It’s that time of year again – a time when we regret the excesses of Christmas and stumble forwards, insistent that we will do things “better” this year!
But before we worry too much yet about failed New Year resolutions, put them to one side for a moment to take a read of our top 10 predictions for the world of tech this year! Will they be right? Only time will tell but we’ll make sure we go back to them this time next year and let you know!
- Looking at the telecoms space, LTE will continue to be a big topic in 2014 with wholesale LTE networks being launched in mature markets. Voice and SMS revenues will continue to decline and although data revenues will grow, the additional cost of carrying data will not be enough to offset the decline in voice revenues. As our friends at Coleago Consulting predict, this will lead to more operators sharing networks in 2014 to reduce costs. In some cases this will also lead to mergers and acquisitions.
- Smartphone growth will continue to be dominated by China – but India could be close on its heels with millions of people set to receive their first smartphone in 2014.
- With 2014 being the year we will see the app store for Google Glass open, it looks set to be the year wearable, immersive technology takes off. From an entertainment perspective, 2014 also looks to be the year gaming goes galactic! Three interesting space exploration titles (Star Citizen, No Man’s Sky and Starbound) will launch this year – promising ventures into new, unexplored galaxies.
- The physical world we live in is also set to become even more tech savvy. Hot off the heels of this year’s CES, 2014 will mark the start of what Cisco’s John Chambers has termed the “internet of everything” ie a new wave of innovation driving the connection of people, devices and things. While this wave will be powered by an explosion in the number of connected devices it will be about far more than that. Cities will become smarter with more and more authorities and councils using technology to better enhance the environment and how we live in it. Whether its street lighting switched on via Twitter or bins emptied via text message, 2014 will be the year social media connects with infrastructure. I’d like to see 3D printing really take off this year too with uses that go beyond the novelty to the useful and practical.
- One trend I won’t pretend to understand but will continue to no doubt increase, is the growth in crytpocurrencies. Whether it’s bitcoins, altcoins or dogecoins, their popularity looks set to continue. I’ll continue to watch in amazement!
- If 2013 was the year of Edward Snowden, 2014 will be the year people look to tools and services to help them keep their online lives more private. Expect a new set swathe of privacy companies and services to cater to a growing consumer need.
- Every year seems to be the year cloud computing really takes off but in 2014 expect consumers to finally truly embrace cloud storage. The push for more personal cloud technologies will also lead to a shift toward services and away from devices. The type of device people own will be less important – the personal cloud will take over.
- 2014 won’t be the year of 4K but it will be close. 4K TV prices will continue to drop and whilst we won’t yet see an explosion in availability, it will rise steadily. Who knows, by next year Christmas films in 4K may even be top of our children’s wish lists!
- The rich landscape of advertising looks set to get even richer with advertisers embracing more ways to connect with consumers. Whether it’s through pop artists singing about their favourite brand in the next number one or TV programmes integrating product names into their scripts, 2014 could be the year advertising takes traditional product placement to new levels.
- Perhaps the most fascinating area of technology for me has been its use in healthcare. 2014 will no doubt continue to astound me as breakthroughs in cancer, Alzheimer’s and vision and hearing loss don’t look too far off.