As a developer, I get to surround myself with technology for a living. Working for a market intelligence company, I get to have even more fun taking a look at the products and technologies that my company tracks. This includes keeping up with the cool things out there that most people don’t even know about or see as useful. So I’ve compiled a list of interesting new tech that you might want to pay attention to in 2013.
5) Physical Security Tools
Google wants to replace your need to remember a password by giving you a physical device that you carry on your keys, in your pocket, or even on your phone that will log you into any site when it’s plugged in. While that may seem amazing, what’s really going to be game changing is the number of security gadgets coming out in 2013 that will change the way you view physical security. Beginning with the Lockitron which allows you to place the device over an existing lock and lets you unlock or lock your door via your phone from anywhere, anyplace, anytime.
4) Personal Health Monitors
Fitness and Health monitors have become all the rage with products like the Jawbone UP and Nike Fuel Band that track health information while you wear them. The coolest of all of these technologies is the Scanadu, which can be waved across someone’s head or body and get vitals as well as very important biometric information such as temperature and heart rate, completely noninvasively. Almost like something out of StarTrek though, the Scanadu will also read blood flow, blood oxygen level and electrical heart activity (ECG) levels but not till late 2013.
3) Useful Wifi Enabled Home Gadgets
Since the internet first began, we’ve all been promised internet connected TV’s, Refrigerators, and even microwaves. Now that those already exist, what I’m really enjoying is the plethora of other odd devices connecting to the internet that we never imagined. Last year we saw the introduction of Nest, which allows you to control your home’s temperature throughout the day and lets you save money by turning things on or off when you leave or arrive home. These devices are only going to get better and more useful as we see companies creating such products as Fitbit’s Aria Smart Scale which tracks your weight and biometric data every time you step on it. It works by feeding information back to the app on your phone that also connects to a number of other workout devices that can also be carried on you.
2) Better & More Reliable Wireless Music
I love listening to music but I hate wires. As wireless technology improves, you’ll see more products like the Parrot Zik Headphones or the line of Sonos Wireless Devices start to make use of Bluetooth technology. This makes wireless sound more reliable and mainstream. Even those who can’t buy a car with bluetooth built in have the option of buying any number of Wireless Adapters that will allow them to stream music from their phones while driving. Wireless Audio is just going to get better and easier to use as we move forward.
1) Personal Telepresence & Automated Robots
I’m a big fan of the CBS series “The Big Bang Theory” and in one of the episodes the main character decides to work form home and has his roommate take a virtual telepresence robot of himself to work. It seems silly but it’s already a reality. My friend Jay Liew works for a Mountain View startup named Double Robotics which has already built such a device. Using iPads and a wheel system that resembles a segway, you can be at home on your iPad and move around the office as a robot. The other iPad is attached to the robot and drives you around to become a virtual you to others. You can attend meetings and interact with other employees. Other well known mainstream automated robots include the Roomba Vacuum and the Scooba Wetvac, but few people realize how many other automated robots exist in everything from kids toys to lawn mowers.
There are some cool things out right now in 2013 that can change your life if you’re willing to pony up the cash, but even if you decide not to buy them now, keeping an eye on where these technologies are headed will give you a better idea as to what your future may one day look like.