Top Embedded Tech Trends in 2016

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Happy New Year! We hope you are ready for what promises to be a very exciting 2016 for the embedded market, with many new technologies appearing on the horizon that will open up interesting new opportunities for innovation and developing new business.

Three key trends we are closely looking at are the emergence of the Mobile Ecosystem, Virtual Reality (VR) and 360° Video, and we thought we would share some brief thoughts of them.

Getting Embedded in the Mobile Ecosystem

With smartphones now outselling PCs by five-to-one, the supporting mobile ecosystem has overtaken the PC ecosystem as the main driving force behind not just silicon technology innovation, but also the proliferation of a multitude of different sensors and other components for an almost unlimited range of applications.

Although up to now it has been primarily hardware startups that have tapped into the mobile ecosystem in order to make devices such as low-cost consumer smart home gadgets and wearables, it is inevitable that embedded players will start to leverage its economies of scale and flexibility for future enterprise IoT system designs. Indeed, judging by the growing interest we are seeing from customers throughout the world in developing such devices, we believe that 2016 will prove to be the tipping point for the emergence of this new market for embedded devices based on the ARM architecture.

Virtual Reality

VR has already begun to make its mark this year as witnessed at CES last week, with several companies such as HTC, showcasing impressive VR headsets that can smoothly deliver amazing new immersive experiences.

While most of the focus at the show was on gaming and entertainment applications, the technology also holds huge potential to impact many other markets. With its ability to simulate life-like situations and create hyper-realistic scenarios, VR will create new opportunities to change training, retail, design and construction, and countless other industries. Many companies already use VR to test drive their new designs (buildings, cars, railroads and potentially harmful or dangerous products) without a need for constructing expensive physical models, while others are using the technology for applications such as home interior design and real estate marketing and sales.

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At the HTC Vive Event in Beijing last December, we showcased our new VIA VR System for the first time. The response we received was highly positive, and we see a bright future for the technology in the embedded market.

360° Video

With all the buzz around VR, one key obstacle to overcome is how to create content for the systems. 360° video capture is poised to help fulfil this role and is primed for wider adoption on its own in 2016. By providing the ability to record or live stream a 360° view of a location in which the viewer can pan and rotate to watch it from different angles, the technology delivers richer data capture, especially in monitoring and surveillance applications. If you have never experienced 360° footage, you should check it out on YouTube.

Since we announced our partnership with OmniVision last year to develop a wireless HD monitoring solution, we have been working on finalizing our 360° video system design targeted at transportation applications such as trucking. Stay tuned for future updates!

These are just three of the exciting new technologies that we believe will have a huge impact in 2016. How about you? Which technologies are you most looking forward to this year? Share your thoughts with us!

VIA Technologies, Inc.