Technology in 2014: What’s Ahead

By Shlomo  Maital    

        2014

 

 What does 2014 hold in terms of new technology?  According to New York Times columnist Nick Bilton, 2013 was a yawn.  Apple just updated its existing devices all year.  Nothing much happened.

   2014 may be different.  Technology is like sprinters – they pause, prepare, crouch – and then dash, only to repeat the process.  

   Smartwatches will grow rapidly.  Today the global watch industry totals $60 b.  Smart watches could add greatly to that.  They could change the way we relate to the device on our wrists. 

   Cell phones will change.  Improved location sensors mean our phones will start letting us know when we need to look at them, and actively suggesting things we need to do, based on where we are.  

    Corning has developed new flexible screens for TV.  These screens could wrap around poles, even wrap around our clothing or “the packages we buy”, notes Bilton.

    Use of drones will expand.  The FAA will issue rules that enable expanded use of drones for farming, rooftop inspections and a thousand other uses. 

   3D printers will begin to become home appliances.  Gartner says companies and consumers will spend $600 m. on 3D printer related products in 2014.  One key use might be to ‘print’ parts for broken appliances, with instructions downloaded from web sites.

   Most of this still sounds rather humdrum.  Technology often surprises. Maybe, just maybe, some great innovator will think of something truly novel and useful – or perhaps, simply revive something old that has sadly disappeared.  Will YOU be that innovator?

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