2014 Tech Predictions

So, its that time of year when every man and his dog comes out with their predictions for the coming 12 months and so I thought, why not join them? After all, I’m usually bang on with most of my predictions.. !

The drone

Drones have been around for a very long time and so the media hype around them has been quite amusing to watch.

For years the defence industry has been using unmanned aircraft for surveillance purposes and kids have been able to build and fly model airplanes.

Why then is it any surprise that drones are becoming more popular and potentially commercialised as a delivery device?

I think drones will really have their year in 2015 but, with 6 USA states granting air space for domestic drone testing in 2014, we have an interesting few months ahead of us. (

With 4G capabilities beginning to cover the UK and USA, the potential for high quality video relaying from a drone in addition to GPS capabilities will result in some great developments.

Issues surrounding safety will probably cause the largest problem with large-scale rollouts but, I honestly think we’ll see our skies occupied by drones sooner than we might have expected and it’s something I’m excited about…as I build my first racing drone ;)


The indie games console

There have been a few attempts recently to build a games console that is more ‘open’ than existing offerings from the giants – Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. But, will 2014 be the year that a credible mass-market device launches?

Running an operating system like Android could be possible but, what hardware would run it? What controllers?

I’m not too convinced that Android is the ideal operating system for such a device but, it definitely could be forked into some other mutant as Samsung seem to have fun doing.

I’d predict that there is a demand for such a console though, an affordable one which would bridge the gap between a high-end games console and mobile devices.

As an indicator just how much demand there is for this kind of concept, look at how successful Kickstart project, OUYA, has been! –

The starter computer

The ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga and BBC Micro all helped a generation learn to code at the same time as having fun playing games.

Our games machines of today only really allow us to consume and the devices capable of coding are, in my opinion, too geeky for kids to learn on.

So, when will we see the re-launch of a commercially viable device that can do both again?

Raspberry Pi tried to bring coding to the masses with it’s very cheap unit but, honestly, I don’t see how a 10 yr old will easily self-learn to code a fun game quickly and easily on this device. You also need loads of bits just to get the command prompt on a screen – keyboard, PSU, cables etc.

Where has the idea of a simple little unit like a ZX Spectrum gone??

All it needs is a simple coding language that an average 10 year old could learn and then have great fun playing some of the best games.

Also, it’d have to be affordable and open enough for established coders to target and develop for.

Such a machine, at a great price point of circa £99 could be a massive hit.

If it doesn’t happen in the first three months of 2014 I might get on and start the project, unless…Kano is the massive success which it looks like it might be? (

But then, it still uses a Raspberry Pi. Although making the Pi more accessible, I still believe the OS and access to coding are prohibitively complex compared to the older platforms I’ve mentioned. We‚’ll see though!


The wearable watch

Apparently Apple have created a killer team of fashion designers and engineers who are about to unleash the coolest watch we’ve ever seen.

I‚Äôm not convinced…I mean, I lived through the 80s and although the digital watch was popular, it didn‚Äôt exactly wipe out the Swiss watch industry. I‚Äôm still saving for my Omega and can‚Äôt see any Apple watch distracting me away from a classic ‚Äòengineered‚Äô watch (

But, hey ho…Samsung have got one on the market so I guess every other tech company should as well?

Only with diamonds on it may I be tempted…

So, there are some predictions for 2014…what are yours? Let‚Äôs re-group in 12 months and see what happened!