• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
5m 41s

10 technology trends to watch in 2014

By Chenda Ngak/CBS News 6:16 AM December 31, 2013

Drones, glasses, watches, privacy, and more expected to alter day-to-day activities in 2014

1. Space tourism

Virgin Galactic is scheduled to become the first private commercial “spaceliner” to blast tourists into space, with an inaugural trip in 2014 carrying its founder, Sir Richard Branson. Branson and his children, Holly and Sam, will lift off on SpaceShipTwo from the Spaceport America in New Mexico.

Beyond 2014, a handful of private companies are also racing to bring tourists to space, including the ambitious Mars One colony trip to the red planet and Space Adventures’ trip to the moon.

2. Wearable tech

Ok, Glass. Show us the future. Google is expected to ship its groundbreakingaugmented-reality glasses to the public in 2014, expanding the wearable tech market.

Smartwatches like Samsung’s Galaxy Gear watch and the Pebble Smartwatch will continue to be more useful as developers create more apps for the devices. Health-tracking devices like the Nike Fuel Band, Jawbone Up and Fitbit Force will continue to drive the health technology marketplace into the mainstream.

3. Internet of things

At the 2013 IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, technology company Philips demonstrated a concept called the HomeCooker Next that could time cooking, change temperature and stir food — using a smartphone. The Nest thermostat not only can control your home’s temperature remotely, it also learns your behavior and makes adjustments accordingly.

The networking of our physical world will continue to boom in 2014. Connected devices are no longer just limited to smartphones and computers. Everything fromdoor locks and home appliances to bikes and watches can now be networked.

4. Robots on the rise

Will the machines become self-aware in 2014? We certainly hope not, but advancing technology in robotics and artificial intelligence are definitely on the rise.

Google acquired a portfolio of incredible robots with its purchase of Boston Dynamics in 2013, including the CheetahPetman and Atlas, making spectators wonder what the tech giant has planned for the machines.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is challenging robot-makers to address the need for rescue workers in dangerous emergency response situations. The DARPA robotics challenge is underway and will have finals happening at the end of 2014. Winners will receive a $2 million prize.

5. Machines in the sky

Keep an eye on the sky in 2014 because unmanned aerial vehicles – or drones – are about to become a big part of the airspace.

Amazon made a big splash when CEO Jeff Bezos on “60 Minutes” revealed plans for a drone that would deliver packages in 30 minutes. But a handful of other drones garnered attention in 2013, including drones that could deliver beer at a festival and pizza to a home in the United Kingdom.

In 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released its first annual roadmap to address concerns that are arising with the increased use of drones in American airspace, paving the way for clear regulations of the flying devices. The FAA recently announced the locations of six drone test sites in the United States, setting the stage for what could be the next booming industry.

6. Bigger, smarter TVs

Just watching movies and shows on TV won’t cut the mustard in 2014. A growing market of smart TVs will continue to expand, with more households having the option to browse the Internet, launch apps and have social interactions through their TV sets.

LG is planning to release a feature that lets users communicate with smart home appliances, using a mobile messaging app called Line, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. Samsung’s smart TVs will soon let users use voice command and gestures to change the channel, control the volume and stop videos. The two companies are also planning to show 105-inch curved 4K TVs at CES.  Samsung has already begun selling a 110-inch TV in South Korea for a whopping $150,000.

7. 3D printed everything 

Need a new iPhone case? There’s a printer for that. The future of 3D printing is bright and may hit the mainstream soon. According to growth projections by IDC, 3D printers units will have a compound growth rate of 59 percent and revenue growing by 29 percent from 2012 to 2017.

Hobbyists aren’t the only ones that have use for 3D printers – the medical, aerospace and automotive industries are also using 3D printers.

8. Multi-screen world

Spoiler alert: Live-tweeting TV shows is now a thing. As more mobile devices hit the market in 2014, so will more opportunities for a second-screen experience.

More TV programming will include hashtags to continue the conversation online, during breaks or after shows air. Apps like Zeebox notify users when a program is about to air, shows trending conversations online and highlights related content.

9. The fight for privacy

Privacy became a buzzword in summer of 2013, with the details of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs coming to light through leaked documents by former contractor Edward Snowden.

According to a July 2013 Pew Research survey, 86 percent of Internet users have taken steps to protect their digital footprint by using methods like encrypting their email or clearing cookies.

Privacy advocates may want to keep their eyes on several cases filed against the U.S. government in 2013 that are still pending. NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander will retire in 2014, which could spark a new round of conversations about privacy.

10. Smartphone market continues to grow

Not everyone has a smartphone, but that will eventually change. One prediction by Credit Suisse says that over 1 billion smartphones will sell worldwide in 2014, getting a boost from demand in China. According to IDC, smartphone shipments in China’s growing market are estimated to hit 450 million in 2014 – compared to an estimated 360 million in 2013.

Latest Stories

  • News

    5 new AST K-9 teams hit the streets

    by Dave Leval on May 26, 21:04

    Graduation Day at the Alaska State Troopers headquarters. Six AST K-9 units, and one from the Department of Corrections, are now better trained to find illegal drugs. Troopers now have six dog teams for drug detection, but, two of them, Mocha and Mak, are different; they’re the first dogs to not be trained to sniff […]

  • Man guilty of raping woman with Down syndrome

    by KTVA Web Staff on May 26, 20:56

    An Anchorage man has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman with Down syndrome. Police say the assault occurred at a Penland Parkway trailer in June 2013. A witness told police that 36-year-old Michael Carl “raped the handicapped girl”. Carl will be sentenced in August; he could face up to 15 years in prison.

  • Politics

    Report: Kushner proposed secret communications with Russia

    by CBS News on May 26, 20:16

    President Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser, Jared Kushner, proposed to the Russian envoy that a secret communications channel could be set up between the transition team and the Kremlin, the Washington Post reported Friday. This would involve using Russian diplomatic facilities to prevent the monitoring of conversations between top Trump officials and Russia, according to […]

  • A possible glimmer of hope for America’s ailing honeybees

    by CBS News/Associated Press on May 26, 20:12

    WASHINGTON — There’s a glimmer of hope for America’s ailing honeybees as winter losses were the lowest in more than a decade, according to a U.S. survey of beekeepers released Thursday. Beekeepers lost 21 percent of their colonies over last winter, the annual Bee Informed Partnership survey found. That’s the lowest winter loss level since […]

  • News

    US plans test of intercontinental-range missile intercept

    by CBS News/Associated Press on May 26, 20:04

    WASHINGTON — Preparing for North Korea’s growing threat, the Pentagon will try to shoot down an intercontinental-range missile for the first time in a test next week. The goal is to more closely simulate a North Korean ICBM aimed at the U.S. homeland, officials said Friday The American interceptor has a spotty track record, succeeding […]

  • News

    Inside the Gates: National Guardsman brews success

    by Bonney Bowman on May 26, 19:58

    Like many careers, full-time Alaska National Guardsmen have busy lives. But many members still find time for hobbies, like one who brews award-winning beer. Lieutenant Colonel Britt Reed invented the Blackhawk Bock, a traditional German-style beer. Despite a demanding job as commander of the National Guard Blackhawk helicopter unit on Joint Base Elemendorf-Richardson, he said […]

  • News

    Juneau: The Amsterdam of Alaska?

    by Liz Raines on May 26, 19:52

    Could Juneau become one of the biggest destinations for pot tourism in the world? The City and marijuana retailers are hopeful. More than 10,000 tourists a day will step onto the docks in downtown Juneau this season. Even if just 10 percent of them were interested in consuming cannabis, that’s a thousand people; the City and […]

  • News

    Troopers, APD step up patrols for holiday weekend

    by Heather Hintze on May 26, 17:42

    People headed out of town for the long holiday weekend might notice extra traffic enforcement, as Governor Bill Walker has asked Alaska State Troopers to work together with the Anchorage Police Department to keep the Seward Highway safe over Memorial Day weekend. APD will have officers from mile 112 near McHugh Creek to mile 75 […]