Nesta is an innovation charity with a mission to help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. Every year they publish their predictions for the coming 12 months based on the research and projects they have come across or been working on.

In 2016 they have 10 predictions which BIC Clients should consider when planning their Innovation Strategies and new product developments.

Here with acknowledgment to Nesta is a consideration of the first three:


1. Computer Games that Heal You

The Games Industry has had a bit of a bad press recently from causing the social isolation of teenagers grinding through levels in their bedrooms to the psychological damage caused by playing first-person shooters.

However play as a source of therapy has been around for years and has certainly been of educational benefit but the health benefit of computer games are only just coming to light.

Research shows that 2016 will be the year that doctors start prescribing games to patients especially those with therapeutic potential.

2. Locking the Cyber Backdoor

In 2016 the smart home will make cybersecurity a household concern. As computer-integrated devices start to fill our homes, a threat looms in the shadows. Smart TVs, webcams, thermostats,, door locks, home alarms and lights mean that your home can no longer be protected by physical doors and locks alone. Most of these devices are also collecting personal information about us that could be extremely value to a hacker (or government agency).
Most people don’t realize the threat is even there but in 2016 the smart home will make cybersecurity a household concern.

Many of them companies that make these connected devices use off-the-shelf components and cloud services which they do not have control over. Many of these products have inbuilt security flaws lacking basic protections such as encryption or adequate password systems.

Fortunately an Internet of Things Security Industry is growing out of these concerns and new technologies will emerge to help get our IoT security right.

3. Small food gets Big

This year small farms and boutique producers will use new technology and better data to reach more people than ever and take on the supermarkets.

Sensors and better data will make small farms more viable. New technology will help more people to buy and sell direct. Concerns about food sourcing will get citizens more and more interested in knowing where food comes from. These will start at the top end of the market, like on-line supermarket deliveries but will start taking a significant share by the end of 2016. Farmdrop, Gousto and Hello Fresh type of businesses will grow even delivering food to precisely match recipes.

Research says that 4 in 10 shoppers say that price is their main criteria for food shopping but that leaves 6 in 10 who are interested in factors such as quality, sustainability, health and convenience. Evidence also shows that this interest will only increase as more and more customers have little tolerance for highly processed food and are looking for authenticity, ethics and unique stories in their food which is where the Small Farmer comes to shine.

All this will be good for innovation in food production and distribution and scope for new services and apps to sell to these customers.