Written by IEEE | December 20, 2017   |   Updated: December 21, 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, and the potential deal between Disney and 21st Century Fox permeates the news, it’s clear that content and streaming will continue to be major topics in 2018. So what’s in store for electronics and the ways in which we consume entertainment?

Today, despite great strides in streaming quality and availability of music and movies, entertainment is still a fairly linear experience. No matter where we are, we turn it on, and sit back and watch or listen.

Since this content is being delivered by increasingly sophisticated electronics, almost all of which are connected to the internet, experts are seeing more and more opportunities to create an interactive experience.

So, in 2018, look for entertainment to rapidly become more immersive. New content delivery methods may take inspiration from videos games: “the content will have built-in talkback, be integrated into social media, and have cyber collaboration with your circle of friends,” predicts IEEE Fellow Stu Lipoff, Partner and Owner at IP Action Partners.

These potential changes are based on wideband technologies that have recently become a part of everyday life. Therefore, when we bring upcoming advances in augmented and virtual reality into the equation, the rate of change in entertainment in 2018 could be even faster.

We’ve been writing a lot about AR and VR in recent months — using old entertainment clips to strengthen the memory of Alzheimer’s patients, making devices cheaper so more people can use them, and incorporating hand gestures to make the experience more immersive. It’s clear that these are part of a technological push that is destined to grow beyond entertainment.

IEEE Senior Member Aiyappan Pillai, Founder and ICT Consultant at Congruent Services, takes it a step further: “These technologies becoming mainstream and mass-market will propel the next leap to a virtual society that seamlessly complements and juxtaposes with physical reality.”

Time will tell how quickly these technologies take off, but 2018 should be…well, entertaining.

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

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