OPINION: 'Could this be the year of the 'Internet of Things', 4G networks and wearable tech?' - PC Retail

OPINION: 'Could this be the year of the 'Internet of Things', 4G networks and wearable tech?'

Lee Evans, UK channel community chair at CompTIA, offers his thoughts on the tech trends set to take off in 2014...
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Lee Evans, UK channel community chair at CompTIA, offers his thoughts on the tech trends set to take off in 2014...

As each year draws to a close, I always look forward to hearing the technology world’s predictions for the coming 12 months. As we draw the curtain on 2013 – for me the year of the Cloud and Big Data – I’m considering some of the emerging technologies that will affect our lives and business in 2014. Could this be the year of the ‘Internet of Things’, 4G mobile networks and wearable computing?

With Google Glass likely to hit the shelves this year, the recent release of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch and a whole raft of other digitised me-too replacements for everyday devices, wearable tech is here to stay. It’s probably not for everyone (I will not be donning Google Glass any time soon), but the trend towards computerising devices is unstoppable.

Then there’s the Internet of Things (IoT) – a world where devices communicate with each other to improve their functionality and our everyday experiences.

The eventual outcome of the IoT is a future in which absolutely everything is connected: from kettles and fridges to street lights and hearing aids.

The benefits of such an interconnected world will be widespread – from the frivolous but useful to those that can genuinely improve our lives. For example, your car could stop automatically at a red light, or your pacemaker could call an ambulance if it detects that something’s not right.

Growth in these areas could be the push that makes Internet Protocol version 6 go mainstream. We’ve been told for years that IPv4 is on its last legs but here we are at the end of 2013 and IPv6 is still very much in the minority. Could the boom in new connected devices finally lead to widespread adoption? If so, there will be an opportunity to help customers adapt and upgrade their networks.

Behind the boom is a demand for high-speed connectivity. With 4G mobile networks outpacing fixed-line broadband in some cities, could wireless be the connectivity solution of the future? Is it time we looked away from upgrading a tired and outdated wired infrastructure and focused on tech of the future? As with most advances in tech, the real driver will be in consumer adoption.

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