2014’s 14 Most Anticipated and Coveted Tech Products
2013 was like a tech lull. It was a year when consumers failed to see notable innovations or significant advancements in tech products. With the new year, everyone’s hoping for something new and amazing. Enough of the bumps in camera megapixel counts or the senseless increase in mobile display resolutions. Seriously, the 1080p displays of 2013 were already ridiculous; there’s just no sense going for 4K or even 2K resolutions. It’s time for more useful inventions and innovations.
Hopefully, the following products will break the spell of tech lull in 2013.
1. Flagship Smartphones
Samsung, Apple, Sony, LG, HTC, and several other smartphone manufacturers will be releasing their 2014 flagships. Flagship smartphones have been regular buzz-makers and they are bound to create the same amount of publicity in 2014. Sadly, rumors point to the senseless increase in display resolutions, camera MP counts, and increase in the number of processor cores. Some may add fingerprint or other forms of biometric sensors. Flagship smartphones will surely be popular topics of interest, but are unlikely to offer anything revolutionary in 2014.
2. New Tablets and More Phablets
Similar to smartphone flagships, tablets will also stir some buzz. New devices from Samsung, in particular, will overcrowd the market. Phablets will also become more popular not just in Asia that even Apple will start offering phablets, to finally fill the display size gap between iPhones and iPads.
3. Full Sapphire Glass Displays
Who does not want a more durable display? Good news for those who are tired of cracked or shattered screens – Apple has obtained a patent for sapphire glass production and cutting method. This could indicate Apple’s move to offer smartphones and tablets with hard-to-break displays. Sapphire is multiple times stronger than Gorilla glass. Diamond is the only crystal stronger than sapphire.
4. Foldable Displays
It’s time to forget about the blunders of the Samsung Galaxy Round and LG Flex. These smartphones with curved displays were uninspired innovations at best — or were they even deserving of the tag “innovation?” Hopefully, Samsung will be ready to release the world’s first foldable displays. They have already demonstrated the tech on CES 2014 in January. Here’s hoping to a fast-tracked commercialization of this display tech. It certainly beats the hell out of the gimmicky curved screens.
5. Improved Batteries
Displays have come a long way and so have processors. Maybe manufacturers should also start doing something about miniaturizing batteries to pack devices with higher amounts of power to adequately support more powerful processors and larger screens.
6. Google Glass 2
The succeeding iteration of the Google product that received mixed reactions is expected to become cheaper this year. Also, software upgrades will make it more consumer-friendly.
Sony and Samsung’s smartwatches failed to make Android-powered watches attractive to consumers. Will Apple finally make the smartwatch age happen? It’s difficult to tell but Apple is expected to release the iWatch this year, a device said to be fitness-focused.
8. Glare-Free Gorilla Glass
In mid-2013, Corning announced the development of a glass that has a significantly lower reflectance. Unfortunately, it is still not yet available on the market. Smartphones and tablets are not using it yet. Hopefully, this year will mark the mass availability of this impressive technology. Goodbye screen glare!
9. Thinner Xenon Flash Modules
One of the complaints of consumers in camera-centric smartphones is the lack of a xenon flash. LED flash modules can illuminate dark places to allow phone cameras to snap visible images. However, they are nowhere near the ability of xenon flashes to brighten dark scenes to enable the taking of decent photos in the absence of adequate lighting. With thinner xenon flash modules, we may see a thinner and sleeker-looking Lumia 1020 or a more low-light photography capable Xperia Z1.
10. Natural Language Search
Many are hoping that voice-based online searches will become much more improved in 2014. The likes of Siri and Google Now are good but there’s a demand for something more natural. Instead of being keyword-based, consumers can benefit from a voice-based machine interaction that relies on natural language. Google’s Hummingbird algorithm update is perhaps the most convincing proof that search is moving towards natural language based search as opposed to the traditional keyword-based system.
11. Cloud-Based Gaming
Sony’s announcement of the PS Now cloud-based gaming platform has signaled the nearing of the time when gaming consoles are no longer a necessity. There are still challenges that need to be addressed to make sure that PS Now delivers a gaming experience comparable to gaming with powerful consoles. Latency issues and other defects in Internet connectivity will be hampering a more successful PS Now implementation but tweaks and improvements are already being undertaken to make cloud-based gaming a defining moment for 2014.
12. Virtual Reality Headgear
Oculus Rift’s commercial release is expected to happen in 2014. Also, Sony might release their own virtual reality headgear this year or next year after they unveiled HMZ-T3Q, their virtual reality headset, on the most recent CES event.
13. Short-Throw Ultra High Definition Projectors
Projectors have the disadvantage of losing clarity, color vibrancy, and contrast as they are brought farther from the wall on which they are to project images. Thankfully, Sony and Philips have made improvements on their respective offerings to come up with short-throw projectors that are no longer miles away from LCD or LED TV display quality. There’s one problem though: the extremely expensive prices.
14. Significantly Cheaper 4K Big Screen TVs
In CES 2014, Vizio debuted their (truly) cheap 4K TVs in 50”, 55”, and 60” models. The 50-incher is priced at $1,000 only. Finally – the best news for the 4K revolution Sony wanted to materialize for a couple of years or so.
These are just some of the most desired tech products of 2014. Some may become available soon while others may have to wait for another year or two to be released to the market. They certainly make 2014 an exciting year for tech product fans.
Image attributed to