Technology Predictions for 2014
2013 brought us great improvements on existing products—iPhone5s, Xbox One etc. However, we see 2014 as a groundbreaking year for not only new products, but ideas all over the technology realm.
We gathered together some of our favorite predictions from across the web and threw in a few of our own hopes for the year of 2014.
Look out for more tablet specific design
We’ve taken a look at Responsive Design over the past few months and seen the trend of designing websites with mobile interfaces in mind. However, there’s a gray area that needs to be addressed and that is designing for tablets. When browsing through the internet, are tablets supposed to function like a desktop or like mobile? We’re thinking there should be a new category with design capabilities strictly for tablet interfaces.
There’s no question that 2013 was the year of the Smartphone but with tablet sales continuing to grow, it would make sense for some investment for tablet specific design to make tablet browsing more functional and not in a weird limbo.
“Virtual Lifestyle Systems”x10
Personalized services like Apple’s Siri and Google Now are going to get bigger and better. Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray’s analyst for Apple and Google ran tests over the past 18 months to determine how the two services are improving. He uses 800 voice questions both inside and outside to get a sense of how each system performs. The verdict? Siri is starting to do a better job of understanding in noisy situations and filtering out background noise. Apple better watch out though, Google Now is catching up and in some cases surpassing Siri in some of Munster’s tests.
We see these services improving over 2014 as they learn to predict your activity the more you use them. There will definitely be more of these “virtual lifestyle systems” to come as the idea begins to get more popular.
The Rise of Google+
From a business standpoint Google+ is an invaluable resource. Active and regular use of it has a great effect on SEO for your page (Google loves all things Google.) With high user criticism of Facebook lately, maybe the consumer market will follow suit and make Google+ the next big thing in social media.
Some things to consider:
- Hangouts: A free feature that allows up to 10 people to participate in a video chatroom. We can see this being especially beneficial for small companies but it also made get togethers with old high school friends that much easier.
- Communities: You can easily connect with people that share similar interests with the Communities feature. It’s similar to Facebook’s Groups, but more accessible and user friendly.
End of the password era
Since the leak of the Top 25 Most Common Passwords, it’s clear everyone needed to be a little more creative with them anyway. Passwords are becoming more fragile with large scale hacks (Adobe) and no one can seem to remember if there was an exclamation point after theirs or not.
We’re hoping that 2014 comes with biometric data use instead. Since Apple has already come out with the iPhone 5S’s fingerprint scanner we can only assume that there’s more to come.
2014, The Year of Internet Privacy
One of the biggest growing concerns this year, in wake of the revelations of Edward Snowden, was internet privacy. We really don’t know what is at risk for privacy theft as well as surveillance by private companies or government agencies. It’s becoming more obvious to people how much of their personal information is available on the internet. These people are going to want solutions to their security paranoia and we think 2014 is going to be the year we’re going to see more effort in this department.
Kevin Haley of Symantec thinks “we will see a lot of failed attempts and partial solutions. We’re not going to solve this problem in 2014, but we’ll begin to make steps and people will begin to do things to try to create a sense of privacy.” We think big organizations will start putting more money into security of personal information and the same will follow suit with the consumer market.
This is a trend that has been building in the latter half of 2013, but we expect the rest of the world to catch on in this coming year. This design technique focuses on type and color to make a simple and clean website layout. Flat Design leaves off excessive textures and overbearing Photoshop filters which makes it easier to read and much more appealing to the eye.
Here are some cool examples:
Wearable Tech and Beyond
We’re not just talking about Google Glass (which is currently available in limited beta) or a potential iWatch from Apple. Wearable Technologies (or Wearables) are going to be the biggest thing for tech in 2014. Tim Sheedy, a Forrester analyst, says: “I think we will see an increase in the number of smartwatches and smart devices that you put on your wrists… effectively driven by the applications and the benefits they add to people’s lives.”
Smartwatches can get expensive, they fall somewhere around the $400 range currently. However, 2014 is going to be the year that these Wearables will be brought into the general consumer market. Gartner research director, Angela McIntyre, predicts some devices could come in under $100 next year. There is definitely something here; we’re just waiting for someone to have the idea that catches fire.
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