A couple of months ago I gazed at my e-crystal ball and published an overview of 2014 innovation. The first quarter of every year is always a good time to find out how the land lies and whether there are now distinct signs of progress in specific directions.
Of all the subject areas mentioned in that article I am pleased to see that the three I had highlighted as ‘high interest’ remain firmly at the top, with the Internet of Things blazing away and over 140,000 news articles written on the subject, which is ten times more than what has been written so far for 3D printing or wearable technology.
The Internet of things rules
That the Internet of Things (IoT) is at the top is no surprise. It’s a subject that excites journalists and politicians alike, a simple concept to explain, but immensely more complex to implement (see my article on this topic of April 2013) and as such it receives wide media coverage, together with substantial amounts of government funds too. The UK alone has committed £45M on the project, announced by the Prime Minister at recent CeBIT summit and more dosh is available across Europe and elsewhere – little surprise it generates such interest as commercial gains could also be enormous.
3D printing and wearables are neck and neck and I predict that we will see a lot more media interest on these, but fewer real applications aside from science labs for the former and a few early adopters for the latter, though a smartwatch by Prada or Gucci might change all that… As for Google goggles outside exhibitions and specialist conferences I haven’t seen anyone wearing them and I suspect it will remain thus for a while longer and not until prices decline to much more acceptable levels, or until a couple of media and entertainment celebs would start wearing them, perhaps.
But what about some of the other innovations like super high definition TV, e-government and so on? Well, I can comfortably predict that super high TV will definitely be widely available and at more accessible prices too from some time this year. Samsung is already launching a 28” 4K monitor in the US this summer for under $700 so there is no reason to doubt that this technology will not be more established by the end of 2014.
As for the poor memristors we may have to wait until 2018 or beyond…. and some of the other stuff will probably continue to remain in the realms of journalistic imagination. That’s all until the next technology overview, probably in mid summer.