It is the time of the year again to look into my sometimes cloudy crystal
ball and predict what devices, services and technologies will be popular in
2014. We’ll look at what is a “must have”
and what you might want to avoid.
For sure we will see more and more internet related services and devices
in the new cars. Already we have
internet radio, navigation systems that watch out for traffic jams and smart
phone apps that will remotely start your car on that cold winter morning. Real time diagnostics now available on some
high end models will find their way into the mid- priced models. Dashboard idiot lights will begin to give way
to technologies that constantly monitor all the car’s critical systems sending reports
in real time to the manufacture that can send back tweaks to fix the issue while
you are driving or contact you to arrange a visit to the closest dealer’s
Once only available to the super rich and super tech smart, home automation
systems will get more affordable and simple to program and use. Using the smart phone or tablet as the
controller, inexpensive interface devices can be installed in home heating, lighting
and security systems. On your way home
from the weekend at grandma’s house, you can turn up the heat so it is warm and
cozy when you arrive. Many home products
stores carry plug and play devices that a non-technical person can install.
The TV in the family room will continue to serve as a display screen for
multiple video sources. Seamless
integration of video from broadcast, cable, satellite, DVD
and the Internet will be done for you.
It will be difficult to tell if your favorite program is coming from the
TV network or from the cloud. This will
increase the amount of programming available on demand and will enable “binge
watching.” Binge watching allows you to
watch an entire series, like Downton Abby,
in one sitting.
Added pressure for a la cart pricing will be put on some of the large
cable TV providers as subscribers bridle at paying monthly fees for services
they never watch. Program services like
ESPN receive an average of $5 per month from each cable subscriber even if not
a single program is watched. With
internet delivered competition offering a pay as you go option, look for some
changes in how your cable bill is structured.
The continued slide in the sale of traditional desktop and laptop
computers will continue as more and more of us use tablets and smartphones for
many of the tasks once only possible on a computer. The prices and features will get more
attractive on traditional computers so if you do find you need to replace that
old clunker, you will not break the budget.
Some of the “also rans” in 2013 like 3DTV will see sales continue to languish
and the adoption of the ultra HD screens will also be sluggish until more
programming is available and the TV set prices fall. Both will happen but most likely not in 2014.
Labels: 3D TV, binge viewing, Cable al la carte pricing, home automation, Ultra HD