Since the release of the iPhone in 2007, mobility has completely taken over the technological landscape. Early smart devices now seem primitive, with new models featuring greater speed, longer battery life and improved functionality. This revolution is by no means over, as is evident based on the top tech trends of 2014.
1. Bring Your Own Device
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) offers a dazzling array of new opportunities for the modern workplace and beyond. From sales representatives to business travelers, professionals are taking advantage of policies that allow them to bring their own smartphones, tablets and laptops on the road. Longer battery life and other improvements in functionality ensure that, whether they're in the office or out and about, employees can complete everyday tasks while enjoying the familiarity of their own devices.
2. Smart Home Technology
Environmentally-conscious individuals no longer need to constantly adjust lighting and temperature settings; intuitive smart home solutions can optimize heating, water use and electricity for greater comfort, affordability, and of course, eco-friendliness.
3. Identity Verification
Password protection is often not enough to keep devices safe, but with identity verification, users no longer need to fret about thieves accessing their personal information. The BBC highlights voice and fingerprint identification as just two of several verification approaches that will make it impossible for outsiders to operate devices without permission. (1)
4. Privacy Measures For Social Networking
Facebook users worry that their irresponsible status updates might cost them their jobs. Consumer demand for enhanced privacy measures has skyrocketed, with social networks and privacy apps jumping through hoops to keep unwanted intruders away from individuals' social media accounts.
5. Brand-Supported Content
A new and exciting marketing opportunity arrived alongside the recent blow-up of Buzzfeed: brand-supported content. Instead of following the old advertising model, businesses are getting the word out by sponsoring articles, videos and images that social media users are eager to share.
6. Wearable Technology
The tech world is excited about the implications of Google Glass, but this is just the beginning in what promises to be an exciting technological revolution. Wearable options such as the Pebble Smartwatch and the Nike Fuel Band have expanded what skeptics originally predicted would be a narrow market.
7. Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is "on the cusp" of being real according to DigitalTrends.com. However, augmented reality's presence at the 2014 E3 conference ensures that it will remain a chief talking point (and eventually, a huge market trend) throughout the remainder of the year. Of particular interest is the Oculus Rift, a popular gaming device that was featured at E3.
8. 3D Printing
In 3D printing, a digital object is transformed into the physical through the setting down of very thin layers of a given material. The 3D revolution offers the opportunity for greater product mobility and accessibility, with everything from decor to prosthetics entering the market, according to Forbes.
High definition is no longer good enough for the savvy television viewer. 4K televisions meet the growing desire for greater clarity by offering resolutions above and beyond 3840 X 2160. Until recently, consumers were reluctant to invest in these devices, citing a lack of 4K viewing content. But according to "IEEE Spectrum," 4K availability on Netflix will convince viewers to make the jump.
Gamification, or using gaming concepts to improve motivation and morale, already showed great promise during the video game takeover of the late 70s and early 80s. Smart technology later revitalized this concept; today, business and government initiatives seek to use gamification to garner better results in education, product development and everything in between.