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2015 Will Bring Tech Trends Benefiting Local Firms

‘Tis the season for predictions.

The IEEE Computer Society, which has its West Coast office in Los Alamitos, has released its top 10 technology trends to keep an eye on in the new year, with several local companies making key contributions.

• The time is right for wearable devices. That’s welcome news for a trio of Irvine companies, including startup Pear Sports LLC, which fuses a wearable device with sensors attached to the body and a mobile audio coaching application; smart watch maker Martian Watches; and Broadcom Corp., which makes communication chips for wearable devices.

• The Internet of Things will become all-encompassing. Irvine-based smart products maker Insteon hopes so, and so does smart products maker D-Link Systems Inc. in Fountain Valley.

• Developers will build more security into software design.

• The industry will tackle software-defined Internet of Things interoperability and standards. Several trade groups are addressing the challenges, including the Open Networking Foundation, one of whose members is Broadcom.

• Cloud security and privacy concerns will grow.

• 3-D printing is poised for takeoff. Manufacturing could undergo a revolution, as 2015 will ring in production of the first printed vehicle. Fast-growing Costa Mesa startup Airwolf 3D is in line to benefit from the shift, prompting cheaper prototypes that can be manufactured anywhere, in a few minutes in some cases.

• Predictive analytics will be increasingly used to identify outcomes. That comes as no surprise for Predixion Software Inc. in Aliso Viejo or Alteryx Inc., a fast-growing Irvine data analytics software company led by industry veteran Dean Stoecker.

• Embedded computing security will get added scrutiny. The global trend will affect local companies, including Irvine-based security software maker SecureAuth Corp.

• Augmented reality applications will grow in popularity. The trend is already playing out at Tustin-based Meridian Graphics, which offers clients the app-driven technology that allows the subject in view to pop off a printed page or smartphone display in an interactive environment.

• Smartphones will provide new opportunities for continuous digital health.

Firm Opens UK Office

Irvine-based Kurion Inc., a key player in the cleanup and remediation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, has launched a U.K. subsidiary and office in Warrington, England, to support growing operations in Europe.

Former Chief Operating Officer Phillip Ohl leads the office as senior vice president of European operations, a region that’s home to nuclear and hazardous waste stemming from the Cold War era and burgeoning waste management needs as countries such as Germany dismantle commercial nuclear power plants. Kurion has won several multimillion-dollar contracts from the Tokyo Electric Power Co. that have the company expecting annual revenue well into the nine figures by 2016, according to Chief Executive Bill Gallo.

Bits & Pieces

Global sales of information and telecom technology products are projected to grow 3.8% next year to more than $3.8 trillion, fueled by mobile computing, cloud services, big data and analytics, and social networking, according to Massachusetts-based market researcher International Data Corp.

Smartphone and tablet sales will hit $484 billion, accounting for roughly 40% of all IT spending, with Chinese manufacturers poised for big market-share gains. … Online rumors are swirling that Irvine-based Oculus VR Inc. is about to release its breakthrough consumer virtual reality headset in October at a cost of between $200 and $400.

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