Taking a look at the best gadgets of 2016
The year 2015 was the year of juicers and smart watches, but what new and improved gadgets does 2016 have in store? Polly Weeks asks some industry insiders for their forecasts.
Alex Gort-Barten, director, Dualit
"No one could ignore the trend for metallics throughout 2015 - with copper and brass adorning furniture, lighting, appliances and even gadgets. Metallics have staying power, making them a firm investment. I expect 2016 will see pastels come to the fore in a big way, adding a softness to what has previously been quite a stark and edgy interiors look. Think pistachios, pale pinks and creamy blues for all aspects of the home - from soft furnishings to kettles and toasters."
■ Try out their... Dualit Classic 4 Slice Toaster in Petal Pink, £189.95 (£20 of each sale of this colour goes to The Haven Breast Cancer Support Centres),
Michelle de Boer, trade marketing and product manager, Braun
"With time in the home becoming ever more limited, people are looking for easy to use gadgets which help to speed up household tasks. We expect the trend for time-saving gadgets to continue into 2016, as people look to alleviate some of the time and hard work they put into doing the household duties."
■ Try out their... Braun CareStyle 5 ironing system IS 5043, £229.98, www.braunhousehold.co.uk
Neal Jones, UK and Ireland country manager, De'Longhi
"In recent years, people's appreciation of coffee has grown exponentially, where now a one-size-fits-all drink is no longer acceptable - each coffee lover has their own unique interpretation of the perfect brew and gadgets are evolving to accommodate this. Recent research from De'Longhi found that we're no longer a nation of tea drinkers, with Brits now drinking an average of 3.2 cups of coffee per day, versus only 2.4 cups of tea. 2016 will see the consumer demand for barista-quality personalisation at home increase only further."
■ Try out their... PrimaDonna Elite, £1,500, www.delonghi.co.uk
Clare Slater, trade marketing manager, Kenwood
"As the average time spent preparing meals has reduced from one hour in 1980 to just 34 minutes in today's fast-paced society, demand for products that make feeding a family with healthy, home-made meals quickly and easily has increased, and this is a trend that is set to continue into 2016."
■ Try out their... Kenwood KCook, £329.99, www.kenwoodworld.co.uk
Tom Brown, UK vice president, TomTom
"'Useful Data' will continue to be a key trend in consumer interest and, therefore, consumer products for next year and beyond. People are increasingly interested in their own body performance data and the data from home appliances, as well as traffic and transit data. So manufacturers will continue to put this at the heart of innovation."
Try out their... TomTom Spark GPS Multi-Sport Fitness Watch with Music and Heart Rate Monitor, £189.99, www.johnlewis.com
Jonathan Marsh, buying director electricals and home technology, John Lewis
"Performance tracking led the way in 2015 with a 52% growth and, more specifically, FitBit activity trackers grew 241%. Similarly, the Apple Watch, which we introduced in 2015, has been a huge success and significantly exceeded expectations. Connected home has also been a significant area of growth for us as a retailer and we predict this will be a standout category in 2016. Among the hustle and bustle of everyday life, customers increasingly want to be able to control their gadgets from their smartphone. Next year will also see the launch of a new smart fridge which, thanks to built-in WiFi, will enable customers to order their groceries direct from the device."
■ Try out their... Vector Luna Brushed Stainless Steel Case and Padded Leather Strap Smartwatch, £249, www.johnlewis.com
John Anderson, country head, Sony UK and Ireland
"Sony continues to innovate and we believe that some of the products and technologies launched this year will continue to be popular in 2016. Sony's focus on connecting products in the home saw the launch of a multi-room proposition that delivers music any time and anywhere via a range of audio products. We believe these trends will continue in 2016. Photography also continues to be a growth area with new cameras being introduced, capable of creating awe-inspiring photography."
■ Try out their... Sony Alpha A7SII Compact System Camera, from £2499, www.jessops.com
Nick Grocott, head of marketing EMEA, House of Marley
"2015 has seen a massive surge in wireless headphones, a trend we believe will continue to grow in 2016, with more and more audio brands providing Bluetooth compatibilities for consumers who want to take their music wherever they go. Another trend we believe will have a big impact in 2016 is the rise in high fashion headphones, with numerous audio brands releasing rose gold headphones this year."
■ Try out their... House of Marley Positive Vibrations Headphones, £49.99, www.houseofmarley.co.uk
Carl Steen, director of product management, Motorola
"I think the smartphones are going to continue to innovate in the area of camera; I think you'll see some interesting things from Motorola and cameras in 2016, as well as design. I think you'll see Motorola take a new twist on design and offer features that have not been previously seen."
■ Try out their... Moto X Force Smartphone, £499, www.motorola.co.uk