Tech to Expect in 2014

By Bryan Parsons

10 January 2014

What have we got to look forward to in the world of tech this year?

The end of Windows XP

Not exactly something to look forward to but an important date for 2014 is the 8th April, when Microsoft will officially withdraw support for Windows XP. It’s 12 years old but about 27% of computers still use it, is yours one of them? If so, you should seriously consider upgrading to a newer version of Windows or getting a new PC altogether.

It’s quite possible that there will be an influx of attacks after the 8th April as malware and viruses can be released in the knowledge that Microsoft won’t try to patch the holes they exploit.

** UPDATE ** Support has been extended until July 2015, though we still recommend that you start to move away from it as soon as possible anyhow.

Wearable tech

Much more exciting: Have you seen all the adverts for the Galaxy Gear watch which came out just before Christmas? It works with your phone, allowing you to snap pictures and answer calls.

It’s just one of the first of what we expect to be a growing market in 2014; Apple are rumoured to be working on the iWatch and many more advanced wearable health and exercise devices are expected in 2014. The real question is, does anyone want them? Are they just a fad or gimmick? We think not but only time will really tell.

Quantifiable self

A whole class of new technology bound to make it mainstream this year is called quantifiable self. The aim is to help you understand your body and health better, and in a way that encourages you to build greater habits. There are many devices that you either wear or have in your home that measure bits about your life such as: Weight, number of steps, sleep patterns, blood flow, heart rate and perspiration. Some examples are BasisJawbone UP and Withings Wireless scales.

Next generation gaming

At the end of 2013 the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were released, these are the next generation of gaming consoles. As 2014 progresses we should start to see developers taking advantage of the additional power and features of these consoles with some amazing games to look forward to.

In addition Cloud gaming is start to gain traction, with OnLive, Steam and Sony all starting to offer services. Cloud gaming allows you to play games without an advanced PC or console as all the computing is done remotely in the cloud and then streamed to your device.

Bendy screens

Screens which are flexible or non-flexible but curved have been on the horizon for some time, they are now just reaching consumers with Samsung announcing its curved screen at CES this week.

There are also rumours the iPhone 6 due for release this year will have a curved display and LG have already announced the G Flex with its flexible display.

Smart homes

The technology to make your home smarter has been around for a while but it has been niche and fairly expensive. Looking at the devices that have been released in the second half of 2013 and those to come in 2014 it looks like this market will really take off.

First there’s the iKettle, priced at £99.99 it’s not too expensive and given the additional features may tempt a lot of consumers. You can boil the kettle from your smartphone when you wake up in the morning or when you’re on your way home. You can also boil it to specific temperatures or just keep it warm, all from your smartphone.

The Canary smart security device for your home also looks great, for only £150 you can get an alarm system for your home which you can monitor and receive alerts from anywhere provided you have a smartphone. This is a great deal cheaper than a traditional monitored home alarm system, even if you need to buy two or three Canary devices to properly protect your home.

In addition there are more smart thermostats on the market so you can control and monitor your heating from anywhere, and some clever and cost effective lighting solutions for your home from Phillips and Samsung.

Anything else?

It’s definitely an exciting year of new tech to look forward to, there will be some flops and some big surprises. We haven’t even covered electric vehicles, 3D printing or Amazon’s new drone delivery service!


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