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How is it nearly 2014 already? Where has the time gone!
And we all know what that means once the clock strikes midnight on December 31 – yes, another year of rumour, counter rumour and conjecture about the latest gadgets, gaming and technology.
So what have you got to look forward to during the next 12 months?
Here are the top 10 things to watch out for.
Reuters Developer Maximiliano Firtman wears Google glasses before a news conference
10. Google Glass
Will it launch publicly in 2014? Well, we’ll see clearly soon – ‘see clearly’, geddit!
Anyway, these futuristic specs are currently in Beta with some high profile geeks posting pictures of themselves wearing a pair on their Twitter accounts.
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.
You just might look an idiot wearing a pair in the next 12 months, before it takes off and everyone has them.
Samsung Samsung’s Galaxy Gear SmartWatch
9. Smart watches
Hot on the heels of the Pebble and Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watches, will surely come newer and more innovative mobile-linked wristpieces.
In fact, at the 2014 Mobile World Congress expo, we’re bound to see loads of the things in a concept stage.
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.
No doubt, in time, we’ll discover which one.
YouTube – SmartyRing
8. Wearable tech
Similarly, 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.
7. 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.
AFP A fairgoer passes by a tunnel made of washing machines
6. 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 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.
Watch out for many manufacturers launching compatible products at the CES gadget fest in Las Vegas in early January.
5. 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.
4. Sharing economy/Tech for good
There are dozens of startups in the UK now operating in this space aiming to use technology for the greater good of society.
From car-sharing ones like goCarShare to the product sharing RentMyItems, there’s a huge shift in creating services to help others, and for some, not concentrate so much on huge profits.
This theme will certainly continue in 2014 so watch out for new ways to collaborate with friends, neighbours and strangers to make the world a much better place.
3. Electric cars
From the Nissan LEAF to the BMW i3, 2013 started to bring electric cars more to the middle of the road.
As more charging points are rolled out across the country in 2014, expect the interest in these motors to increase.
As well as helping the environment, they keep the cost of driving low with no need for petrol or diesel.
All you do is plug them in overnight and off you go in the morning.
Of course, you have a limited range but they’re great for local and short hopper journeys.
Rex The Oculus Rift – a 1080p HD Virtual Reality Headset for 3D Gaming
2. Gaming takes centre stage
As the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 begin to take hold in our living rooms, all eyes will be on new gaming experiences being created for them.
With more power and better graphics, we’re expecting some developments that really push the boundaries of immersive entertainment crossed with gaming experiences.
If we don’t get them though in the next 12 months, that’ll be the final nail in the coffin for the traditional-style home console we used to know and love.
AFP A journalist takes a look at a 110 inch giant screen 4K television
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 the 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.
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