2013 is nearing its end. It is about the time when articles about holiday gifts will begin to dwindle and the year in review articles will pick up. And everyone’s favorite year in review articles are usually the top 10 lists. What better for me to write about than the top 10 technology news stories of 2013.
Top 10 Technology News Stories 2013
1. 3D Scanners and Printers
2013 is the first year that 3D printing is affordable enough for consumers. With the Sense 3D Scanner at only $399, you have a choice of buying the printer at $1,299 or just uploading your scans to Cubify and paying per object. 2013 is also the first year that we are seeing 3D printing popping up in the media. It played a major role in episodes of Bones, Grey’s Anatomy and The Big Bang Theory this past year.
The release of the new mobile operating system, iOS 7, was the first major successful upgrade since the death of Steve Jobs. The 2012 upgrade to iOS 6 was not as big of a change and it had many problems (remember the map fiasco). The beautiful new iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina Display are great new products also.
No matter what Blackberry has done to try to stay relevant, it looks like the end is near. They will make a good study for business schools. Eventually Blackberries will go back to just being fruit.
Crowdfunding isn’t new. However, the use of online websites to crowdfund is growing faster than ever, with Kickstarter and Indiegogo being the top two. Why would you want to invest in the dream of a stranger? In addition to the whole feeling good thing, you are not donating, you are investing. Depending on the amount of your investment, you get something back. Often it is the completed project. And the reason that I prefer Kickstarter to Indiegogo is that with Kickstarter you only pay if they reach their goal.
The big news in Crowdfunding in 2013 is that it is now being used to fund indie movie projects. Rob Thomas, the creator of Veronica Mars, the CW series starring Kristen Bell, that ran from 2004-2007, used Kickstarter to obtain the funds to finance a movie version of Veronica Mars. The TV show had low ratings but very loyal fans. They reached their goal in no time. My son is a big fan so I pledged a small amount and got a great t-shirt (see above) from it.
5. Hashtag and Selfie – Social Media Terms Gone Mainstream
Before 2013, if you didn’t use Twitter, you probably did not know what hashtag meant. Now, you can’t avoid it. If you watch TV, the use of hashtags at the bottom of the screen is everywhere. People talk using hashtags on talk shows or on comedies all the time. Hashtags are now used on all social networks, not only Twitter. So the many people on Facebook that are not big social network users have gotten used to seeing hashtags.
Selfies, pictures you take of yourself and then post on social media, have skyrocketed this year. Or maybe just the term Selfies. I’m not sure. But probably because of the number of celebrities posting them, this word has now gone mainstream.
6. Mobile Fitness Devices
Until recently there weren’t many choices, it was mostly the Fitbit. Now, the Fitbit alone has many models to choose from and you have the Nike FuelBand, the Misfit Shine, the Jawbone Up, the Basis Band and many more all to track your activity. In 2013, all you need is a smartphone and you have a very varied choice of devices in which you can track your fitness and more.
7. Next-Gen Gaming Consoles
It had been a few years since Sony and Microsoft had upgraded the PlayStation and Xbox consoles. These are the consoles the hardcore gamers use and are least likely to abandon consoles for mobile games. After the announcements for the PS4 and Xbox One in June, it looked as though the Sony PS4 was the clear winner. However, now that they are finally both on the market, the jury is still out.
8. Smart Watches
Although there aren’t enough good smart watches for them to be considered mainstream yet, this is the first year that there are actually very good smart watches worth buying. While the Pebble Smart Watch for both iPhone and Android is at the forefront, you should also check out the Sony Smartwatch 2 SW2 for Android Phones or if you have a Samsung Galaxy 3 or 4 phone, check out the Samsung Galaxy Gear.
Snapchat is a mobile app that allows you to send pictures or messages that self destruct within 10 seconds. The reason it has been in the news and has caused much controversy this year is because users, many of which are young teens that, through an aggressive mobile app marketing campaign, feel that it is safe to send risque photos because they will only last a few seconds. However many users have found that it is possible to save these photos or messages before they disappear. The whole reason for Snapchat doesn’t work. We have to teach our kids and learn ourselves, that there is no such thing as privacy on social media. Never put anything out there that you would not mind anyone in the world seeing.
10. Television Viewing
Everything about how, when, and where we view TV is changing. This has been changing for a while now but the HOW, has really come into its own in 2013.
- How – Many people are abandoning cable and watching TV from Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Show Box or some form of streaming. Even those that still have cable are adding streaming services to watch the series they are developing, such as House of Cards on Netflix.
- When – I can’t even count how many people tell me that they don’t even know what time their favorite shows are on. We just set our DVRs to our favorite shows and watch them when we have the chance. Except for live shows, when it is important to watch live and be on social media at the same time.
- Where – You don’t need to sit in front of a television set anymore to watch TV. You can watch on your computer, tablet and smartphone, so you can be anywhere.
There have been many other important technology new stories in 2013, however I narrowed it down to the 10 that resonated most with me. I hope these 10 tech stories were interesting to you also.