January 9, 2015 1:24 pm

It is in the nature of innovation for new products to go through trends. When a new trend begins, few companies are contributing to it. Consequently, when consumers and development firms discover hot new products, similar and improved products start popping up in the market. Generally, a trend starts with a more expensive product, and subsequent products get cheaper and cheaper. Once the market is flooded with a cheap product and/or people get sick of the trend, the original fad dies and a new one slowly replaces it.

It can be difficult to identify new fads before they become old news. Read the technology section of newspapers, set a Google alert for “invention” and “innovation,” and pay attention to what opinion leaders are saying. By using these tactics, we’ve identified some of the innovation trends for 2015.

  1. Alternative Energy
    Rejoice, Back to the Future fans, the hoverboard is almost here. Using magnetic power, Arx Pax, a Californian company, created Hendo Hoverboards. There’s currently a Kickstarter for the new invention. Solar energy has been around for many years, but recent innovations have made this alternative energy even more useful. There are solar panels that can capture more than 90% of the sun’s rays and devices that can turn heat into electricity with nearly 100 percent efficiency. Alternative energy ideas sometimes sound like they’re out of a futuristic novel, but these innovations are becoming more real by the day.
  2. Tiny House Inventions
    The tiny house movement, a social movement in which people live in smaller houses, typically about 100-400 square feet and live by environmentally conscious practices, is gaining popularity. Although these people drastically decrease their gas, electric, sewage, and water bills, all of their possessions have to fit in their living space very carefully. In a tiny house, each object has a specific purpose and place. To help, innovators have created dual-purpose appliances, foldable or sliding tables and storage space, and transforming seating and dining arrangements. Other innovations include insulation made of mushrooms and hand-powered variations of various household conveniences. Innovations for the tiny house movement challenge design and portability as well as environmental impact.
  3. Wearable Tech
    From smartwatches to Google Glass, wearable tech has taken over, and it seems like the trend will stick around for a while. The Apple Watch is slated to launch in March, and Sony has just developed a clip-on device that transforms regular glasses into smart glasses. There seems to be a market for more fashionable wearable tech, with brands like Ringly creating smart jewelry for women and Apple hiring fashion forward store staff for the Apple Watch launch. Wearable tech is one of the newest trends on the market, and many companies seem to be taking advantage of that right now.
  4. Action Cameras and Accessories
    If you haven’t had the joy of watching some GoPro videos on YouTube, be sure to check it out. GoPro and similar companies have created cameras that attach to essentially any surface and can withstand conditions that would demolish other cameras. GoPro and independent companies are now creating accessories to take these action cameras to the next level, including mounts, smart remotes, water and fireproof cases, and remote controlled helicopters. These cameras can capture scenes straight out of an action movie with the help of innovation.
  5. 3D Printing
    3D Printing has been around for the better part of the 21st century, but it is just now being taken to the next level. Consumers and corporations from nearly every industry can somehow be affected by 3D printing. Medical teams have printed limbs for amputees and larynxes for those affected by lung cancer; 3D printed organs will soon be on their way. Printed food, especially candy, is being served in forward-thinking restaurants.  Even jet engine parts have been 3D printed. It’s clear that even more innovative things will come from 3D printing in the near future.
  6. Fitness Trackers
    Fitness enthusiasts are quickly becoming tech enthusiasts due to the innovation surrounding fitness trackers. Clip-ons, bracelets, and even ear piece wearables can track your heart rate, blood pressure, and other health statistics that affect your workout. Fitness trackers are becoming so advanced that soon, you’ll be able to track your internal biochemistry with the help of a strip sensor that tracks your electrolyte, hydration, and muscle exertion statistics through the metabolic substances in your sweat. There’s no telling what advanced fitness technology will soon be coming our way.
  7. Low-Tech Alternatives
    Innovation doesn’t always have to be just computer chips and HD screens. For impoverished countries especially, it is important to develop innovations that assist with modern conveniences when there are few resources available. Simple and inexpensive, yet innovative air and water filtration and monitoring systems help people in poor countries to ensure that the air they breathe and the water they drink are safe for human consumption. Another inventor developed a pair of eyeglasses that only cost one dollar to make, enabling visually-impaired people in impoverished countries to enjoy better living conditions. There are a wide variety of problems in poorer countries that can be solved cheaply with innovation and ingenuity.

This is just a small list of anticipated innovation trends for 2015, and there’s no way to predict for certain what other trends may be just around the corner. By staying on top of innovation news, you may be able to get ahead of the trends and make an educated guess on what products will make it big this year.

What innovation trends are you looking forward to in 2015?

None of the products mentioned are affiliated with InventHelp. 

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