For the past few months The Startacus Technology News Round-up has been keeping your business up-to-date with all that’s new in technology. In this special end-of-year edition we are taking you one step forward with our 10 big development predictions for 2014.
Find out what we think the next year of technology will bring courtesy of technology and marketing blogger Justin Firth.
1. Apple go for larger screens.
Apple’s end of year deal with China mobile means that a big screen iPhone to compete in the growing Asian ‘phablet’ (part phone-part tablet) market is almost inevitable. There are also strong rumours that Apple will buck the trend of tablet miniaturisation with a larger 13” screened iPad in 2014.
2. Tablets reach the classroom.
The big target for that 13” Apple tablet is the lucrative education market. With the dropping price of tablets and record sales leading up to Christmas, 2014 may be the year that tablets start becoming a classroom standard.
3. Tech gets wearable.
According to the experts ‘wearables’ is the next big frontier of mobile technology. Strong sales of the poorly reviewed Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch in 2013 proves that the market is just waiting for sci-fi style communication to become reality. Expect some new wearable innovations, a string of smart watch releases, and the official launch of Google’s smart eyewear, Google Glass, all in 2014.
4. Health monitoring gets smarter
The part of the wearables revolution which is already powering ahead is personal health monitoring. Wristbands including Nike+ Fuelband, Fitbit Force and Jawbone UP have all been strong sellers in 2013. There will definitely be some increasingly smart devices from some new market entrants - possibly including Microsoft - released in 2014.
5. Passwords become yesterday’s news
Most internet security experts agree on one thing - passwords are not keeping our data safe. Apple’s TouchID fingerprint scanner on 2013’s iPhone5 is just the start of a larger trend to find alternatives to 123456 and password123. 2014 will be a year of experimentation as technology companies seek to the find new solutions to our password problems.
6. The online privacy debate heats up
The full repercussions of the NSA and GCHQ data snooping scandal will hit in 2014 as people and businesses start to care seriously about data security. The clumsiness of Cameron’s UK online porn filter legislation will further fuel the debate on what right the authorities have to control and monitor our access to the internet. Expect 2014 to be the year that governments and advocates of internet freedom really go to war.
7. The significance of social media grows yet further
The importance of social media marketing to businesses will continue to grow. It is no secret that Facebook is losing the teen market in the UK, so expect some new acquisitions and initiatives to stem the flow. Meanwhile, Google Plus will be 2014’s big social media winner as surging user numbers will see small business and big brands jumping on the Google bandwagon.
8. Drones get some good press
UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicle), commonly called drones, have had a deservedly bad press due to their primary use of blowing things up from a distance. However, the tide will turn next year. Drones have hundreds of peaceful civilian applications so 2014’s press will be full of stories on how UAVs are helping everyone from the police and scientists, to farmers and film makers.
9. Chinese brands creep into UK shops.
You may not have heard of Huawei, ZTE and Baidu yet, but it is only a matter of time before these big Chinese brands make a mark in the UK. A number of the new apps and innovations in 2014 may have English sounding names, but are likely to have Chinese companies behind them. Throughout 2014 and beyond, China will be slowly transforming its image from low-cost manufacturer to high-tech innovator.
10. 3D printing comes to the highstreet
In 2014, the era of 3D printing will finally be upon us. Dropping 3D printer costs and increased capabilities could mean a 3D print shop opening on a high street near you soon. New businesses and shops will also start to grow up around the market for rapid low-cost prototyping and easy personalisation of goods. Your Christmas present next year might just be 3D printed.
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