At the beginning of each year, it’s possible to make predictions about the future of the tech sector simply by extrapolating from data in the latest Mary Meeker Internet Trends presentation, The Washington Post reports.
It doesn’t require a crystal ball to realize that smartphones and tablets will replace PCs, big data will continue to grow at an exponential rate, and nations such as China will play an ever-greater role in the development of the Internet. Below is an attempt at thinking big, at imagining how a number of emerging trends may combine in unique ways to create disruptive trends in 2014.
Google Glass becomes the must-have tech gadget of the year.
After flirting with wearable tech in 2012 and 2013, the consumer technology market is finally ready to embrace wearable computing as a full-on trend in 2014. And the biggest entrant in the wearable computing market is almost certain to be Google Glass. There’s been almost as much anti-hype as hype around Google Glass over the past 12 months, but it’s a safe bet that if Google Glass is cool enough for the runway models of DVF and the fashion spreads of Vogue, it’s also cool enough for the mainstream tech consumer who’s looking to move beyond the smartphone.
The first MOOC is fully taught by a machine rather than a human.
If you think about the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) as just a form of cheap distance education for people who can’t afford “the real thing,” then you’re not thinking far enough out of the box. Thus far, the traditional market leaders – elite universities such as Stanford, Harvard and MIT – have been at the helm of the MOOC movement.
That could change in 2014, if the first artificially intelligent machine begins to fully teach a MOOC — lecturing, grading and engaging with students the way a human professor might, thereby opening the door to new educational start-ups to challenge the entrenched incumbents by demolishing the current cost structure of higher education.