It's 2015, we aren't rolling in flying cars and you can bet your future hover board that the Cubs will not win the World Series. Although not as fast as we expected, technology is bringing invaluable amounts of change to society and culture. Innovation is the growing mindset and the new proverbial gold rush in an innumerable amount of markets. The views on technology will vary depending on who you talk to. Many see technology as a great opportunity, some are open but cautious to it's potential and possibilities, and others have no issue with demonizing it as a ominous omen of the regression of society. Many wonder if technology is allowing us to develop human interaction or inadvertently prevent it. An American writer and futurist, Alvin Toffler stated, "Our technological powers increase, but the side effects and potential hazards also escalate." A sobering reminder that not all innovation is healthy and beneficial. At Mixer Direct, we have sought to identify hopeful developments in the field of technology in 2015 that appear to be offering a bright and helpful future to humanity.

Driverless Car Prototypes


Buckle up, the culture of driving is in for a serious transition. Make no mistake this technology is the real deal. There is a company out there that you may have heard of. They go by the name Google. Mark your calendars, Google claims that auto companies will launch automated cars into society by 2020. Some sources have reported that the overachievers at Google will be putting Californian's into a driverless car by 2017. The video above is evidence that this is a likely possibility. Confirming Googles statement on auto manufacturers, Nissan recently announced that by 2020 they will be selling a driverless car. Audi has already crafted an A7 model with an automated feature called "Traffic Jam Assist" which allows drivers to sit back while the car coasts all while not exceeding 40 MPH. In August of 2014, Audi took to the Florida roadways becoming the first auto manufacturer to test its piloted driving features on a public expressway. Leave it to the remarkably talented team at Mercedes to design a car that boldly faces its driver seats facing away from the road. Reminiscent of a Tom Cruise sci-fi flick, The Mercedes-Benz F 015 concept made a significant splash and drew a massive amount of attention in its debut at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2015 in Vegas. Toyota and GM also plan to release a driverless car by 2020 as well.

3d Printed Structures


Weighing in at number 3 on Forbes Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends For 2015, 3d printing is growing ever popular in today's tech crazed society. This technology is highly expected to grow exponentially in 2015 as it becomes a more readily available technology to multiple industries and consumer home use. Other contributing factors include the development of more affordable 3d printers. In the past year, a Chinese company has been paving the way for 3d printed structures. This includes apartment buildings and homes. The structures are built nearly exclusively from recycled concrete. Highlights of this incredibly technology include a 6 story apartment building and an incredible house. The structures currently reside outside of China’s Jiangsu Province. 3dprint.com has a gallery of the assembly of these structures here.

Digital Currency


Despite growing concerns regarding the security of private information and identify theft, digital currency is a viable tech trend on the rise in 2015 and beyond. Recent efforts from Apple pay, Google Wallet, and Paypal's bitcoin the future of currency is looking appealing with great convenience. With the cooperation of Apple, merchant giants, a multitude of banks, and 500 million plus iPhones in use worldwide, Apple pay is becoming a trend that we believe will take off in a big way in 2015. With an Iphone 6 or 6 Plus or the greatly anticipated Apple Watch, you are already on the right track to joining the future of digital currency. Android fans, we haven't forgotten about you either. Google wallet is another existing technology with great promise in 2015. It's been on the scene for a few years now, but With the launch of Apple pay, Google wallet is expanding its horizons too. Google wallet has been developing a better way to connect your money with the magic of internet shopping and paying for app-based ridesharing company, Uber. Another facet of this trend to keep in eye on in 2015 is Paypal's Bitcoin Integration.

App-based Ride Sharing


The days of hailing a cab may be coming to end. App-based ride sharing is a new and easy way to commute. After downloading the app and uploading your payment method details, simply select your pickup location, request a ride, enter a destination, and then view your driving route and arrival time. In the fall of 2014, our sales and marketing team exclusively used two to the largest app-based ride sharing companies for transportation on a business trip in Chicago. Our sales manager quickly downloaded both company's apps and in a matter of minutes our crew was picked up and heading to our destination while several other business men and women waited in long lines for their traditional taxi. This business saw exponential growth in 2014. According to BusinessInsider.com app-based rides sharing drivers are cashing in too. UberX drivers in New York and Dallas reported median incomes between $60,000-$90,000 a year when they drove 40+ hours a week.

Smart Home Appliances


Imagine a world where you can text your oven to preheat on the way home from the grocery store, unlock your front door for your neighbor to take care of your house on vacation, or checking the weather for the day on your refrigerator. In 2015 expect the crazed trend of affordable and intelligent smart home appliances. With the wonders of automation and integration with smartphones, smart home appliances are taking over. Between the ease of use, the promise of saving time, remote access, smart home appliances are the future. Some of the immediate possibilities in 2015 include Smart TV's, Refrigerators, Door Bells, Lighting, Garages, Ovens, Washing Machines, thermostats, beds, and many more.

What tech trends are you watching in 2015?