Tech Trends: 2014 and the Year Ahead

Every year, tech giants, independent inventors and experts of all fields compete to release the trendiest, most technologically advanced products, and every year, consumers are presented with an array of new and unique gadgets to consider.  The technology movement is not only a response to curious consumers and professionals trying to keep their businesses fresh with the latest and greatest, but also a move to demonstrate continuous progress and limitless possibilities.

As the year comes to a close, it’s worth taking a look at how 2014 has contributed to our technology era. From crisp, new designs to completely innovative and original products, the developments of this past year certainly did not disappoint.

Trending developments included the release of new DJI drones, the rise of 3-D printers, and of course, the release of Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models, featuring, as always, a better camera and longer battery life.  2014 was also the year that “selfies” became less of a buzzword, and more of a cultural phenomenon to take advantage of.  Several companies launched devices designed to streamline the selfie-taking experience. While many of them are considered to be more goofy than anything, the selfie stick, “adds genuine value,” says Van Baker, a mobile tech analyst at the research firm Gartner. “I’ve seen a lot of people using it.”

The Polaroid Sociamatic Camera is now available for pre-order.  ℅

The Polaroid Sociamatic Camera is now available for pre-order.

Looking toward the upcoming holiday season, Instagram lovers will love the new Polaroid Socialmatic camera, which combines the old-fashioned appeal of vintage Polaroid instant print cameras with the ability to share using the camera’s built-in Wi-Fi and Android interface.  Adventure seekers, on the other hand, are keeping their eyes on the new GoPro model.  The HERO4, released in September, is available in two editions, boasting “2x the performance” and powerful new features.

And what about 2015? Next year is bound to have its own share of mind-blowing developments and breakthroughs.  While many gadgets and technologies are still in testing mode, there are a few cool things we know will be available for certain.

It is well known that technology has become, perhaps, the greatest agent of change in the modern world – especially concerning the business side of things.  As many experts have harshly advised year after year, “digitally transform your business or get tossed aside.”  2015 is expected to be a big year for tech breakthroughs in the business world.

An Intel booth displaying wire-free technologies.  ℅

An Intel booth displaying wire-free technologies.

While PCs may seem like an outdated gadget, they get thinner, faster, and lighter every year. Intel has introduced a number of innovations it plans to make available by next year, including wireless charging, access to websites via biometric authentication (the same technology Apple uses for their Apple Pay Service), and wireless displays.  These upgrades are certain to make PCs more efficient and practical for the average businessperson.

Android Wear features a wide variety of smartwatches.  ℅

Android Wear features a wide variety of smartwatches.

According to multinational tech giant Samsung, business leaders of our decade will rely on connected wearable technology “to stay ‘always on'”.  The first rush of products are smartwatches, and Samsung already has five different varieties.  Samsung research made claims that 47% of wearable tech users felt more intelligent, 61% felt more informed and efficient, and 37% claimed that the wearable helped with career development.  While the company is certainly trying hard to market their product to curious consumers, they are reviled by many.  Their biggest competitors? Google and Apple.

The products of Android Wear, connected to Google Play services, offers a variety of playful designs and features real-time notifications, a variety of compatible applications, and weather information.  Apple’s iWatch, which was officially announced with the release of the company’s newest iPhone model, is said to become available in early 2015.  It boasts “unfailingly accurate time”, applications, and more.

We’ve only highlighted a few of the exciting things to come in the new year, but expect a slew of unique gadgets, applications and services.  As always, we’ll also expect to see progress in user experience, smart machines, and software.  Technology and the digital age isn’t slowing down anytime soon, and we can’t wait to see what’s to come.

beams&bricksTech Trends: 2014 and the Year Ahead

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