Smartphones and 3D Printers Expected To Flourish In 2015

An IEEE survey, conducted by YouGov, has revealed the top three technologies anticipated to be the most influential and those considered redundant this year

In 2015, the top three most influential technology items will be smart phones, tablets and 3D printers, according to a survey of consumers conducted for the IEEE – the largest professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence – by YouGov.

Digital music devices, digital cameras and wearable technologies were considered the three technologies most likely to be redundant or unnecessary this year.

The online survey, conducted in late December 2014, questioned more than two thousand adults in Great Britain to understand their perception of influential and redundant technologies in 2015.

When asked - from a list of technologies that included laptops, e-readers and music streaming services - which, if any, would be significantly influential in 2015, 42 percent picked out smart phones, 37 percent tablets and nearly a third said 3D printers. Home automation also rated highly at 27 percent.

From the same list of technologies respondents were asked which, if any, will be redundant/unnecessary this year.

Digital music devices and digital cameras tied in joint top position at 16 percent. Wearables divided opinion with 19 percent picking them from the influential list and 11 percent from the redundant list – making this relatively new technology the third ranked redundant/unnecessary for this year.

Respondents demonstrated a general appetite for technology overall with nearly a third of respondents believing none of the listed technologies will be redundant or unnecessary in 2015. 

On balance, respondents believed the electric car will also be influential this year, with 19 percent rating it so and only five percent believing it would be redundant/unnecessary.

IEEE held similar research in the US, Brazil and India. It revealed no significant difference in influential technology ranking between GB and US respondents. Both territories ranked smartphones (GB 42 percent, US 52 percent), tablets (GB 37 percent, US 41 percent) and 3D printing (GB 32 percent, US 40 percent) as the most influential.

3D printing didn’t feature in India or Brazil’s top three influential list – a separate study in India, by MRSSIndia, agreed with the positioning of smartphones (71 percent) and tablets (57 percent) but puts laptops (56 percent) in third spot.

Brazil, surveyed by Datafolha, also ranked smartphones top followed by the notebook and tablet.