Some Things on My Radar in 2014

I like this time of year.  It' s great time to look at the year gone by and look forward to the new.  Here's a quick list of things I think will be interesting to follow in 2014.

1. TV Content Delivery Will Rapidly Start to Change

netflix.gif

Netflix officially became bigger than HBO (in terms of subscribers) this year. That's pretty crazy when you think about it.  Streaming is the new big thing.  Sites that illegally stream live sports and brand new movies are rampant and near impossible to stop, while services that provide a la carte movies and TV are are thriving.  People are deciding to work a little harder to get their content as long as they save some money and at the same happen to be avoiding things that suck about the way most people currently watch TV.  I think we'll see bigger changes in this space in 2014, and it will be great for consumers.

2. Marijuana Reform Is Coming Fast

I'll come right out and say it: It is unbelievable to me that marijuana; a *plant* that comes from the *earth*, that is far less dangerous a drug than alcohol or tobacco and in many cases provides physical aide to people, AND would be a good source of economic stimulation, is still illegal in most states.   Washington and Colorado made it legal for recreational use in 2013 and its likely we'll see more in 2014.  Did you see how much money Colardo made in the first day recreational use was allowed?  This could change our economy. 

3. Wearable Tech

fitbit-flex-xl.jpg

Google Glass and Apple's yet-to-even-be-announced-but-already-talked-about-too-much-already's iWatch are getting a lot of attention but I think it's devices like the Fitbit and Jawbone Up which track your motion are going to be bigger.  Some of these devices are able to track your heartrate and how deep you sleep.  I think the wearable that helps you with these things and not the one that helps listen to music or make a phone call will be the one(s) that make it big.

4. Tech In Tha House

philips_hue_starter_pack_iphone.jpg

It's called "home automation" and it's the next frontier of tech after wearables.  I think home automation could even be a bigger industry than wearable computing, and sooner too.  Have you heard of Philips Hue?  It's a cool way to control lights in your house.  Trust me it is __awesome__.  The Nest is doing well and now we have things like the Belkin smart slow cooker and "Mother" which is looking to help you with many more aspects of your life.  Some of this stuff is laughable, but there is huge potential for some really cool stuff to happen here.  I imagine a home where your mobile devices and more-so your *wearable* devices interact in concert with your home devices.  So much to think about!  

Here's a couple other things on my radar in 2014 that I don't think I'm all that qualified to talk about at length:

* U.S. combat troops (are supposed to) pull out of Afganistan by Dec 31 2014 
* Climate change - Have you noticed the weather is getting weirder?
* Renewable energy
* The bee death problem
* Orion spacecraft
* Personal drone technology 
* Google's self driving car and its purchase of a robotics company 

Initial Thoughts on Google Glass

Google has been making a lot of buzz in the tech news lately with Google Glass, a wearable computing device that looks like glasses with a virtual display over the eye.  They just announced an update to the UI and released a video about it this week:  

I do think this is the year of wearable computing (more on that soon) but a few initial thoughts on Glass:

  • How long does the battery last on this thing?  It seems so small I doubt it could be very long, then again bluetooth headphones do last a whil, but they aren't powering a camera along with everything els.

  • Seems like a great way to quickly pull up some info without using your hand.

  • Hands free video calling seems awesome and a great way to easily share something cool you are seeing with someone els.

  • A lot of the use of this device seems to be based on taking pictures and vide.  On a device this small I have to think the quality of pictures and video can't be that good.

  • What about people like me who wear actual glasses needed for sight most of the day. Will Glass work over my real glasses?  Doesn't look like it.

If Google handed me one of these today, you could bet your ass I would give it a try.

More info on the Google Glass website