Dan Swinhoe (Global) - Most Wanted Tech 2013: B2C

Gizmos, gadgets, thingies and whatsits. As long as it beeps and lights up, people want it. This Christmas the number of tablets people receive will be equalled only by the number of Brussels sprouts left on plates, but what's going to be the big thing in 2013?

Flexible & Wearable Phones/Augmented Reality
Whatever happens, mobile stuff will be big next year. But aside from the usual millions of smartphones, things might be getting all futuristic. Samsung are reported to be working on ‘Project J', involving indestructible and invincible screens, and competitors are rumoured to be working on similar ideas. Advancement in technologies such as Graphene mean in theory this is possible, but the jury is still out on whether this will actually be a reality before next Christmas.

Meanwhile Juniper estimates wearable devices like Google Glass will be worth up to $1.5 billion by 2014. Right now the market is extremely pricey - a pair of hi-tech ski goggles with built in HUD display, for example, would set you back a cool $800. It's only a matter of time before they become cheaper. Microsoft is vying to get in on augmented reality glasses and a Japanese company has created an interactive train window. 2013 could be the year this tech moves away from a funny app on the phone to a viable, everyday occurrence.

Whether it's Instagram projectors, e-ink watches, ambitious computer games or just precision-machined dice, crowd-funding is big news. The concept is easy; come up with an idea, ask for money, and the money is only collected once you've met your target. It's successful too; last year Kickstarter raised $100 million. Got an idea? Have a go - you could find it's a winner.

Next Gen Consoles
Whether you're rooting for Mario, Master Chief, or Solid Snake, 2013 might have something in store for you. Nintendo's Wii U will be on this year's Xmas and next year's birthday wish list of every youngster in the land, while the kids and students who never grew up will be waiting impatiently for the Xbox 720 and PS4 praying to the great 1UP Mushroom in the sky that they keep motion sensors as far away from their gaming experience as possible.

A spanner in the works however, could be Valve. The Half-Life creators say they are planning to bring their Steam platform to a new console-killing device in your lounge sometime next year. Normally such threats would be laughed off, but don't rule them out of becoming a major player.

Robots have always been, and always will be, incredibly cool. I don't know if it's just me, but there seems to be more and more people building seriously impressive ones lately. Whether it's giant four-ton mechs (sit-in or remote-controlled) real-life transformers or ones to possibly help with the Fukushima clean-up, robots are coming. Good job Cambridge University has set up a research centre to assess the threat of artificial intelligence then. You know, just case robots enslave humanity.

More Apple
New iPhone? Almost certainly. New iPad? Yep. Apple TV? Who knows. Whatever products get released bearing that little fruity symbol, expect them to sell millions. People just can't get enough burnished chrome. Their stocks may have looked a little shaky recently, but 2013 will probably see Tim Cook's company amass enough cash to buy the moon. And then patent it.


By Dan Swinhoe, Editorial Assistant, IDG Connect


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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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