by December 23, 2013 0 comments

“Two trends will continue in 2014: mobility and data analytics. But what’s new is that a convergence is on the horizon – automobile companies will start collaborating with data companies; mobile device makers will partner with healthcare institutions. Industry lines will blur and experts in one field will soon be experts in another.”

[image_library_tag 505/90505, style=”float: right;” alt=”dhawan-symphony” width=”146″ height=”197″ ,default]2013 has been an incredibly interesting year in technology. From the explosion of data analytics and the continually growing smartphone and tablet markets, to new software platform and product advances in vertical markets like energy and healthcare, a unifying theme common in all of these sectors is the connected experience. From living rooms to automobiles, these innovations are enabling real-time connectivity for consumers and businesses alike. But then the question comes, what does the future hold for 2014?

For one, we can certainly expect accelerated adoption and increased demand for connected experiences across industries and around the globe. The driving force behind it is a confluence of technology developments, infrastructure support and consumer demand. Together they will bring new, disruptive solutions in 2014 and a few industries in particular are poised to undergo radical transformation. Let’s begin with my favorite, the auto sector.

Connected Vehicles
The automotive industry is moving at breakneck speed to make the promise of connected vehicles a reality for today’s drivers. Drawing from technological advancements, especially software improvements from auto and consumer electronics sectors, a generation of smart, connected cars has indeed arrived. But how effectively auto OEMs can install, integrate and manage these complex systems in vehicles remains a challenge. That’s why companies like General Motors, Ford and Jaguar Land Rover are tapping into the expertise and capabilities of consumer technology companies and service providers to integrate the car with the web and mobile devices that dominate consumer lifestyle today. The result? A truly, immersive connected driving experience is emerging where, for example, via a driver’s smartphone or the vehicle’s infotainment system, the car manufacturer can push notifications when it is time for an oil change or to even alert the driver that someone else has been driving the car.

The “Now” Retail
Like the auto manufacturers, the retailers will also make significant strides in 2014. By bolstering real-time analytics and omni-channel targeting, they are more intimately and digitally engaged with their customers than ever. From point-of-sale marketing to tracking customers’ social footprints to leveraging new open source analytical tools, retail will become more data-driven and serve up shoppers exactly what they want, when they want it. But these point solutions alone will not help retailers achieving greater customer engagement and sales. Instead, an ecosystem of retail management, services and integration providers will emerge to help retailers cost effectively extract actionable business insights from Big Data.

 

Devices to Wear
The pace of mobile innovation will not slow down in 2014, but the difference is, it will no longer be solely powered by smartphones and tablets – a new category of devices that one can wear will gradually take the center stage. The wearable devices market, estimated by Business Insider to reach 100 million dollars in 2014, includes bracelets, smartwatches and eyewears like Fitbit Flex, Google Glass and Samsung Galaxy Gear. The true key to wider adoption of wearable devices this coming year will be robust, flexible displays. Also keep an eye on non-traditional consumer electronics brands like Nike that may very well surprise us all.

No matter which industry you examine, two trends will continue in 2014: mobility and data analytics. But what’s new is that a convergence is on the horizon – automobile companies will start collaborating with data companies; mobile device makers will partner with healthcare institutions. Industry lines will blur and experts in one field will soon be experts in another. Not only will technology change as a result, but also our world will change. What will be the most exciting of those changes in 2014? Only time will tell.

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