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New Year - New Tech

By Hector Cisneros

Tech 3
Tech 3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Last year proved to be a real zinger for technology. Both good and bad guys were out in force. The NSA was recording all and criminals were providing hack-a-thons against big businesses and banks in an unprecedented way.  SAAS and Cloud Computing moves to the forefront as ubiquitous services for daily use. Landline telephones see the asteroid coming their way as their use is giving way to Smartphones and VOIP in large numbers. Twenty fourteen will make last year’s tech jumps seem like '50s reruns.

Voice Goes Mainstream

Voice access of data will become mainstream as people learn that Google Chrome (for desktops and mobile) supports voice commands. The billions of mobile users (both tablet and Smartphone including Android and Apple) will begin to use these features in vast numbers in 2014, primarily because these functions now work about 90% of the time. This tech will not just be limited to browsers and smart phones. It will begin to invade wearable tech and high tech appliances.

Cloud services will become ubiquitous as people learn how easy and important it is to protect their data. They will also discover that it is super convenient to have access to that data anywhere they have a connection 24/7. In addition, as security, issues continue to make headlines, consumers will move to the cloud to protect their files.

Lack of Security Will Become Bigger Than Ever

Internet Security will become a bigger problem in 2014 than it was in prior years. Twenty thirteen saw a large number of hacker attacks from organized crime, terrorist groups and nations such as the Chinese and Iranians.  The holiday season revealed two large security breaches at major retailers and this is just a taste of things to come. Since hacker tools are available to the public at large and since the prosecution of these crimes is lax, we will see a greater number of these events in the coming year. So much so, that now many banks that offer online services are now asking their users to accept personal responsibility for losses if the bank is hacked and your money is stolen. That’s right, many banks are now saying you are responsible for your losses if they are hacked! I expect this to create a backlash once people realize that their bank is no longer a safe place to keep their money!

NSA Back in the News

Spy vs Sci 558
Spy vs Sci 558 (Photo credit: Anonymous9000)
Speaking of security, the NSA is back in the news again, this time for collecting 194 million text messages a day in 2011. Recent leaks from Richard Snowden printed in The Guardian, revealed that project code named “Dishfire” was setup to collect “pretty much everything it can”. This has become quite a liability for the current president who ran on a platform that said he would put a stop to such NSA behavior! If you think any policy by this administration will curb NSA hacking and domestic spying, you should think again.

Now Software As A Service (SAAS), not to be confused with the NSA, will grow to new heights. Most large software manufacturers like Microsoft, Google, Apple, IBM, Intuit and others are expanding the availability of their mainstream products as cloud based applications. SAAS products have a lower cost of distribution and manufacturing and they generally produce more annual purchases than regular software sales. Plus, don’t forget consumer appetite for tablet and smart phone apps! Soon Apps will move to an annual renewal model! You know the big guys love those annual renewals!

Have Meeting? Will NotTravel

Remote online meetings will continue to grow mainly because gas prices are staying high and the cost of flying continues to rise. This form of marketing is making real inroads on face-to-face sales meetings. (Our web TV show is a perfect example of this phenomenon.) SAAS products save so much time and money that it’s a no brainer for businesses to use them to save time and money without really trying.  (They’re much more environmentally friendly than flying the friendly skies too.)

One product that has seen better days is now much in decline. Landlines will move closer to extinction, as more calls will be made via cell phones and VOIP system than their hard-wired cousins. The price savings are a huge advantage for cellphone and VOIP users, but the Big Bells must still maintain their legacy copper lines for a while until an equivalent VOIP/cellular exchange is created and fully implemented. All calls made today still rely on copper lines in some ways. However, in the not too distant future, an all-digital network will replace the current copper legacy network. 

Cyborg Satyr
Cyborg Satyr (Photo credit: Mechanekton)

All Kinds of New Bots

Recently we wrote about “The Robots are Coming”; drones were not the only automatons being used to generate publicity in 2013. Many companies are taking advantage of the public's fascination with robots. This widespread fascination has let many large companies like Honda, Google and Sony to produce robots that will soon be filling the consumer’s desires to own a droid of their own. This year’s DARPA competition was wildly popular and you can check it out on their site.

What To Wear in the New Year?

Wearable's will grow substantially this year - Google glass,  Smart Watches and other tech wearable's made a big splash in 2013. Expect to see more people adopting the second wave of these items in 2014. As with all tech 2.0 phases, adoption is where the first glimmer of acceptance of a new technology starts to take place. The 3.0 phase is where mainstream acceptance begins. In 2013 actually seeing someone wearing a high-tech wearable was rare. In 2014 however, expect to see smart watches, various smart eyewear and other tech wearable’s on consumers near you. Another emerging trend is wearables that interact with other devices and or track your behavior. (On today’s show we will interview Ashley Beattie with Kiwi Wearables.) These devices are designed to help the wearer understand and maximize their workouts and daily schedules.

Do Yourself a Selfy

Selfy (Photo credit: Verónica Bautista)

Selfy snap shot are now the rage. So much so that that a new trend of self-expression internet style has emerged dubbed the Selfy. Self-expression for the me generation. Digital makeup/facelift software use will also influence this trend. Until recently, the ability of the average consumer to create a digital facelift or touch-up was relatively rare. Now digital makeup/facelift software is becoming widely available and in some cases free. This will usher in the widespread use of these items especially among women where it will become just another way to look beautiful (albeit digitally) as the use of makeup and hair coloring is today.

Self Checkout is Back in

Automated self-checkout will grow. Prior to 2013 we saw the 1.0 and 2.0 versions of self-checkout at retailers in the US. Now we are seeing the 3.0 versions of these self-checkout machines and retailers have had several years to learn the logistics needed to make these services viable. Expect to see more automated checkout registers at large retailers like Wal-Mart and big box chains as they continue to strive to lower their operating costs to compete on price.

CES Cool Tech

CES 2010
CES 2010 (Photo credit:
Now for the cool new tech toys worth mentioning. The CES show revealed the latest and greatest new tech toys.  Curved, Big, Fast, High Res and 3D TVs are in (again)! The 3D LED curved smart TV display is really cool. Some are just really big (120 inches) and all are the new super high res. In addition, there are new curved flex smart phones that are also cool. They feel better and of course have all the latest updated screens and os’s. 3D printers being shown look to be plug and play and their prices are falling fast. This year’s CES has proven to have an explosion of new gadgets so make sure you check out our radio show links to get more details.

In this article I discussed many of the new high tech gadgets’ coming out this year along with my new tech predictions for 2014 and beyond. Understanding where technology is heading allows us to plan and adjust to change in a positive way. Staying on top of technological shifts allows many businesses to make critical decisions that will affect their profitability in the coming year. Technology always ushers in a new paradigm shift. We can either profit from it or at least be ready to deal with it. However, ignoring it is not an option. (Resistance is futile!)  If you found this article to be useful, share it with your friends, family and co-workers. If you feel you have something to add or just want to leave a comment do so below.   It has been my pleasure writing down my thoughts and sharing my 2014 predictions with you this year.

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If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, families and co-works. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment sections below. I hope you have found these questions and answers useful. Thanks for sharing your time with me.

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That's my opinion. I look forward to reading yours.

Hector Cisneros is COO and director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web To Win" on, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success.”

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