Strap yourself in, it’s going to be a wild ride. In considering the changes we’ve seen in technology over the past year, I’m bracing myself for unprecedented growth when it comes to anytime, anywhere, on-demand information and entertainment.
Based on the trends we’ve seen so far in 2013, I predict 2014 will see many fledgling technologies mature and grow beyond what we could have imagined just a few years ago.
So without further ado, here are my top 7 predictions for technology trends that will dominate 2014.
1. Consumers will come to expect Smart TV capabilities
With Smart TV shipments expected to reach 123 million in 2014 – up from about 84 million in 2012 – we are poised to see explosive growth in this industry.
In the midst of this growth, we will continue to see fierce competition between major players like Samsung, Panasonic, and LG. Prices will need to continue to drop, as more consumers crave, and even expect, the ability to use Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video and their web browser via their TV.
Of course, the development we’re all waiting for in 2014 is the release of Apple’s much anticipated iTV. It appears the iTV is now in the early development stage, and that Apple may be in the process of making a deal with Time Warner to facilitate programming on Apple devices.
The device is rumoured to include iCloud sync, the ability to control your iPhone, and ultra HD LCD panels. Keep an eye out for this release as early as summer 2014.
2. Smart watches will become ‘smarter’
Rather than having to pull out your smartphone or tablet for frequent email, text and social media updates, you’ll glance at your watch.
2014 is the year to keep an eye out for the Google watch. Rumor has it the device will integrate with Google Now, which aims to seamlessly provide relevant information when and where you want it (and before you’d asked for it).
We’ll see smart watches become even smarter, learning what news and updates are important to us, when we want to receive them, and responding more accurately to voice controls.
For smart watches to succeed, they’ll need to offer us something that our smart phone can’t; whether this means more intuitive notifications, or the ability to learn from our daily activities and behaviours (for instance, heart rate monitoring), it will be interesting to see.
3. Google Glass will still be in “wait and see” mode
While Google Glass hasn’t yet been released to the general public, we’ve heard enough about it to know it’s still very early days for this technology. With an estimated 60,000 units expected to sell in 2013, and a predicted several million in 2014, it’s still a long way from becoming a common household technology.
These augmented reality glasses allow you to access information like email and texts, take hands-free pictures and videos, effortlessly translate your voice, and even receive overlaid walking, cycling or driving directions, right within your field of vision.
It’s predicted that both Google Glass 2.0, and its companion, the Glass App Store, should be released to the general public sometime in 2014.