Hollywood’s once high-tech future fantasies are not far off. Much of the technology depicted in films like 2001: A Space Odyssey is now reality, and smart houses like Eureka’s S.A.R.A.H. might be sooner than we think. But what will we see this year? Here are my top ten best guesses:
1. Old technology being used in a new way
This year will be about going back and using technology we already have in new ways. For instance, the new Ford Escape is reducing wind noise with pre-WWII technology. Many items that showed up at CES like the Nest, used old technology (thermostat) and applied new technology (internet connectivity and new interface) to create a gadget that has flown off the shelves.
2. Internet-capable features dominating the television market
With the popularity of devices like Roku and Apple TV, this will put more pressure on innovation in the world of television manufacturers. The next natural step will be for simplifying the connectivity for smarter and easier connected entertainment.
3. Near instantaneous media streaming
Current “4G” is considerably faster than 3G and is making headway towards the low-bandwidth, high-information capability of ITU’s official 4G standards.
4. Second Screen Experiences- a household term
With our attachment to mobile devices and The Sundance Film Festival’s introduction of “The New Frontier Story Lab” last year, it is likely we will see more films made for the second screen experience.
5. Cloud-based networking expansion
Cloud is not just for businesses anymore as seen this year at CES. Many companies are switching to cloud-based networks for accessibility and safety. To help pave the way, Cisco is delivering powerful innovations in its switching portfolio.
6. World-wide collaboration
With cloud networking, teleconferencing, and the increase in ‘co-working’, innovative minds across the globe will be able to work together to find solutions and create more amazing projects like the Bloodhound SSC project.
7. Connected Cars
With the increasing demand for our lives to be constantly connected to social media, car makers will continue to integrate applications to allow drivers to connect to their networks, the internet, and drivers around them.
8. Increase in assisted driving cars -- but not yet giving up the wheel
A car that can parallel park itself is appealing, but with many questions still unanswered regarding safety and legality issues, it is unlikely autonomous cars will be implemented for a few years.
9. Virtual assistants a must-have
Apple’s Siri stunned the world last year and was the main draw for the iPhone 4S. This year, competitors like Google and Windows are racing to produce their own versions of the virtual assistant.
10. Better than ever: voice recognition and control
Moving past recognition to comprehension, voice software is no longer just for smartphones as this year’s CES showed voice recognition being used in TVs, laptops, and remotes.
With the recent fulfillment of many past sci-fi fantasies, it is hard to tell what will come next. However, as we continue to make incredible leaps in technology we must challenge our minds even more to reach farther into the depths of our imagination. With the creative images of our wildest dreams and a little luck, we will continue to move forward and “boldly go where no one has gone before”.