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5 Top Tech Trends for 2014

2014 is upon us. So what tech trends should we expect to see?

Google Glass will make us twitchy.

The coming year will see the launch of Google Glass with eye strain and headaches induced at no extra charge. At the same time new behaviours will emerge that are best described as ‘eye twitch’ or ‘visual schizophrenia’. People won’t be able to help it. Say they are talking to someone and an email or text message pops up. Their gaze goes from eye-to-eye, to near field top right. At that point the line-byline twitch starts, with the viewer sharing their attention between data and people. I’m not at all sure that’s going to go down well with my wife!

There will be tech that bends.

Many people who sit down without thinking will have experienced the joy of pain from a mobile phone in the back pocket. Worse still is the dropping of a phone resulting in a shattered screen. In 2014, we will see these issues being fixed. Technology is going to become conformal to our bodies. It will even start migrating to jewellery.

Products will change into apps and features.

Many of 2013’s products will become apps and features in 2014. Health monitors, ‘well-being’ aids, health advisors, navigation and location tools, gesture interfaces, cameras and ‘my life bits’ are all prime candidates for subsumption.

The clouds will roll.

Just as we will realise ‘The Internet’ will not scale to 9 billion people and over 50 billion things on line, clouds will start getting ready to roll. To be specific, I don’t mean ‘The Cloud’, but millions of clouds, able to provide scalability way into the future. So we can expect to see a very rich and diverse future of connected clouds: corporate, open, closed, visible, invisible, secret, personal, office, home building, campus, town city, region, global – the categories are endless. Cloud technologies will move up a gear in 2014 with more providers, more facilities, and sweet deals for the consumer. All these many clouds will offer greater security than anything we have seen before. Yet this security comes at the risk of data protection. The biggest threat is contained in the supplier terms and conditions. There is no guarantee that your data can be recovered if they suffer a major failure. So my advice is: don’t sign up with ‘a supplier’ – sign up with at least three and spread your risk. Personally, I have 10 free accounts giving anything between 5 and 50 GByte of storage.

Artificial Intelligence is getting personal.

Artificial Intelligence has been a long time coming, but I no longer need IBM Deep Blue (1997) to beat a chess grand master. A £20 program on my laptop is sufficient. And if I need general knowledge or medical help I can turn to IBM Watson. The good news is that AI is now available as a developer app and new forms of intelligent search, data analysis, and problem solving are likely to emerge in 2014. So, imagine your laptop watching what you do, learning your preferences and analysing you needs to bring you the five most relevant publications instead of the most read out of 37 mliion possibilities. And what if it did this without asking? This really is going to be a workplace game changer!

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  • Peter Cochrane Peter Cochrane is one of the world′s most respected and sought-after speakers on technology, change and the future effects of change on corporations and individuals. He is the former Head of Research at British Telecommunications plc, the UK′s largest telecommunications company. Renowned for his out of the box thinking, Peter produces a monthly blog for ... more

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