Want to know the top 10 buzz-worthy technologies that have been flitting around the internet this year?
We’ve collected some of the most trending and most promising technologies to hit the headlines this year…but just because they’re trending this year doesn’t mean they’ll make it very far.
In no particular order, here are 10 of this year’s most buzz-worthy tech trends:
1. Google Glass
Google Glass is one of those new technologies that inspires unease in many people. When Google released a limited number of test devices to test users, it quickly earned some wearers the nickname “glasshole.”
Despite the early criticism, however, Google Glass has continued to grow and the number of invites keeps increasing. Google has continued to add functionality, and research and development continues full speed ahead.
2. Oculus Rift
The Oculus Rift, another heads-up display, is designed specifically for gaming. It is quite a bit bigger than the Google Glass prototypes, but it is also quite a bit more immersive.
While Glass prototypes are designed to augment reality, the Oculus Rift headset is designed to plunge you into a new one. The technology is still experimental, but most reviews have been encouraging.
3. Apple Watch
The Apple Watch, scheduled for release in 2015, may be the big break that wearable technology has been waiting for. This device is designed to work in conjunction with the iPhone, and adds many new wearable-only features, such as health tracking, precise location monitoring, and more.
Developers and marketers are anxious to take advantage of the watch’s monetization potential. But will the Apple Watch begin a new revolution, or will it simply be more buzz?
Only time will tell.
4. 3D Printers
3D printers are another technology that have only recently hit the scene. MakerBot’s 3D printers are already in circulation, and allow users to construct 3D models directly from computer files.
The technology works by printing a 3D object from a material, such as plastic, in a series of layers. The layers are stacked from the ground up until the model is complete.
Though still in its infancy, this technology will almost certainly have a profound impact on manufacturing.
5. iPhone 6 and Amazon Fire Phone
The iPhone 6 exploded in popularity after its release, and people waited in very long lines just to get access to the much-hyped device. According to Tim Cook, the iPhone 6 was the fastest selling device in the company’s history. Despite a minor so-called “bending issue” and somewhat mixed reviews, the phones still sold strong.
The Amazon Fire Phone also garnered a minor buzz before its release: it is a 3D-enabled smartphone that includes 4 front-facing cameras, gyroscopes for location tracking, and features to enhance the shopping experience.
Two weeks after the phone’s release, however, sales dropped off significantly and Amazon shares declined by 10% near the end of July, 2014.
6. Electric Cars
Tesla motors, a $28 billion car company, is most notable for its electric car.
The company’s goal of building high-performance electric sports cars may seem grand, but they have even bigger dreams: to mass produce an electric car available for under $40,000 by 2017.
Despite the occasional setback – such as recalls and even a vehicle fire – the company continues to power forward and shows no signs of stopping.
7. Driverless Cars
Driverless cars are on the way, whether we like it or not. This is yet another technology powered by Google, and the results seem promising.
Driverless cars have already proven themselves to be almost as capable as humans…if not more so. They are more energy efficient, but they may also disrupt the automotive industries, mass transportation industries, and more.
This technology has already hit the pavement, but it will be a while before we see any major changes take place.
8. Space Ships
Virgin isn’t just a record company, it’s also a space company. The company’s space ships had received some hype and buzz earlier in the year, but once the Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashed, the excitement hit a roadblock.
Despite the negative press, the company continues to press forward and pursue its space program.
Will Virgin be the one to bring space flight to the masses? It may or may not, but they have shown that it is certainly possible, so it is bound to happen at some point.
9. Google Cardboard
Perhaps as a way to whet people’s appetite and make Google Glass more palatable to the masses, Google has created a semi-makeshift VR technology, Google Cardboard. This simple device allows you to combine your smartphone and everyday household items into a VR headset.
Developers can use the experimental SDK, the VR Toolkit, to create their own mobile VR programs.
Drones are already used by the military, but now major tech companies such as Amazon and Google plan to use them to offer same-day or same-hour delivery – or less. According to Amazon, those who have access to Prime Air will be able to have their package in 30 minutes or less using miniature drones.
The hold-up, in this case, may not be technology itself, but the FAA. According to Amazon, as soon as the regulations are in place, drones could be as common as mail trucks.
Most of the technology on this industry is more than just buzz. Technology such as 3D printing, driverless cars, Google Glass, and VR headsets will all have a profound impact on the world in which we live. Gadgets such as the Amazon Fire Phone, however, might not.