If you want to know the future, sometimes you only have to look at the past.
That's true even in the fast-changing world of consumer tech, where many of the trends that are set to dominate 2016 had their genesis in the past 12 months.
While 2015 saw big developments in mobile payments, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, consumer drones and more, not a whole lot trickled through to our everyday lives. Expect that to change.
The connected house
The "internet of things" may have been a meaningless aphorism for many in 2015, but this year home automation will begin to hit the mainstream, with more ordinary objects coming equipped with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. With those objects communicating together through a central point — be it your phone or the automation "hubs" rolling out from the likes of Amazon and LG — the new breed of smart things will work together to take appropriate actions without you needing to be involved.
For example, a chair that tells you when somebody is sitting on it is useless, but a chair that tells all your other objects when someone is sitting on it could help automate your lighting and entertainment system.
If you think this kind of automation is superfluous, tell that to those with Model S Teslas, whose car knows when they go to work and warms their seat before they get in. By the end of 2016 there will be thousands more people who look at actions like turning on the heater or pausing a movie and say "remember when used to do that ourselves?"
Wearables and pay-by-phone
It's in this kind of ecosystem that wearables could finally find a comfortable place with a mainstream audience as well. While smartphones generally do a good job of collecting and displaying information, they're not subtle enough to keep us constantly, passively in the loop with smart objects. A next-generation wearable, whether in the form of Apple's revamped Apple Watch or something else entirely, will make a much more convincing proposition than "see your emails on your wrist".
Speaking of phones and wearables, this may be the year yours finally replaces your credit and bank cards, with both Samsung Pay and Android Pay launching locally. It's uncertain whether iPhone users will join in the contactless fun in 2016, with Apple and banks still locked in a stalemate. Regardless, it will probably still be some time before your phone can replace your entire wallet. NSW plans to begin rolling out digital driver's licences from this year, but other states and territories will likely wait and see whether or not it turns out to be a car crash.
Virtual reality and augmented reality
Virtual reality was a topic of much discussion throughout 2015, but its impact on our everyday lives (if any) will be felt this year. By the middle of 2016 you'll be able to choose from the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, two headsets that work in conjunction with a powerful PC and a range of controllers and sensors to immerse users in virtual worlds that respond their their every gaze and gesture. By that time Sony will have also brought a headset to market in the form of PlayStation VR, a more streamlined solution that makes use of the TV, PlayStation 4 and controllers you may already own.
While VR this year will mainly be a gamer's pursuit, the more interesting development for others may be AR (or augmented reality), which inserts data readouts, software applications or even full 3D objects into the user's regular view of the real world.
While VR speaks to our long-held dreams of being whisked away from our ordinary existence to a techno-wonderland, AR might actually become more than a fleeting part of our lives, especially when combined with our smart homes and pocket-dwelling data hubs. Those with specialised jobs or hobbies will be the first to benefit from products including smart motorcycle helmets and the newly enterprise-focused Google Glass.
Microsoft's HoloLens headset is leading the charge for consumer AR, with applications ranging from Skyping with family to taking home remodelling for a test drive. Its final version might not make it to market in 2016, but expect to see plenty from HoloLens this year that makes you think twice about forking out thousands on a VR rig.
Elsewhere in the electronics space this year, Nintendo will introduce a machine it claims is a "brand new concept" in consumer tech. After laying low since the rise and fall of its astronomically successful Wii system, the Japanese company is widely expected to bridge the gap between home and mobile gaming with a machine you can use with a TV or on the go.
Finally, if you thought the big ticket 2015 tech items like drones and "hoverboards" were done for, you better think again. Drones will continue to be popular in the enthusiast space but truly autonomous models that can survey areas, follow individuals or float around the family picnic for group photos are already emerging. Meanwhile self-balancing scooters will rise from the ashes of 2015's controversies in a more regulated, safety-conscious form which might be less popular as a toy for kids but attractive as a tool for commuting adults.