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Latest on the Tech Radar – 5 Hot Gadgets You Are Likely to See in 2014

Posted In Gadgets, Home Technology & Gadgets, Technology Reviews - By Techtiplib on Saturday, January 4th, 2014 With No Comments »

Several commenters have described 2013 as something of a ‘lost year’ for technology. That is to say that while there were loads of great gadgets released, there was very little that really broke the mould. We saw updates to the iPad, to Microsoft’s Surface, to every model of smartphone… and really that was about it.

But on the other hand, if you were at CES 2013, then you would probably have come away with quite a different idea. There was plenty of exciting new technology demoed here, the only caveat is that most of it didn’t see a release within the following year.

On the other hand, we can expect to see a lot of far more unique and innovative concepts hit the market in 2014. Let’s take a look at which are likely to be the real showstoppers…

Google Glass

Getting my Google Glass

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pleeker/8777593432/

Although we don’t have a set release date yet for Google Glass, pundits generally agree that we’ll see this wearable tech hit the market sometime this year (and with a rough price of around $600). This is a device that you wear right on your head in order to get constant heads-up information wherever you are, nobody is accusing that of being unambitious… Glass is destined to either be a huge flop, or to quickly become the next huge trend in technology.

The Oculus Rift

Mickey Hart using the oculus rift at UCSF

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmichel67/10930071166/

Likewise the Oculus Rift doesn’t have a hard release date yet, but development kits are already out there in the wild and we’re pretty likely to see these make their way to commercial stores before the turn of 2015.

But just what is the Oculus Rift? Well simply put, it is a wearable display that provides the user with two 3D screens poised just in front of their eyes. This immerses them right in the action and creates the illusion of actually being in all kinds of virtual worlds – an effect that is further enhanced by head tracking which means you can look around freely as you normally would.

Malleable Displays

The Samsung Galaxy Round is one moderately interesting device released in 2013 (right at the end of the year to be precise). The device is interesting because unlike most phones it has a curved display which Samsung believe can aid with glare reduction and a range of other problems.

But what the Galaxy Round really is, is a tech demo and proof of concept for their malleable displays. Soon we might start seeing these screens in devices that make a bit more inventive use of the technology – so you can expect to start seeing phones that can be folded down to fit in your pocket, that have roll out screens, and even that have the ability to form real keys underneath the screen as needed (something similar was in fact demoed at CES last year).

New Mobile OSs

For a long time now the war for mobile has been between Android and iOS. Windows phone has given an admirable fight, but has yet to gain any real ground.

Tourbillon power reserve close-up

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/guysie/3370468477/

Next year though we might see this all change as Microsoft step up their game and new contenders enter the ring. Of course there’s ‘Ubuntu Touch’ which has been doing the rounds and gaining traction. Then there’s the impressive looking Blackberry 10, Jolla which will be with us very soon, Firefox OS and more. Meanwhile, Microsoft have been talking about merging their RT and mobile Windows products in order to share apps between both their tablets and their phones and presumably to bring the desktop environment with it. This will be an exciting year for mobile users!

Smart Watches

We’ve seen some interesting smart watches trickle out into the market already such as the Pebble and Galaxy Gear. However we still haven’t reached a point where smartwatches have become a ‘must have item’, so the battle looks set for 2014. Manufacturers have shown they’re interested, now it’s just a matter of seeing who really wants to dominate this burgeoning market. By 2015 your Mum may well have a smartwatch. And that’s how you know the future has arrived…

Shruti Vaghe, the author of this post, is a freelance blogger, who often writes Spice Digital Imaging, a firm that offers customized services such as digital printing on fabric. She has a keen interest in interior design and loves to share her thoughts through her blog posts. You can also follow her on Twitter@ShrutiVaghe.

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