Since this time a year ago, we’ve seen a number of popular releases that have changed the dynamic of the tech world. All we have been using in 2013 seems out of date now. What have we got to look forward to during 2014? Here are the top 10 things to watch out for in the new year.
1. 4K TVs
When we switched from normal telly to high-definition, the change in picture quality was massive. Now imagine taking that up a few notches further and moving from HD to Ultra HD or 4K. 2014 should be the year these screens start their extension into the mainstream with prices lowering enough to make them affordable for early adopters.
It won’t be until late 2015 that these will be within reach of us all but in the meantime, along with thinner and even curved TV screens, this is a trend to watch.
2. iPhone 6
The next yearly update for Apple’s flagship product will be crucial. With the 5S bridging the gap with its fingerprint reader, it will take a huge jump in technology and design for the iPhone 6 to really garner positive headlines and satisfy investors. Apple usually has a trick or two up its sleeve but facing stiff competition now in the smartphone space, it will have to conjure up the sort of magic that set the original iPhone apart from the rest.
3. Internet of Things
This catch-all term for appliances in our home talking to each other is yet another buzzword but it will come further to fruition hopefully in 2014. It speaks of a world where washing machines, fridges, kettles and ovens connect to the internet and can be controlled via mobile phones or tablet computers.
4. Big Screen Apple TV
Will Apple launch its own TV set in 2014? Well, it’s been talked about since 2012 and we are still none the wiser.
But it would make sense to enter that market and take on rivals Samsung and Sony. A touchscreen telly backed by iOS and all of Apple’s apps and games would be a massive disrupter in the TV space. However, it would surely cost a premium price and that marks out one major issue for the US giant as it battles to extend mainstream reach of the iPhone and iPad.
5. Wearable tech
The year 2014 will be the year of technology that you wear – and not just on your wrist or nose.
The whole sector looks set to increase throughout our lives on the back of the growing trend for wearable fitness devices that track exercise progress and healthy living. Expect to see products built into clothing as well as stuff you can physically wear yourself.
6. Smart watches
Hot on the heels of the Pebble and Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watches, will surely come newer and more innovative mobile-linked wrist-pieces. But 2014 will be the year Apple launches one. Or maybe it won’t. Both of which would be a big story.
The first would show the potential power of these products and the second would dismiss the idea as a fad if a company like Apple fails to take up the gauntlet.
7. Google Glass
Developed by Maximiliano Firtman, Google glasses, a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD), is going to be launched very soon. Enabling you to interact with the world around you in a totally different way, Google Glass lets you get info from the web and take pictures using voice commands.
8. Livescribe Echo Smartpen
This Smartpen allows you to record audio while you’re taking notes, and then play them back later. You can save and share interactive notes to your computer, iPad or iPhone via a micro-USB connector that also allows you to recharge your pen. The memory storage holds 400 or 800 hours of recorded audio, depending on the model, and includes an OLED display that makes it easy to navigate smartpen apps.