News & Views
The A to Z of 2016

We’ve already told you the things you should be avoiding in 2016, from creepy ad stalking to investing in the wrong technologies. Now Sparks & Honey have published their annual A to Z Culture Glossary, a comprehensive catalogue of predicted trends encompassing advertising, technology, science and pop culture in general. Here are some selected highlights we can look forward to in 2016.

A is for App Security. Following multiple high profile security breaches in 2015, consumers are more conscious than ever of the risks they are taking when they trust apps with their personal information. This year, companies will be making greater investments in every stage of the security lifecycle.

C is for Content Attachments. Brands are keen to create more of a link between offline purchases and online experiences by offering digital ‘attachments’ with physical products. “In 2016 we anticipate to see more examples of this new wave of product/content mashup,” say Sparks & Honey.

D is for Digital Divorce. Once upon a time, breaking up was a simple matter of dividing the record collection. Now couples are building entire joint identities together online; who owns this once the relationship is over? Similarly, who inherits the digital footprint of someone who has passed away? Digital divorce and death management are cottage industries growing around this new phenomenon.

F is for FOLO. First came FOMO; fear of missing out. According to S&H, 2016 will be the year of FOLO; fear of living offline. With everyone around you curating their existence and presenting a perfectly filtered life on social media, it’s easy to feel that your own real life is empty. In 2016, a growing number of books and psychologists will attempt to educate consumers in digital detox, and knowing the difference between URL and IRL.

G is for Genderless Dressing. Traditional ideas of masculinity and femininity were the subject of much discussion in 2015, and this will continue in 2016. Just clothing line, lending credence to the theory that the future of advertising is gender fluid.

I is for Instafashion. The rise of online influencers means that it doesn’t only matter how a garment looks when worn by a model on the runway. Design houses such as Proenza Schouler have revealed that they are now taking into consideration how their clothes will appear when shared on social media.

M is for Microdosing. Silicon Valley is experimenting with taking tiny amounts of psychedelic substances in order to boost creativity and lateral thinking. If this trend catches on, we can all expect to see some trippy new creations in 2016.

O is for Open OS. Greater communication and collaboration have proven to be key in fostering innovation, and so an open operating system makes sense moving forward; however, such extensive data-sharing has sparked questions around ownership of intellectual property.

R is for Rental Moms. A bizarre offshoot of the on-demand economy, the Rental Mom is a maternal figure who will give you advice and comfort for an hourly fee. One for lonely millennials living in the big city, perhaps.

U is for Uber Dating. The recent launch of UberPool means more people are sharing rides with strangers and forging connections they would never have made otherwise. “Many people find this method more personable and serendipitous than online dating,” say S&H. Could an Uber wedding be on the cards in 2016?

W is for Wireless Energy. Mitsubishi has successfully completed experiments in transmitting energy via wireless methods, such as microwaves, lasers and radio waves, a key step towards widespread adoption of renewable energy.

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