It's often difficult to keep up with the rapidly developing technology industry, as new items and groundbreaking technologies are introduced to the market almost on a daily basis. Not only staying up-to-date with today's technology, but also remaining ahead of the curve, involves a constant struggle in today's marketplace. Regardless of how you are connected to these trends in technology, there are electrical engineers in the middle of all the action. I was fortunate to virtually connect with Neeraj Tewari to get an insider's look at the technology which is sure to continue taking the world by storm.
With serious talks of the next digital paradigm becoming more frequent, it's believed that this new era won't be based on solid-state physics (the science that led to transistors), but instead on quantum information (the strange rules that govern the sub-atomic world). Neeraj Tewari is a longtime advocate of the electrical engineering degree for students today simply because of the growing demand for this skill in the workplace. He always stresses that electrical engineers do not only respond to technological advancements, but they also help drive them. "We work with the most cutting edge technology in large part because we're the ones cutting the edges," said Tewari.
With the stage set for an exciting 2014, Neeraj Tewari and I explored ten of the most talked about technology trends for the upcoming year.
1. Data Privacy
There is certainly a lot of talk surrounding the NSA snooping revelations, and data privacy is becoming more important than ever. In several instances, there are entire services and businesses emerging as "data-free," including Microsoft going to the extent of publicly denouncing the practice and pledging to work on encryption that prevents the NSA and other agencies from collecting personal data.
2. The Web of Things
In many ways, this is still in the beginning stages of development when looking at the potential impact that this technology can have on the future. Here, just about everything we interact with becomes a computable entity, allowing our smartphones to seamlessly connect with our homes, cars, and even objects on the street.
3. Ultra HD 4K Will Spread to Television and Phones
Improved mobile devices will be released that include Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors by the end of 2014, which can handle 4K video and completely revolutionize the way video will be viewed. Proof that this is happening now is the fact the both the FIFA World Cup and the Winter Olympics are being filmed in 4K, along with more content being released via Netflix, Sony and others throughout 2014.
4. No-Touch Interfaces
Many smartphone users are already familiar with no-touch technology thanks to voice recognition software integrated into their wireless devices. Smartphone users use apps like Google Now on Android and Siri on iOS for hands-free access to endless amounts of information. With advances in sensors and cameras, no-touch interfaces and devices will only continue to be integrated into daily life.
5. 3-D Printing
The growth rate of 3-D printers is projected to be 75 percent this year, with another large jump to 200 percent by 2015. Once thought to be impossible, the consumer market is now aware that 3-D printing is a real and viable means to reduce costs through improved designs, streamlined prototyping, and short-run manufacturing.
6. Wearable Technology
This technology is all the rage at the moment, but it is not a technology that will illuminate smartphones anytime soon. This technology involves a number of items and is a fast-growing category that includes any small piece of technology that can be worn on one's body. Research firm ABI estimates that this industry will hit $6 billion by 2018.
7. Large Cloud Services
Companies like Facebook, Walmart and Amazon have created a major force towards database systems and cloud services. From "eco-friendly" data centers to custom server hardware to distributed computing methods, these companies are using their strengths and capabilities to set new standards for IT architecture.
8. Personal Cloud Services
Because of the continued push for more personal cloud technologies, this trend will continue to evolve and shift more towards services and away from devices. These improved capabilities will make it even easier when having multiple devices accessing the personal cloud, and, in theory, will make overall data organization much easier in the very near future.
9. Online Video Streaming
With the demand of streaming video from the broadcast networks, your computer is no longer used to simply learn and laugh along with your favorite YouTube videos. The future of online streaming is happening at a remarkable speed. Data downloads are currently at about 17GB per month, but this number is expected to exceed 70GB per month by 2017. The future lies with the HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), which is the video compression technology that will make streaming 4K videos possible.
10. Social Networks That Are IT Policy Friendly
With the much talked-about rise of the millennial population in the corporate landscape, expect the continued shift in enterprise communication and knowledge management applications to rapidly continue. In the same way that email replaced paper memos and pagers, IT policy friendly social networks will continue to grow, as seen with the launches and successes of Salesforce Chatter, Microsoft Yammer and SocialCast from VMWare.
Technology Trends For 2014 Wrap-Up
It's certainly an exciting time for technology, especially for the many developers directly involved with the revolutionary breakthroughs that are changing the world we live in. In the middle of these developing trends are electrical engineers such as Neeraj Tewari, working tirelessly to make life easier and more productive for the global consumers. "The nexus of forces, the convergence of four powerful forces: social, mobile, cloud and information, continues to drive change and create new opportunities, creating demand for advanced programmable infrastructure that can execute at Web-scale," explained Neeraj Tewari.
Hold on tight: We are in the middle of an exciting time for the technology industry.