There are several trends that started in 2013 that are going to be big in 2014 when it comes to consumer technology.
64bit ARM processors
Apple’s A7 chip was the first 64bit ARM chip to debut in a major mobile device, the iPhone 5s then in the new iPads in 2013. I suspect all the new flagship devices released in 2014 will sport 64bit chips. Chip makers like Qualcomm, Samsung and Nvidia have indicated that they will be releasing 64bit ARM chips and we’re likely to see some new devices at CES in early 2014.
What this means for the consumer is desktop class apps; apps that are faster, more powerful and more consistent with their desktop equivalents. A great example of this is what Apple is doing with the iWork suite. They dumbed-down the desktop app to match the features of the mobile app and they are slowly building the two systems back up in parallel. Consistency and power, I’m in.
Another trend that’s taken off this year is wearables. The Pebble smartwatch started shipping at the beginning of the year following the most successful Kickstarter campaign to date. Lots of other watches have been announced and/or released since then with new comers like Samsung with the Galaxy Gear and Qualcomm with the Toq battling it out with existing players like Sony with their Smartwatch 2.
Fitness bands are not slowing down either. Fitbit, Withings, Nike and a whole lot of others released and refreshed their devices in 2013 and I expect the same trend to continue.
Google got into the wearables game too announcing Glass, the long awaited and hard-to-get eyewear that might just change the game in a big way if and when it is launched.
Apple is also rumoured to be interested in wearables but it’s not clear what they’ll do. The M7 motion chip in the A7 processor however suggests that Apple probably won’t make a dedicated device but rather sit back and let other companies use their tech. Time will tell.