AI standards. Your apps or OS will automatically manage and structure your interactions with data. Beyond natural language queries, there will be breakthrough to interpret your emotion. 
  4. China (Not US) will be the leader in FinTech - With little mainframe and legacy systems to support, Chinese Internet companies and banks have transformed the average smartphone into a platform for cashless transactions including bank transfers, loans and investments far beyond what is common in the U.S.  Chinese users skipped credit cards entirely and buy money-market funds, split a restaurant check and pay for services ranging from taxis to takeout food all within the same phone app.
  5. Copy from China - More and more companies will copy business models from Chinese companies like Tencent (WeChat) and Alibaba (Taobao - PayPal of China). 
  6. Connected Car - Automakers want to be mobile developers. The first driverless car will be launched by end of 2016.
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