2013 saw NASA successfully 3D-print space tools, drones enter civilian life and Google Glass assist surgeons in the operating room. Now, as wearables reach critical mass, digital currency gains credibility and gamification systems become commonplace, 2014 is also set to be a year of technology milestones. In this blog post we take a look at some of these emerging technologies and how they will impact industries this year.
Augmented Reality (AR)
AR is fast gaining credibility as a valuable tool for customer engagement and information sharing. Industry applications range from interactive trial rooms for retailers to virtual test drives for car manufacturers. AR is expected to touch a CAGR of 132.2% by 2018 as infrastructure including machine vision improves and AR apps enter the market. Insiders expect that rising industry demand and the widespread anticipation of Google Glass will drive traction for AR in 2014.
With the number of mobile subscriptions exceeding the planet’s population and mobile sales currently accounting for 1 in 10 e-commerce dollars, mobile commerce represents a significant opportunity for B2C businesses. Mobile marketing optimization has taken on a new level of importance particularly in light of Google’s findings that 81% of conversions occur within 5 hours of mobile searches. As more and more millennials become the target market for businesses, robust m-commerce strategies with seamless design, data security and mobile wallets will be trending this year.
This breakthrough technology is set to experience explosive growth in 2014 with the expiration of key patents that previously restricted market entry. In addition, low-cost printers and consumer-facing models will allow individual users to design and print their own products. Industries will employ printers to drastically reduce production time, improve prototyping and enable on-demand customization. 2014 will even see NASA install a 3D printer in the International Space Station and Rolls Royce print its own jet engine components.
The widespread availability and use of inexpensive sensors is driving the wearable device boom. While the fitness and healthcare verticals will continue to remain primary adopters, the use of sensors for performance optimization will also increase enterprise adoption. According to Forrester, piloting of wearables will be seen from 2014 to 2016 and mainstreaming will occur in the following years. This year, wearables are set to become ‘smarter’ with gesture response capabilities and cloud integration alongside a focus on improved battery life to support increased functionality.
With big data systems being used for improved customer insights and enterprise data security, data-capture technologies such as sensors and RFID are taking on a vital role in the modern enterprise. 2014 will see many traditional companies monetize their data-capture points while data visualization tools will gain greater significance. In fact, Gartner predicts that big data-capturing from smart devices alone will be the driving factor behind an expected $3.8 trillion expenditure on IT in 2014.
With these technologies growing in adoption, sophistication and recognition, 2014 will see them mature and cement their position across verticals and industries. What technology trends do you think will make their mark in 2014 and how else do you think it is going to enter our lives? Please leave your comments below