Technology Trends for 2014

Looking ahead one year at technology trends and making predictions on what the hot new products will be is dangerous in this fast changing field.

Just take a look at 3D TV, it took less than a year to go from hot to not, only to be replaced by 4K displays with curved screens. Anyway I think it is fun to look at what is trending and see how it might make a difference in your life or business in the coming year.

So what about display screens? If you think 4K Ultra HD televisions are going to be the next great display technology, you are probably right, but not for the reason you think. Sure 4K is higher resolution but if you sit 10 to 15 feet away from a 4K display and a 1080p display it is hard to tell the difference unless you have really good vision. Standing a couple of feet away from each clearly shows the resolution advantage but who watches TV like that. The reason 4K will succeed is because the manufactures can make it, people want what sounds better and content is already moving in that direction.

The real display trend revolution is heading to tablets, wearable displays and mobile devices. Those display are meant to be viewed close up and that is where the resolution advantage of Ultra HD really shows. So while you will probably own a 4K display someday, you may sooner be sporting a pair of “smart glasses”, like the Google Glass, or a stylish smartwatch on your wrist while you watch a movie on your Ultra HD phablet.

Speaking of watching movies, where is your video content coming from? For about 86% of us it is still primarily delivered over cable and satellite through subscriptions to multi-channel video services.  For many viewers this is a waste of money as the content they watch is limited just a handful of channels. Even so, the move away from these expensive subscription services has been slow until just recently as more people are discovering that Hulu, Amazon and Netflix are viable video content alternatives for both your TV and your mobile device.

I often write about the growth in cloud services for business IT needs. 2014 looks to be another year of growth for this technology segment with estimates of spending increasing by 25% to over $100 billion. This kind of growth will drive change across many IT segments including computer hardware manufacturers, datacenter operators and internal IT operations. As the shift to cloud services continues, internal IT departments will shrink, and some part of the over $2 trillion in annual spending on hardware, software and support services will move to cloud providers.

Keeping up with rapidly changing technology is always a challenge, but the benefits that it bring to your business and personal life should be evaluated on a regular basis.

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