Smart watches, convergence, 3D Printing, cloud computing, google fiber
Smart watches – once worn mainly by elite athletes and exercise buffs to track performance and mileage – have undergone somewhat of a transformation. These high-tech accessories can answer a call, notify you of emails and tweets, check the weather, and more. Meant to be used in conjunction with apps and/or your smartphone, these watches are extensions of your mobile life. Forbes recently reported on the top five smart watches of the year, check it out. Can you see the watches transforming from exercise add-ons to elegant accessories?
Journalists have been saying it for years, and in 2014, it’s more than safe to say that print and digital mediums have collided. This year, expect integration between your hard-copy and high-tech worlds in a more seamless way than ever. Between e-readers, e-newspapers, tablets, and plain ol’ magazines, the options seem overwhelming and confusing. But companies are working to fully integrate all their user experiences – that is to say, you can expect the same experience wherever you look. For instance, Microsoft recently unveiled its new operating system, Windows 8. By syncing the user’s account with all of their gadgets, the system offers an identical experience on all its devices, from laptops to tablets to the Windows phone. This trend has become the rule of thumb from large-scale corporations to smaller organizations.
No longer a sci-fi gadget from the distant future, and no longer a novelty device for companies with too much money on their hands, 3D printers can be found in use for everything from prosthetic limbs to wedding cakes. 3D printing allows for easy customization of almost anything. Imagine ordering a cool laptop case from Amazon and having it arrive at your door customized exactly to your liking, with barely any extra cost. It also helps prototypes of many products come to life for real-world testing. 3D printing can even be used to print clothing – no more searching for that perfect fit! Check out this in-depth piece from IEEE Spectrum’s online magazine to see the future of 3D printing.
No more taking huge tote bags to work to cart your paperwork back and forth – everything’s in the cloud! Imagine you’re a CEO – every time you hire a new employee, you have to buy the software they need and license it for use. They’ll need an email account, word processing tools, graphing software…with a cloud-based infrastructure, all they’ll need to do is log in. The cloud’s servers and processors do all the heavy lifting in terms of software and hardware, and allow for a private company space that can be accessed anywhere, if you so choose.
Google Fiber is the tech giant’s first foray into offering direct Internet service, and they aren’t taking baby steps. With download speeds of one gigabit per second (that’s roughly 100 times faster than the average American’s download speed), Fiber is poised to change how Americans get online and watch television. With its own TV service (at no extra cost when you get Google Fiber), Google knows how to be competitive. The ultra-fast and reasonably priced Internet provider has cable companies at a loss – which is good. Expect more competition for the best, fastest Internet at the best price.