Technology races ahead at an alarming rate. It can be difficult to keep up with, even for those of us who are in the industry. There is always some new idea, new product, new way of thinking that is going to change the industry completely, and they are always stacked on top of one another. While most of them might not pan out quite the way their developers hoped, there are those select few that stick.
So here is our list of the 13 things we are excited about for 2013, and what changes the tech industry has coming:
1. Mobile Optimization
People have said that 2012 was the year when mobile really took off. The increased attention and use of mobile devices, the ability to work from anywhere and the expectation that we will work from everywhere.
So what are we going to see in 2013? Well, first things first. If your business website is not optimized for mobile use, you had better change that fast. With so much communication and engagement happening online, and with much of that online interaction now taking place from mobile devices, you need to make sure your website is optimized for mobile use.
2. The Mobile Office
Next, the mobile office. If your employees are not already set up to work from home, either through remote access, VPN, or cloud-based services, that is something that you are going to need to change. Telecommuting is becoming much more widespread. The ability to work just as efficiently from home not only allows parents the potential to feel more involved with their children and families, but also gives businesses a great way to keep costs down- when you don’t need a big office, or any office at all, you trim a huge amount of expenses from your budget. For more information on how to work from home, read this blog post.
3. Touch Screens
With every major organization jumping on the smartphone/touchscreen bandwagon, we are only going to see this market grow. Touch technology is going to get more sensitive, more intuitive, and developed into different industries than just phones and tablets.
4. Motion Sensors
Motion sensors will also become more popular this year, and not just for gaming purposes. The Kinect may have started off the trend, but this industry will grow far beyond interactive video games. For example, there is a product called the Leap Motion, which is being targeted primarily for business uses. This technology will allow you to do things like open a document or answer the phone with just a flick of your hand.
5. To The Cloud
It seems like every year the prediction is that this will be the year your business moves to the cloud. Well…why break tradition? The Cloud is still an incredibly popular buzzword in the industry, and more and more organizations from all different industries are figuring out how to use the Cloud to help their businesses. Not only that, but many new cloud-based services are being developed, especially industry-specific ones. So maybe this year will be the year your entire business actually makes the big Cloud move.
6. Everyone wants in
The two major players in the current tech market? Apple and Microsoft. But in 2013 we are going to see more and more companies try to break into the current industry popularity in different ways. For example, there are rumors that Amazon will be putting out a new Kindle Phone, and that Firefox is developing its own operating system. The question will be- can they survive against the big players?
7. Other parts of our lives get “smart”
We now have cars that parallel park themselves. A suitcase that will follow you around using bluetooth technology. Even an app that controls your pet’s food dispenser. Everything is going high-tech. In 2013 we can only expect these developments to grow in quantity and quality. There have been rumors that some automakers are testing a car that has apps displayed on your windshield, to help minimize the risk of texting while driving. There have even been tests of a flying car. So while we don’t yet have the hoverboards like in Back to the Future II, we really aren’t that far off.
8. Wireless charging
Plugging in our devices in such a pain. And luckily, someone has developed a way to eliminate that annoyance from our lives (which is really what technology is all about). Wireless charging. Either through proximity, laying on a special mat, or bluetooth technology, you will no longer need to plug in your devices to charge them. Now, while this wireless charging technology is already out on the market, it is not that widespread yet. But in 2013, it is going to look to gain momentum and popularity as it smooths out any issues and opens up to a wider market. To read some reviews on wireless chargers available today, click here.
9. Medical goes Mobile
2012 saw a huge boom in the amount of apps related to health and medicine, particularly fitness and nutrition. In 2013 though, the mobile market is going to be introduced to more clinical apps related to medical needs, as opposed to general health and fitness needs. For example, there may be apps on the horizon that help keeps track of a patient’s medical history, or that allow doctors to remotely control a clinical trial. While it will undoubtedly take time for these apps to become widespread, we will definitely start seeing more of them this year. For more information, read this article from The Washington Post.
10. 3-D Printing
This particular technology has such far-reaching possibilities, for so many different industries. The printer is able to produce a 3-D model from a design, made of strong, versatile, plastic. While this technology is already out there, it is incredibly expensive and only for commercial use. But, in 2013 we can expect that price will significantly drop to the point where it may actually be affordable for small business and even personal use.
11. Google Glasses
Throughout the past year we have been seeing many teasers for Google’s “Project Glass”. Forget having smartphone functionality on your car windshield, Google has actually designed eyeglasses. Not only will you be able to do things like text and use maps, but you can also take pictures and record videos. Although at this point we are still only seeing teasers of what is to come, the rumor is that by late 2013 Google Glasses will be available for purchase.
12. Big Data takes over
The term “big data” has recently become a much more popular buzzword. Basically, the idea of big data is that pretty much what it sounds like- huge amounts of data. Because of the amount of information now available through various developing technologies, people are able to measure and analyze much more data than ever before. The issue now becomes storing and working with this data. To learn more about what “big data” means, click here.
As big data becomes more widespread in 2013, we are going to see an increased need for better and more efficient ways to store data, and the traditional data storage facilities could gradually fade out of the picture, simply due to the fact that they will not be able to keep up with the amount of storage space needed for the huge quantities of data. According to Gartner, organizations will begin to move from a single data storage warehouse to multiple systems, which will include data warehouses as part of a larger strategic data management network.
So many new technologies and technology strategies are on the horizon for us. And, since we continually build off of everything that came before, the pace at which these changes happen keeps speeding up. It sometimes seems impossible to keep up with everything. That is where you come in. Although keeping up with new technologies and educating ourselves on how to use the most current tech fad are not new ideas, the international spread and fast-pace at which people will need to keep up with technology are going to become even more prominent in 2013. So how will people stay on top of it? Simple. By using the technologies that already exist to the fullest possible extent. So, make sure you are following great people on Twitter, Liking Facebook pages, and subscribing to really informative blogs. Because as the technology industry keeps speeding up, you don’t want to be left behind.
What technology are you really excited about for 2013? Let us know in the comments!