2016: The Year of the Geek – Virtual reality, robots, superheroes and more
OPINION: TrustedReviews’ Editor Evan Kypreos has high hopes for the upcoming 12-months, from a bevy of exciting pieces of tech to a packed cinema schedule.
I’m excited about 2016. You should be excited about 2016. It is going to be a revolutionary year for techies and an exciting time for geeks starting with CES 2016 in Las Vegas at the beginning of the year.
Revolutionary is word is bandied around far too often, but I’m going to tell you why you should start getting all hot and flustered.
Related: Oculus Rift vs HTC Vive
Reality will change forever
2015 served up some memorable moments. We got the incredible augmented reality Hololens from Microsoft, but we also got a sneak peek at the HTC Vive and the immensely improved Sony VR. 2016 is the year that virtual reality will, finally, come of age.
I’ve had a keen interest in VR ever since I watched the Lawnmower Man as a teenager and I’ve been following the progress of the Oculus Rift with bated breath.
And now it’s finally on its way, there’s no exact date yet but Q1 2016 has been promised.
Why is VR so exciting, though?
Well let’s start with the educational benefits. Imagine a child being able to walk through the Louvre without ever having means to travel to Paris. Or what about traveling inside the body to show the workings of the heart?
Then there’s filmmaking. Quite how VR will work with film remains to be seen. We’ve already seen some examples, predominantly focused on jump-scares, but there will be a whole lot of experimentation in the coming year that I can’t wait to experience.
Related: 9 VR experiences you need to have a go at
The synergy that will bear the most fruit initially is gaming. I’ve already experienced some examples with Eve: Valkyrie looking a great start to games built for VR alone.
VR will change the world of entertainment as we know it. I just hope we don’t end up like the folks in Wall-E. I’m taking up jogging just in case. Or maybe I’ll just get an Virtuix Omni and kill two birds with one stone.
Your own personal Codsworth
Ok maybe 2016 won’t bring us self-levitating robots that tidy your house as well as burn ghouls to a crisp like your pal in Fallout 4, but it should bring some robot helpers that are a little more useful than Paulie’s rubbish automaton in Rocky 3.
The first we should see in London is a 6-wheeled robot called Starship. This will deliver shopping to your home with trials beginning in Greenwich in the new year. Having met plenty of London youths and watched CHAPPIE I do see some drawbacks to this proposal. I also can’t wait for the inevitable picture of a pug humping one.
Then there’s the uber-cute Jibo, a crowd-funded project lead by an MIT professor.
He’s not got arms or legs but can rotate around to look and speak to you, as well as giving you your latest messages and taking pictures of get togethers. Just like Wall-E and Johnny Five we mostly like him because he’s cute.
Composite 3D Printing
3D printing has come on leaps and bounds over the past few years and 2016 could bring composite printing to consumers. That multiple materials, or colours, being used to create 3D printed objects.
There are loads of applications this opens up but I see LARPers dancing in the woods at the prospect of 3D printing composite weapons.
You can be my hero
It’s not as if we’ve had a dearth of super-hero and sci-fi movies in 2015 – far from it. 2016, though, has some corkers lined up that I only hope will live up to the hype.
We start with everyone’s favourite anti-hero (and fourth wall crusher) Deadpool in February, then the caped crusader takes on the man from Krypton in Batman vs Superman in March. May brings with it two major releases – Captain America: Civil War followed by X-Men Apocalypse.
Aliens are checking our best free antivirus round-up before taking Jeff Goldblum on again in Independence Day 2, while Ghostbusters gets a reboot with an all female main cast in July. The Star Trek reboot completes its trilogy with Beyond at the same time.
Throw in the Suicide Squad, Gambit, Dr Strange and a live-action Assassin’s Creed movie starring Michael Fassbender as a parkouring death-dealer and we’re going to be dealt one hell of a CGI ride. Phew that’s enough for any sci-fi and superhero fan to go all weak at the knees, but there’s one treat left. Star Wars: Rogue One will wrap 2016 up in the perfect geeky bow.
What are you looking forward to in 2016? Let us know in the comment section below