It’s been a wild year in tech with all sorts of exciting surprises and eye-popping innovations. In this article, however, we try to put some things into perspective as we take a look back and explore the top ten overhyped tech of 2014.
In the hands of engineers, SMBs and research firms, 3D printing has ushered in a new era of micro-manufacturing that has produced a variety of innovative devices from toys to medical implants. However, the idea that in the near future every household will have a 3D printer seems a bit far fetched. Setting cost aside, learning how to operate a 3D printer is no easy feat. Given how little most computer owners actually know about their computer, it’s highly unlikely that millions of PC users will suddenly run out to purchase a 3D printer, let alone becoming expert CAD programmers. Of course, these suckers will only get cheaper and easier to use in the long run.
The overhyped promise of a unique user interface and the complete integration of your home entertainment center was swept under the rug when Microsoft released their budget Xbox One console to a tepid gaming audience.
The introduction of life logging cameras like the Narrative Clip, Autographer, MeCam, Looxcie and Parashoot has failed to gain the favor of the public. In general, people feel extremely uncomfortable and creeped-out when they realize someone is filming or photographing them in a public setting without their consent. In a more private setting, people’s initial reaction is often wide-eyed fascination that quickly fades into, again, creeped-out bewilderment at the realization that these devices are meant to be worn throughout the day, cataloging all of the mundane activities and moments of your life and theirs. Overall, the technology is off-putting to strangers, and lets face it, the image quality is poor at best. For now, life logging is best achieved with one’s own memory.
Between the paparazzi’s controversial usage of drones to spy on celebrities and Amazon’s outrageous plans to use them to make same-day deliveries, it was difficult not adding them to our list of overhyped tech. For the average tech nerd, drones are an expensive hobby worthy of a couple hours of holiday fun before they are discarded in a dusty pile in the garage. If you do decide to get one, please be mindful of the fact that your neighbors will not be too keen on the idea of an errant drone crashing into their yard, or worse, themselves.
Let us all agree that Destiny is not a bad game. In fact, it is one of the best games of the year. However, the media hype for this game was so extreme that it stood no chance of living up to our expectations.
Apple Pay is another Apple product that generated considerable buzz and excitement among consumers and financial pundits. Much like Google Wallet, the hype has died down and Apple Pay seems to have soured in the eyes of the public. No doubt, Apple will spin the public’s lack of interest in their fledgling pay system with some revelatory graphs and analytics at their next conference. Still, many users swear by the experience, and only time will tell if Apple Pay has the staying power to take off.
Ultra-High Definition is a beautiful experience that you can only witness in a movie theater or on a demo unit at Best Buy. Unfortunately, there is little 4K content available on the market to power these beasts. Although there are rumors that 4K Blu-ray is just around the corner, few conclusive details exist. If you were an early adopter, then you may be wondering why you jumped the gun. Still, the picture looks great in 1080p, the upscaling at times is breathtaking and the prices are quite good.
Apple Watch fervor is already beginning to dwindle and Google Glass has been reduced to a punchline. On the other side of the tech ocean, Samsung Gear is a clumsy attempt at beating Apple at its own game while Android Wear is mostly considered a “me too” experiment. If you are really interested in a wearable, then check out The Pebble Watch. It gets plenty of nods from tech consumers who champion its simplicity of style and function.
Wikipedia describes the Internet of things (IoT) as “the interconnection of uniquely identifiable embedded computing devices within the existing Internet infrastructure.” Within the context of smaller and smaller microprocessors and computer chips becoming faster and more power efficient, the tech industry is turning to IoT. So far, there have been few devices released that are capable of the communication and control demands of IoT and according to most experts IoT will not be ready for prime time until the year 2020. It is an exciting concept that initially will more likely be used as a marketing tool than a useful feature in our everyday lives.
Bitcoin is an open-sourced peer to peer digital currency that operates with no central authority or bank involvement, which many assume was developed by a government agency to hide the unofficial movement of money. Bitcoin is open to the public and, like PayPal before it, is starting to catch on among larger companies like Home Depot, Microsoft, Amazon, CVS, and more. Alhough there is something fascinating about an underground currency, Bitcoin has been hyped to the point of being ridiculous. It will not change the financial system as we know it and we can only hope that it disappears from the public lexicon in the near future.You’ve read the article. Now, listen to the podcast.