There are only a few months left of 2014, but throughout the year we’ve already seen some impressive advances in the tech world, as well as the increased popularity of existing items and devices. 2015 is sure to welcome a whole host of new and exciting technologies that we just won’t be able to resist getting our hands on. But for now, let’s review what we’ve seen so far in 2014 and discover the year’s technology trends.
Rise of the phablet
‘Phablet’ is starting to become part of the standard vernacular. Smartphones have begun to evolve into something bigger, with the phablet stealing a march on the mobile industry.
The smartphone presented a way for us to keep up with things on the go, using a number of apps to help us shop, play and connect with others. Then the tablet came along, offering a number of these benefits but on a bigger screen – without the benefit of a phone, of course.
Now the phablet is taking centre stage. The device offers the best of both worlds and is becoming the model of choice for many looking for a new phone. So popular has the phablet become, top smartphone manufacturer Apple is taking the lead of other phablet trailblazers like Samsung and creating its own version.
The tablet steps out
That isn’t to say the tablet has diminished in popularity – quite the contrary. Tablet technology continues to evolve and now more and more households can boast ownership of the powerful mini-computer.
Instead of being viewed as a luxury purchase, consumers are starting to see the potential of the tablet. Instead of carrying bulky laptops around, the tablet offers a neat, light and extremely stylish way to do work and catch up with the world on the go. Furthermore, parents are seeing the benefits tablets provide for kids, with educational apps and fun games keeping the little ones occupied for hours.
More and more manufacturers have branched out into creating these devices, with Toshiba one of the latest to expand on their selection of models. Be sure to check out Toshiba’s latest tablet, the Encore 2, available with the latest Windows 8.1 operating system. Also don’t miss the Excite Write, offering a 10.1-inch screen and running on an Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system.
Just when you think television technology has hit its peak, something new hits the market. It seemed there was nowhere to go when 3D television came crashing into our living rooms, but now Ultra-HD (or 4K) TVs have started to appear on the market.
These incredible televisions offer unprecedented picture quality. While HD was once the ultimate for watching TVs and movies in the most impressive clarity, the 4K TV now offers up to four times the picture quality of standard HD models. That’s pretty unbelievable when you think about it.
Now, other technology is following suit, with 4K Blu-ray players hitting the market to offer the closest thing to cinematic entertainment in the comfort of your own home. Once you see the incredible power of Ultra-HD TV, it’s unlikely you’ll ever want to watch TV and films any other way.
Social media continues to flourish
Social media has continued its status as one of the leading web services. Two key events in 2014 has emphasised the power that websites like Twitter and Facebook hold in the online world.
The first was the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The global football tournament exploded online, becoming the biggest sporting event on social media ever recorded. According to Twitter, some 35.6 million tweets were sent during Germany’s 7-1 thrashing of Brazil in the tournament semi-final, breaking the previous record of 16.4 million tweets sent during the earlier Brazil vs. Chile match.
Another social media phenomenon is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The task of pouring a bucket of cold water on your head, donating to charity and passing a nomination on has enjoyed unprecedented popularity on Facebook. It has stretched to all corners of the world and has even seen some top celebrities taking the challenge.
According to the BBC, charity ALS received $98.2 million in donations from July 29th to August 28th this year, with $2.7 million achieved during the same period last year. The event has helped to prove the power that social media holds.