2014 Top Trends In Technology

12/20/2013 11:52 am ET | Updated Feb 19, 2014

Technology is going to get crazier. Weirder. Easier and more maddening. Welcome to 2014 tech trend predictions. Some of these may appear next year and others later.

A lot of people will talk about wearable computing and eyeglasses with connectivity built in (like Google Glass). Yes, they will come. But there are others that I think the media are perhaps missing.


Wearable watches
(Dick Tracy style) that makes smartphones seem clunky in a way. Watches are small and out of the way until needed. Apple, Samsung and others will likely make this a big "breakthrough" next year as the device to have. Maybe another "iPhone" moment (a la 2007 Apple Steve Jobs iPhone debut that changed mobile).

Beyond glasses and watches, I made a list (and checked it twice). Here are some thoughts on trends I see coming in tech for you:

Micro experiences
Data-driven experiences made for humans to use in everyday life, not CMO marketing big data. In other words, data is for computers; experiences are for humans. In essence, data is not human language. An example "micro experience"? Tailored TV.

Fragmentation of media
Twitter is just the beginning of a wave of fragging media apart. It is the 'cableization' moment of media, doing to new media what cable did to broadcast. In other words, Twitter is the 'CNN' or 'HBO' of new media, opening up a field, just as Netscape opened up the Web itself. Nobody sees this yet.

TV and radio will be secondary to online experiences. Things will start online and head to old media.

New dating/relationship models will emerge in consumer Web.

Peer payment systems
Consumer payments will bypass banks and services like PayPal entirely. Peer to peer payments based on tokens/barter credits. Bitcoin is part of that but not all of it. Bitcoin is more like NetManage Chameleon browser, or GNN web guide... early but not the eventual winner.

Active apps
Active apps will supplant passive ones. Most/all apps today are passive, require the human to initiate the action. Apps will start to work on their own and help humans. Do things for us rather than have us click and instruct them all the time.

Multi-lingual services
will blur language/culture. English Web will blend with Chinese, German, etc. End user experience will be contextual based on user parameters.

Jobs will find employees
rather than employees find jobs. Data will find the best person for the job vs. having to "apply" or "post a resume" ... this flips the job board model on its head. It's not about using alerts or search filters either. Those are all 1999-era ideas.

Humming homes
will be monitored 24/7 by background apps that feed consumers relevant data and allow for managing way beyond turning off lights or setting alarms. Homes will be more of a corpus/biome. Humming with electronic life.

Consumer super-security
will rise and be baked into everything. Beyond virus protection or ID theft. Also faux ID/smoke screen personalities to protect data.

Holistic cars
Forget hybrids or electric. these cars will "self tune" rather than have to be manually tuned up. Like running optimizer on a PC.

Individual education
the digital generation realizes the pitfalls of "homogenized" state-run learning as expanded online courses open up self-directed education.

What do you think is coming in technology?