Top Tech Predictions for 2014

Alan Kay once said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” My last post will be about technology breakthroughs that will disrupt the status quo in 2014.

 I’m very interested in technology breakthroughs we will see in the next year. The list of disruptive technologies, global trends and “next big things” contains predictions that will come and will be adapted in 2020-2025. These lists are made by the most respectful national agencies, consulting companies and research agencies such as Gartner, IDC, McKinsey, Bain, AT Kearney, AICPA. Mainly they extrapolate the current trends in economy, technology, science, society into the future. Thus, they get those lists of “next big things”. So, what will be technology breakthrougs in terms of potential economic impact and capacity to change our lives in 2014?

I’ve analyzed predictions from Gartner, IDC, IEEE Computer Society, IBM and Juniper. This resulted in Top Tech Predictions Map for 2014. You can download it here. Short review showed that every analytical agency agreed that the following technologies will have capacity to disrupt in 2014:

  • 3D printing,
  • Cloud Computing,
  • The Internet of Everything
  • Mobile Devices and Mobile Internet,
  • Big Data and Analytics

Several words about how analytical agencies have identified technologies that matter. Gartner, IDC, McKinsey and others have different criterias for identification of “next big thing”. However, all these foresight techniques have something in common. First, they use extrapolation methods. Second, they apply the following set of shared criterias:

  • strategic technology has the potential for significant economic, social impact
  • technology should be disruptive and rapidly advancing/experiencing breakthroughs
  • economic impact of technology is potentially disruptive

Top Tech Predictions for 2014_background

General predictions

IDC’s Frank Gens predicted that 2014 “will be about pitched battles” and a coming IT industry consolidation around a small number of big “winners.” The industry landscape will change as “incumbents will no longer be foolish enough to say we don’t compete with Amazon.”

Overall IT spending to grow 5.1% to $2.14 trillion, PC revenues to decline 6%

Worldwide sales of smartphones (12% growth) and tablets (18%) will continue at a “torrid pace” (accounting for over 60% of total IT market growth) at the expense of PC sales which will continue to decline. Spending on servers, storage, networks, software, and services will “fare better” than in 2013.

Emerging markets will return to double-digit growth of 10%

Emerging markets will account for 35% of worldwide IT revenues and, for the first time, more than 60% of worldwide IT spending growth. “In dollar terms,” IDC says, “China’s IT spending growth will match that of the United States, even though the Chinese market is only one third the size of the U.S. market.” In 2014, the number of smart connected devices shipped.

R&D spending among the Global Innovation 1000 (publicly-traded companies) will grow at about 6% and reach a total amount spent of US$676 billion in 2014 (US$638bln in 2013).

The top 100 companies on the list accounted for 45 percent of the R&D spending growth and more than 60 percent of the total spent on innova-tion, and the top 20 companies alone made up almost a quarter of both total spending and spending growth. Together, three sectors—computing and electronics, healthcare, and auto—accounted for 65 percent of overall R&D spending, about the same proportion as last year. But this year the software and Internet sector overtook comput-ing and electronics as the largest contributor to the growth in R&D spending.

 R&D spending 2013

Corporate Changes

Here comes the social enterprise

IDC predicts increased integration of social technologies into existing enterprise applications. “In addition to being a strategic component in virtually all customer engagement and marketing strategies,” IDC says, “data from social applications will feed the product and service development process.” By 2017, 80% of Fortune 500 companies will have an active customer community, up from 30% today.

The digitization of all industries

By 2018, 1/3 of share leaders in virtually all industries will be “Amazoned” by new and incumbent players. “A key to competing in these disrupted and reinvented industries,” IDC says, “will be to create industry-focused innovation platforms (like GE’s Predix) that attract and enable large communities of innovators – dozens to hundreds will emerge in the next several years.” Concomitant with this digitization of everything trend, “the IT buyer profile continues to shift to business executives. In 2014, and through 2017, IT spending by groups outside of IT departments will grow at more than 6% per year.”

According to Booz & Co of the US$ 638 billion that companies in 2013 year’s Global Innovation 1000 spent on R&D, about $52 billion was allocated to procuring, deploying, and supporting digital enablers. This trend will continue. Digital enablers are often categorized as Productivity Enablers (IT tools for increasing operational efficiency and baseline productivity) and Market & Customer Insight Enablers (tools focused on understanding market and customer needs).

The Digital Tool Landscape_2013

Estimated R&D Spending on Digital Enablers by Industry_2013The Internet of Everything

Need connectivity, internetworking to link physical and digital.

The Internet is expanding beyond PCs and mobile devices into enterprise assets such as field equipment, and consumer items such as cars and televisions. The humanity will take advantage of mobile devices’ and sensors’ ability to observe and monitor their environments, increasing the coordination between things in the real world and their counterparts on the Web. The problem is that most enterprises and technology vendors have yet to explore the possibilities of an expanded internet and are not operationally or organizationally ready. Imagine digitizing the most important products, services and assets. The combination of data streams and services created by digitizing everything creates four basic usage models – Manage; Monetize; Operate; Extend. These four basic models can be applied to any of the four “internets” (people, things, information and places).  Enterprises should not limit themselves to thinking that only the Internet of Things (i.e., assets and machines) has the potential to leverage these four models. Enterprises from all industries (heavy, mixed, and weightless) can leverage these four models.

By 2020, the Internet of Things will generate 30 billion autonomously connected end points and $8.9 trillion in revenues. IDC predicts that in 2014 we will see new partnerships among IT vendors, service providers, and semiconductor vendors that will address this market. Again, China will be a key player:  The average Chinese home in 2030 will have 40–50 intelligent devices/sensors, generating 200TB of data annually.

In short term Internet of Things will result in the following active areas:

Wearable devices will proliferate
Google has Glass and Samsung has a smartwatch, but Apple’s iWatch and many other smart wearable technologies are coming out soon. Juniper says 2014 will be a “watershed year” for wearable — but privacy will be an issue as cameras go everywhere.See how Google Glass could change our lives for the worse, how competitors are already shipping smart glasses for vertical markets, and what Apple might do with an iWatch.

Mobile fitness devices will grow even bigger
On my desk I’ve got a sleep bracelet that someone snapped on my wrist at a conference, a Jawbone Up, and a Fitbit Flex. In 2014, these mobile fitness devices will start to focus on the whole range of health and start to enter the tougher and more challenging healthcare industry.See more details on the proliferation of mobile fitness devices, a fitness bracelet that actually knows what you’re doing at the gym … and a smart shirt that knows your emotions — and if you’re having a heart attack.

Future Technologies

Device context awareness will accelerate

More wearables, more devices, and more intelligence: Our devices are going to get smarter about where we are, what we’re doing, and what they can do to help us. Google Now is a good current example, Juniper says. See how some think Google has now beat Apple’s Siri, and what some think are the top 10 wearable technology design principles.

In long term we will see how Cities get smarter.

In the 1960’s Jane Jacobs argued that cities were not just places in which people live, but important platforms for innovation.  When lots of people with diverse interests and skills collide together in one place, new ideas get created. Vibrant cities are essential to a vibrant society.

Yet putting so many people so close together also creates tensions.  Traffic jams, blight and crime can make cities difficult to live in and maintaining infrastructure is a constant battle.  By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in cities, greatly magnifying both the opportunities and the risks.

Cities will get increasingly smart as sensors and cloud-enabled apps connect transportation, metering, healthcare, lighting, and environment data, and make it actionable. See what Sensity is doing, building a billion-node planetary network of sensors — in street lights. IBM’s Smarter Cities program combines sensors in the Web of Things with predictive analytics, so that cities will see problems before they arise.  So instead of just informing us when traffic jams occur, a traffic report of the future will tell us where they are likely to happen and suggest a different route. Also, see what IBM is doing in San Francisco and Cisco is doing in Lake Nona, Florida

Mobile Devices and Mobile Internet

Mobile Device Diversity and Management

Through 2018, the growing variety of devices, computing styles, user contexts and interaction paradigms will make “everything everywhere” strategies unachievable. The unexpected consequence of bring your own device (BYOD) programs is a doubling or even tripling of the size of the mobile workforce. This is placing tremendous strain on IT and Finance organizations. Enterprise policies on employee-owned hardware usage need to be thoroughly reviewed and, where necessary, updated and extended. Most companies only have policies for employees accessing their networks through devices that the enterprise owns and manages. Set policies to define clear expectations around what they can and can’t do. Balance flexibility with confidentiality and privacy requirements

Mobile Apps and Applications

Gartner predicts that through 2014, improved JavaScript performance will begin to push HTML5 and the browser as a mainstream enterprise application development environment. Gartner recommends that developers focus on creating expanded user interface models including richer voice and video that can connect people in new and different ways. Apps will continue to grow while applications will begin to shrink. Apps are smaller, and more targeted, while a larger application is more comprehensive. Devlopers should look for ways to snap together apps to create larger applications. Building application user interfaces that span a variety of devices require an understanding of fragmented building blocks and an adaptable programming structure that assembles them into optimized content for each device. The market for tools to create consumer and enterprise facing apps is complex with well over 100 potential tools vendors. For the next few years no single tool will be optimal for all types of mobile application so expect to employ several. The next evolution in user experience will be to leverage intent, inferred from emotion and actions, to motivate changes in end-user behavior.

Mobile money will continue to grow — as will “mAgri”

Mobile money is enabling banking and financing systems in the developing world via mobile wallets, which should continue to grow both there and in developing countries. And as mobile grows in Africa and Asia, so will the provision of data, including data on better crop management, yield, and product tracking.See the latest data on howmobile penetration in Africa is reaching 80 percent and how African companies are using mobile payment solutions like mPesa.

iPads and tablets will grow in education

Tablet computing is increasingly attractive and affordable in education, Juniper says, and are likely soon to go mainstream in place of full desktop PCs or even laptops.See what Apple and LA Unified School District are doing in a potentially “hundreds of millions” deal and how even the OLPC (one laptop per child) is going tablet.

Cloud Computing

There’s a $100 billion cloud in our future

Spending on cloud services and the technology to enable these services “will surge by 25% in 2014, reaching over $100 billion.” IDC predicts “a dramatic increase in the number of datacenters as cloud players race to achieve global scale.”

Public Cloud Services Market by Segment 2010-2016 Gartner

Cloud service providers will increasingly drive the IT market

As cloud-dedicated datacenters grow in number and importance, the market for server, storage, and networking components “will increasingly be driven by cloud service providers, who have traditionally favored highly componentized and commoditized designs.” The incumbent IT hardware vendors will be forced to adopt a “cloud-first” strategy, IDC predicts. 25–30% of server shipments will go to datacenters managed by service providers, growing to 43% by 2017.

Hybrid Cloud and IT as Service Broker

Bringing together personal clouds and external private cloud services is an imperative. Enterprises should design private cloud services with a hybrid future in mind and make sure future integration/interoperability is possible. Hybrid cloud services can be composed in many ways, varying from relatively static to very dynamic. Managing this composition will often be the responsibility of something filling the role of cloud service broker (CSB), which handles aggregation, integration and customization of services. Enterprises that are expanding into hybrid cloud computing from private cloud services are taking on the CSB role. Terms like “overdrafting” and “cloudbursting” are often used to describe what hybrid cloud computing will make possible. However, the vast majority of hybrid cloud services will initially be much less dynamic than that. Early hybrid cloud services will likely be more static, engineered compositions (such as integration between an internal private cloud and a public cloud service for certain functionality or data). More deployment compositions will emerge as CSBs evolve (for example, private infrastructure as a service [IaaS] offerings that can leverage external service providers based on policy and utilization).

Cloud/Client Architecture

Cloud/client computing models are shifting. In the cloud/client architecture, the client is a rich application running on an Internet-connected device, and the server is a set of application services hosted in an increasingly elastically scalable cloud computing platform. The cloud is the control point and system or record and applications can span multiple client devices. The client environment may be a native application or browser-based; the increasing power of the browser is available to many client devices, mobile and desktop alike. Robust capabilities in many mobile devices, the increased demand on networks, the cost of networks and the need to manage bandwidth use creates incentives, in some cases, to minimize the cloud application computing and storage footprint, and to exploit the intelligence and storage of the client device. However, the increasingly complex demands of mobile users will drive apps to demand increasing amounts of server-side computing and storage capacity.

The Era of Personal Cloud

The personal cloud era will mark a power shift away from devices toward services. In this new world, the specifics of devices will become less important for the organization to worry about, although the devices will still be necessary. Users will use a collection of devices, with the PC remaining one of many options, but no one device will be the primary hub. Rather, the personal cloud will take on that role. Access to the cloud and the content stored or shared from the cloud will be managed and secured, rather than solely focusing on the device itself.

The public cloud is the NSA’s playground, some might think. So they’re turning to private cloud solutions and network-attached storage devices, right in the home. See how Pogoplug is now powering over one million personal clouds, and how BitTorrent Sync is starting to displace public file-sharing and cloud storage companies.

Emergence of the Mobile Cloud

Mobile distributed computing paradigm will lead to explosion of new services.

Mobile and cloud computing are converging to create a new platform—one that has the potential to provide unlimited computing resources. Mobile devices are constrained by their memory, processing power, and battery life. But combined with cloud computing, data processing and storage can happen outside of mobile devices. What IDC calls the “Third Platform” will allow for better synchronization of data, improved reliability and scalability, increased ease of integration, anytime-anywhere access to business applications and collaborative services, rich user experiences, and an explosion of new services.

Scientific Cloud Computing

Key to solving grand challenges, pursuing breakthroughs.

Scientific computing has already begun to change how science is done, enabling scientific breakthroughs through new kinds of experiments that would have been impossible only a decade ago. It is the key to solving “grand challenges” in many domains and providing breakthroughs in new knowledge, and it comes in many shapes and forms: high-performance computing (HPC), high-throughput computing (HTC), many-task computing (MTC), and data-intensive computing. Big data is generating datasets that are increasing exponentially in both complexity and volume, making their analysis, archival, and sharing one of the grand challenges of the 21st century. Not surprisingly, it becomes increasingly difficult to design and operate large scale systems capable of addressing these grand challenges.

Web-Scale IT

Web-scale IT is a pattern of global-class computing that delivers the capabilities of large cloud service providers within an enterprise IT setting by rethinking positions across several dimensions. Large cloud services providers such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc., are re-inventing the way IT in which IT services can be delivered.  Their capabilities go beyond scale in terms of sheer size to also include scale as it pertains to speed and agility. If enterprises want to keep pace, then they need to emulate the architectures, processes and practices of these exemplary cloud providers. Gartner calls the combination of all of these elements Web-scale IT. Web-scale IT looks to change the IT value chain in a systemic fashion.  Data centers are designed with an industrial engineering perspective that looks for every opportunity to reduce cost and waste.  This goes beyond re-designing facilities to be more energy efficient to also include in-house design of key hardware components such as servers, storage and networks. Web-oriented architectures allows developers to build very flexible and resilient systems that recover from failure more quickly.

Big Data

Bigger big data spending

IDC predicts spending of more than $14 billion on big data technologies and services or 30% growth year-over-year, “as demand for big data analytics skills continues to outstrip supply.” The cloud will play a bigger role with IDC predicting a race to develop cloud-based platforms capable of streaming data in real time. There will be increased use by enterprises of externally-sourced data and applications and “data brokers will proliferate.” IDC predicts explosive growth in big data analytics services, with the number of providers to triple in three years. 2014 spending on these services will exceed $4.5 billion, growing by 21%.

From Big Data to Extreme Data

It’s more than the three Vs—volume, velocity, and variety—that make big data such a difficult tiger to tame. It’s that the technology world hasn’t quite caught up with the need for trained data scientists and the demand for easy-to-use tools that can give industries—from financial and insurance companies to marketing, healthcare, and scientific research organization—the ability to put the data they gather into meaningful perspective. The current era of extreme data requires new paradigms and practices in data management and analytics, and in 2014 the race will be on to establish leaders in the space.

A special issue of Computing in Science and Engineering will explore the challenges of extreme data, and the solutions for accelerating insights and a July/August issue of IEEE Micro will discuss big data’s burden on the compute infrastructure.

Software Defined Anything

Software-defined anything (SDx) is a collective term that encapsulates the growing market momentum for improved standards for infrastructure programmability and data center interoperability driven by automation inherent to cloud computing, DevOps and fast infrastructure provisioning. As a collective, SDx also incorporates various initiatives like OpenStack, OpenFlow, the Open Compute Project and Open Rack, which share similar visions. As individual SDx technology silos evolve and consortiums arise, look for emerging standards and bridging capabilities to benefit portfolios, but challenge individual technology suppliers to demonstrate their commitment to true interoperability standards within their specific domains. While openness will always be a claimed vendor objective, different interpretations of SDx definitions may be anything but open. Vendors of SDN (network), SDDC (data center), SDS (storage), and SDI (infrastructure) technologies are all trying to maintain leadership in their respective domains, while deploying SDx initiatives to aid market adjacency plays. So vendors who dominate a sector of the infrastructure may only reluctantly want to abide by standards that have the potential to lower margins and open broader competitive opportunities, even when the consumer will benefit by simplicity, cost reduction and consolidation efficiency.

Smart Machines

Through 2020, the smart machine era will blossom with a proliferation of contextually aware, intelligent personal assistants, smart advisors (such as IBM Watson), advanced global industrial systems and public availability of early examples of autonomous vehicles. The smart machine era will be the most disruptive in the history of IT. New systems that begin to fulfill some of the earliest visions for what information technologies might accomplish — doing what we thought only people could do and machines could not —are now finally emerging. Gartner expects individuals will invest in, control and use their own smart machines to become more successful. Enterprises will similarly invest in smart machines. Consumerization versus central control tensions will not abate in the era of smart-machine-driven disruption. If anything, smart machines will strengthen the forces of consumerization after the first surge of enterprise buying commences.

3-D Printing

 While very expensive “additive manufacturing” devices have been around for 20 years, the market for devices ranging from $50,000 to $500, and with commensurate material and build capabilities, is nascent yet growing rapidly. The consumer market hype has made organizations aware of the fact 3D printing is a real, viable and cost-effective means to reduce costs through improved designs, streamlined prototyping and short-run manufacturing.

3D printer sales will jump
Worldwide shipments of 3D printers are expected to grow 75 percent in 2014 followed by a near doubling of unit shipments in 2015. 3D printers were hot in 2013, but they’ll increase significantly over the next 12 months, Juniper says, as HP, Samsung, and Microsoft join the party. See how even the space station will get its own 3D printer in 2014, and why 3D printing and guns make good bedfellows.

New tools, techniques bring 3D printing power to masses.

New 3D printing tools and techniques are empowering everyone from global corporations to do-it-yourselfers to create new devices and realize new concepts more quickly, cheaply, and easily than ever—from car parts, batteries, prosthetics, and computer chips to jewelry, clothing, firearms, and even pizza. A future where digital functionality can be “printed into” a physical object will continue to be built on in 2014, driven by new toolkits, services, and platforms and innovative business models and processes, such as online 3D printing bureaus and crowdfunding sites. Digital fabrication is revolutionizing the way that hardware is designed, prototyped, and produced. Advances in additive processes like 3D printing, and subtractive processes like laser cutting have increased the quality, speed, and ease of physical prototyping while simultaneously bringing down costs.

Lifestyle Changes


Electronic government, e-government, or digital government refers to the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to provide and improve government services, transactions, and interactions with citizens, businesses, and other arms of government. Interoperability is essential to broad success in e-government. Challenges emerging in this area focus on e-government interoperability in cloud computing, open government, and smart city initiatives.


1. Balancing Identity and Privacy (Growing risks and concerns about social networks)

Social networks have quickly become the key organizing principle of Internet communication and collaboration. Although Internet-enabled social networks offer tremendous opportunities, widespread interest in and growth of these systems raises new risks and growing concerns. For instance, social network users can be bullied, their pictures can be stolen, or their status posts can reach unwanted audiences. Even when profiles don’t list any information, social graphs can be analyzed to infer personal information. Risks are also related to identity management because, in these social scenarios, an individual’s online identity, which is strictly related to reputation and trust, is less and less virtual and has more and more impact on real, offline life. A battle now exists between individual privacy and the interests of the system at large.

2. Smarter Privacy and Protection

In the next five years, technologies will be scaled down to the consumer level. So instead of comparing me to everyone else, potentially suspicious behavior will be compared with my own electronic persona.  It will, for instance, recognize that I just got off a plane and expect me to make purchases in a that city, but not another.

Smart and Connected Healthcare (Intelligent systems, assistive devices will improve health).

Computing plays an important role in many facets of our lives, increasingly so in aspects of individual and social well-being. Individual health is encouraged with the development of intelligent systems, apps, gadgets, and mobile systems that focus on diet, exercise, and information provision. Medication, surgery, and assistive devices rely on intelligent systems to analyze data and human responses, guiding the implementation and management of therapies and interventions. In addition to work that focuses on individuals, there is a proliferation in use of intelligent systems for large-scale analysis of biomedical data, socially relevant data, and metadata, such as the spread of disease or certain health-habits in populations.

Doctors treat us based on what performs best statistically.  However, everybody is different, so a drug that might be ineffective or cause an adverse reaction in some people might be safe and effective for others.  If we could identify how drugs interact with patients beforehand, a lot of lives could be saved and improved.

That’s the future of personalized medicine.  IBM predicts that in five years, your doctor will be able to sequence your DNA in only a day.   She will then access cloud-based systems like WatsonPaths that will provide recommendations based on the most up-to-date clinical and research information.

So, in the future, your doctor won’t just be playing the averages, but will treat you at the DNA level.   She will be able prescribe the drugs and treatment protocols that will be most effective for your specific body chemistry, while minimizing dangerous side-effects.

Smarter Classrooms

Amanda Ripley’s bestselling book, The Smartest Kids In The World, had the education world buzzing this year.  Two of its central themes were that American students have drastically fallen behind the rest of the world and that one of the chief reasons for our drop in international PISA rankings is that we educate some kids, but let others fall behind.

While not a panacea, technology has the potential to make a big impact and education is increasingly becoming a focus in tech circles.  From Sal Khan’s Khan Academy to Joel Klein’s Amplify, instruction is being integrated with assessment, allowing educators to develop customized programs and provide real-time monitoring for each student.

IBM’s own effort, Smarter Education, is developing large-scale integrated solutions for educational institutions.  The company recently teamed up with the Gwinnett County School System to create a program that will combine predictive modeling and content analytics with traditional classroom learning.

In the future, every student’s electronic persona will follow him throughout an academic career.  So, if a child has trouble with a certain skill, such as fractions, his next teacher will know that from day one and be able to design a personalized curriculum to help him get up to speed, rather than letting him fall behind even further.

Smarter Cities

Supporting New Learning Styles

Online courses demand seamless, ubiquitous approach.

These days, students from all corners of the world can sign up for online classes to study everything from computer science, digital signal processing, and machine learning to European history, psychology, and astronomy–and all for free. As interest in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) continues to explode, there will be a corresponding need for technology to support these new learning systems and styles. Platforms such as Coursera, with more than 3 million users and 107 partners; and edX, a partnership between Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University with 1.7 million users; are hosting classes with thousands of online enrollees each. And although lectures are still the mainstay of MOOCs, the classes require web forums, online meetups, and keystroke loggers to check identities, as well as powerful servers to handle the volumes. MOOCs and other new online classes are creating a demand for learning that is seamless—happening continuously via different technologies; ubiquitous—drawing from pervasive and embedded technologies; and contextual—drawing awareness from location-based and other sensor-based technologies.

 Smarter Stores

Undoubtedly, the great retail success stories of the last generation have been Amazon and Wal-Mart. By continually innovating their supply chains, they have been able to increase performance while cutting costs.  It almost seems that, with their hyper-efficient operations, nobody else really has a chance.

Yet look a little closer and it becomes clear that the story is not so simple.  According to a recent US Census report, e-Commerce accounts for less than 6% of total retail sales.  Customers, it seems, want more than a logistics company with a retail storefront, but seek an immersive, personalized experience.

Clearly, the future of digital commerce is the omnichannel and IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative seeks to transform traditional retailing for the digital age.  The company predicts that in five years, advances in augmented reality, wearable computing and location-based technologies like Apple’s iBeacon will make buying online seem positively quaint.

So you can imagine that in the future, when you walk into a store looking for casual shoes, your smartphone will be able to search the store’s inventory and recommend options based on your purchasing history.  Then you can send a request to a salesperson, who will bring you the models you want to try on and assist you further.

China’s Low Cost Hi-end Technologies

China still have a competitive advantage of low cost labor. Even though, the wages started to go up, China is able to produce very cheap products and have established the whole industry of quick copycats. An example could be iPhone 5s and other hi-end smartphones.

Ouya and other “microconsoles” will disrupt home gaming

PlayStation and Xbox may have captured all the recent headlines about gaming systems, but Ouya is only 20 percent of the cost of the latest Xbox. As such it — and other cheap interlopers — pose a threat at the low end of the market, while other computer-based gaming systems pose a threat at the high end.See how Microsoft is turning the Xbox One into the center of your digital home and which of the two mega-consoles is likely to win. And, why some feel the Ouya is a better buy.

Next-generation mobile networks

LTE subscribers will double and 4G LTE will start to roll out

LTE will hit the bigtime, Juniper says, with global users doubling in 2014. And even faster networks will debut.See how T-Mobile and other U.S. carriers already have most of the USA covered with LTE, and how you can even get free LTE data.

Mobile infrastructure must catch up with user needs

Ubiquitous mobile computing is all around us, not only when we use smartphones to connect with friends and family across states and countries, but also when we use ticketing systems on buses and trains, purchase food from mobile vendors, watch videos, and listen to music on our phones and portable music playing devices. As a result, mobile computing systems must rise to the demand. The Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update projects that global mobile data traffic will increase 18-fold between 2011 and 2016. Many systems in urban areas take advantage of robust networking infrastructure, gigabit-bandwidth backbones, high-speed relays, and unlimited power and recharging capabilities. However, many operate within degraded network, power, or computing environments, such as for first-responders in a catastrophe, mobile phone users in remote regions or countries with degraded communication infrastructure, or when millions of people watch fireworks and overwhelm the local networking infrastructure. In these scenarios, the needs of mobile customers can outstrip the infrastructure’s capacities and result in degraded performance. Researchers must develop tools, middleware, and applications that can help with these quality-of-service issues.

That’s it for this year! Wish you Happy New Year and Good luck! See you after holidays.



7 thoughts on “Top Tech Predictions for 2014

    • Dear Mike, you are absolutely right. Some of this tech trends are not new. Media buzz have been surrounding these areas fore more than а year. But there is nо direct correlation between media attention (even in scientific journals) to the topic and real socioeconomic impact. This year and following years will give us tremendous outcomes in terms of revenues and disrupting lifes & other industries.

    • Agree Ed. My questions will be:
      1. What is potential economic impact? Could you assess how big will be the industry in terms of money? Or just send me good research about it.
      2. How this will change lives of people in 2014?

  1. Ignores the elephant in the room — dismal software quality.
    As the internet of things becomes more encompassing the inverse of Metcalf’s Law (the failures due to bugs will increase as the square of the number of bug-laden programs that interact) will bring things to a halt. Hardware reliability is declining as of 2012 and fault-laden software is in the rise.
    A big change not noted herein will be the rise of software integrity assessment technology.

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