As technology progresses faster and faster, new releases may seem to happen at supersonic speeds that force the entire industry into new regions previously untapped by digital networks. However, all of these so-called “new arenas” actually merge together to form larger patterns. In 2013, the touchscreen tablet dominated the hardware world for computing, while massive cloud platforms dominated the software world. In 2014, this focus will shift as more and more Americans begin to focus on using specialized apps and exploring new ways of remaining connected during everyday life.
The world of mobile computing will primarily focus on finding new places to insert technology into every aspect of life. Traditional accessories such as watches, pens and glasses will face stiff competition from products like the Samsung Gear, Google Glass, or any of the new smart pens that instantly convert writing into a digital document. With these new smart devices will come a complex digital ecosystem for each tech giant, a network designed to give consumers instant access to anything, anywhere, at any time.
Though mobile computers inspired a revolution by instantly connecting people to their peers, the even larger change will occur once homes start joining the network. Many companies such as Comcast, Charter, AT&T and Time Warner are attempting to make homes “smart” by connecting them to the Internet and enabling people to control them from any location. Right now, consumers can already adjust thermostats, turn lights on or off, control outlets and play music. In the future, these connected homes will learn a family’s daily schedule and automatically adjust the settings of the home for maximum efficiency.
In terms of software, the rise of smaller networks such as Snapchat will continue to gain popularity. Specialized apps that focus on particular aspects of video, image, text and audio messaging, rather than trying to do everything at once, will go head-to-head against the major platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. However, these same tech giants may develop new solutions to try and steal back users, so people should be aware of the constantly changing technology environment and try to see how technology can best aid them.