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Technology Predictions that Influence Trends in 2015

As 2014 draws to a close Juniper Research has offered up a list of predictions for the coming year. The following are some of the highlights. Over the past year, technology industries have evolved at a rapid pace. New devices present challenges that must be addressed, in particular the security of consumer data.

In the wake of a number of high profile security breaches, some enterprise companies will need to regain trust. Therefore, Juniper expects to see an increasing investment in encryption and tokenization solutions, as a means of reducing the risk of data loss or theft during 2015.

While smart watches have now arrived, they have yet to endear themselves to most consumers. The release of new wearable devices by big name brands will increase awareness, as well as a series of smaller less known players.

Notwithstanding the continuing reluctance of a number of U.S. retailers to accept Near Field Communications (NFC) technologies, Juniper believes that Host Card Emulation should provide substantial impetus for NFC payments. Expect to see substantial consumer adoption by the end of 2015.

As 4G coverage increases in developed markets, we'll see a paradigm shift in mobile network operator pricing, with data bundled and an array of new services -- including VoIP and third-party messaging. Meanwhile, this shift will contribute to the era of streaming music services.

During 2014, crypto-currency experienced both lows and highs. The first online retailers have begun facilitating bitcoin payment, while online travel firms are also poised to offer the facility. Juniper believes that this trend will increasingly extend into physical retail during 2015.

Civilian drone aircraft usage is now increasing in sectors such as construction, film-making, farming and conservation, while sales are now being bolstered by a burgeoning hobbyist sector. Meanwhile, the price point of higher end drones has fallen to around $400-$500, with mini-drones now available for around $100.

With data sharing health and fitness platforms now available from several mobile device vendors, consumers can now take charge of their own digital health and fitness management. Juniper expects this trend to boom in 2015, as it becomes standard in new devices launched by the leading mobile vendors.

While phablet games have been a feature of emerging markets in the past year, the release of the latest devices will spur new developments in the category for mature markets as well. The greater availability of phablets will encourage their use as a primary media consumption device.

Indoor location technology and services will gain traction in 2015. Where Wi-Fi was the primary enabler to position a mobile device indoors, its inability to calculate elevation was a big limitation. With BLE Beacons now increasing in number, these can combine with Wi-Fi Access Points while using the device-embedded MEMS sensors to provide better location accuracy indoors.

Deep linking will become standard across all mobile applications. From a marketing perspective, indexed apps mean higher engagement, with less need for promotion. From a user perspective, deep linking offers native app integration with the web, with apps now able to offer search results.

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