The result is a rough consensus on the Top 5 Tech Trends for 2014, all of which are recognizable trends already in play. Being evolutionary rather than revolutionary, for the most part, these trends have every chance of making good. Let’s get to it.
1. 3D Printing Is Getting Huge — The first Macintosh Portable cost $6,500 in 1991 and weighed 16 pounds. Today our MacBook Pro rental has thousands of times the RAM, storage, and power. The first, expensive 3D printers were likewise primitive, whereas today’s entry point is under $1,000 and high-end units use metal alloys and other materials. The dramatic drop in price augurs well for a future of decentralized production and greater customization—not to mention a huge reduction in shipping costs.
2. Smart TV Yes, Smart Watch No — From about 84 million shipments in 2012, smart TVs will reach 120+ million in 2014, says Forrester. Driving R&D is the fact that people now expect “TV” to include Netflix, a browser, and video chat, too. Apple’s iTV is in early development for a possible 2015 launch, and is rumored to have iCloud sync plus integration with iOS, Mac OS X, or both. The buzz is decreasing for smart watches, though, after unimpressive product debuts. Until they offer something unique, their time won’t come.
3. Fingerprint IDs — With Apple’s TouchID on the iPhone 5S, mobile/anywhere fingerprint security is here. Jayson DeMers at Forbes predicts that Apple will add the feature to “MacBook products later this year or next.” Anything requiring a high degree of security—password lists, home security systems, bank accounts—can benefit from TouchID. However, it is not bug-free, and folks are posting horror stories already. Apple needs to be way ahead of this potential crisis.
4. The Cloud Gets Mainstreamed — It is no longer novel, the cloud. Everyone has Sky Drive, iCloud, or a collection of cloud storage accounts. The boundary between what is “local” and what is “in the cloud” is fading, and in the coming year the distinctions will be obliterated in most people’s minds. Even firms with top-notch Xserve RAID arrays and massive amounts of local storage are leveraging free cloud accounts for mobile salespeople, social-media marketing campaigns, and conference teams.
5. Modern Consoles Merge Entertainment and Gaming — The first gaming consoles that deserve the “21st century” label are here: Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4. The Xbox is a huge success, winning the Black Friday sweepstakes, while the PS4 sold 2.1 million units in three weeks. With the Xbox One’s social media-style communication, players can cultivate followers, work together toward in-game goals, and flow in and out of TV, movies, games, music, socializing, and sports—or do two or three activities simultaneously. Serious fun!
So, how’d CRE Rentals do? We would love to hear about your predictions for the top tech trends for 2014. In the meantime, if you need the most current technology rental available for an upcoming short term project or corporate event, contact CRE Rentals – we’re here to help you today and in the future!