Three Predictions for Tech In 2014

Exercise will become fully connected

January is the perfect time of year for fitness fanatics, so it’s just as well that it coincides with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Here, tech companies from across the globe gathered recently to show off their latest innovations – and in 2014, it was health and fitness tech which dominated the showcase.

Whether you’re jogging in the sunshine or sorting out your sleep patterns, in 2014 you’ll have a catalogue of software to help you reach your physical peak. Those of a more athletic persuasion will find themselves spoiled for choice this year, with several fitness-monitoring devices hitting the market. For those having trouble juggling leisure and lifestyle, the news is particularly positive. Innovations such as LG’s Lifeband Touch allow you to tackle your fitness goals whilst you tend to your emails.

Or if you are strictly business when it comes to fitness, you might be interested in the Jaybird Reign, a fitness tracker capable of monitoring which type of activity its wearer is engaged in, and how intense the exercise is. During down-time, it works to track the optimal time of day to begin exercising, and recommends which days the wearer should gather more rest.

And with the popularity of fitness trackers on the rise, other technologies have started to enter the fray. LG took the opportunity at CES to introduce their new Heart Rate Earphones, whilst Lumo BodyTech exhibited LumoLift, the posture-correcting patch for combating chronic slouching. And if you’re looking to improve your backhand, Babolat’s new Play racquet comes laden with technology, and is able to build up a complete profile of your tennis style.

Smart TV will replace the Tablet at home

Smart TVs continue to go from strength to strength, and 2014 looks destined to be a truly revolutionary year in the history of television. LG are already one of the UK market leaders – and their best continues to get better in 2014, as they’ve proven with the unveiling of their latest Smart TV range.

The introduction of webOS (which you may remember they acquired from HP in March 2013) to their latest range of Smart TVs has culminated with the arrival of LG’s most responsive interface to date. Web access, HDMI connectivity, and a plethora of software are all easily accessible thanks to Launcher, the shuffling taskbar which sits at the bottom of the screen, and the “past-present-future” interface, which tracks software usage and builds up a profile of the user.

Plus, being an open source, HTML-based program, webOS opens the door for App Developers to get stuck in – meaning a potentially endless stream of software could be available. With all of these features in the same place, there will now exist a fully responsive, fully connected interface sat at the heart of the family living room. And whether you’re keen to shop on the web or play games, you’ll be doing it around the TV rather than on your mobile or tablet.

Anything that can be digital, will be digital

Perhaps the most surprising series of technology to emerge from this year’s CES has been the sudden explosion of connected appliances. The digital landscape is gradually redefining the common household, bringing each of our traditional household products into the 21st Century. Soon we may find ourselves controlling every aspect of our domestic lives from our smartphones, our cameras, and even our watches – and this evolution has already begun.

LG were once again at the fore, showcasing their HomeChat technology, which allows users to (as the name would suggest) chat to their household appliances. As crazy as it sounds, the implications for this style of technology are huge, as LG have already set about creating networks between home appliances and allowing people to control their appliances remotely – whether that means preheating the oven before you arrive home or finding out how much milk you have left in the fridge.

And LG were only scratching the surface of the potential range of technology soon to be available. Homes may soon benefit from dishwashers that can assess the dirtiness of dishes and microwaves that can figure out how long to cook a meal. Whirlpool even introduced a cooktop which doubled as a touchscreen tablet, allowing recipes to be displayed adjacent to the boiling pots and pans.

What do you think? Do you believe that 2014 will change the way we think about traditional tasks? What was your favourite innovation at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show? Let us know by posting a comment below.

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