SafetyCulture Australia owner Luke Anear wearing a Google Glass. Source: News Limited
1. Curvy smartphones
Curved screens crept into televisions this year, but next year they'll pop into our pockets. Samsung has already launched a curved Galaxy Round phone in South Korea, while LG countered with its G Flex phone that curves from top to bottom. Expect to see more of this technology in 2014, including screens that wrap around the side of a phone for quick notifications.
2. Smarter smartwatches
Our wrists will be hot property in 2014, with companies promising smarter smartwatches. Sony and Samsung launched models early, but expect to see competition from Google, LG, Microsoft, and even Apple, long-rumoured to be producin
Neptune Pine smartwatch.
g the iWatch after it applied to trademark the name. A Canadian firm will also deliver a smartwatch that works as a phone by itself, called Neptune Pine, after a successful Kickstarter campaign.
3. 4K OLED TVs
They were the hot ticket at IFA 2013 and 4K OLED televisions could arrive in stores this year. These televisions, as demonstrated in prototypes, combine the two best television technologies: organic light-emitting diode screens with brighter, bolder colour
LG 4K OLED TV.Source: Supplied
s, and 4K resolution with four times the pixels of current full high-definition TVs. Expect big price tags to accompany the big picture quality leap.
4. Smart spectacles
Google Glass will finally go on sale to the public in 2014. Honest. The search giant has promised to release the internet-connected spectacle
A Google employee wears a pair of Google Glass.
s with an expected cost of $US1500. It's not clear whether a prescription spectacles-friendly version will be ready for launch, however, and Google will have plenty of competition. Expect to see Meta smartglasses in April, the GlassUp smartglasses in autumn, and rivals from Microsoft, Oakley and Sony.
5. Virtual reality gaming
Forget Lawnmower Man. More advanced virtual reality is coming. The Oculus Rift headset is due to launch publicly this year. The wireless headset has a 7-inch display with full high-definition resolution and it tracks your head and body movements to put you in the game. It will be compatible with PCs, Macs and Linux computers, with support for Google Android devices expected. It's due to arrive with a price tag around $US300.
6. Foxtel's iQ3
Expect the internet to further affect your TV experience. Pay-TV operator Foxtel (part-owned by News Corp, publisher of this newspaper) will introduce its third personal video recorder this year. The iQ3 is expected to connect to the internet wirelessly, offer a new electronic program guide, eight TV tuners to record more programs simultaneously, and a one terabyte drive on which to store them.
7. See-through smartphones
They may not be practical but one Taiwanese company is poised to launch transparent smartphones this year. Polytron Technologies has already developed a basic prototype of the phone that appears to be a clear block of plastic with its speaker, memory card, batteries, microphone and other circuitry on show. An OLED screen technology called Switchable Glass is used to display images. The company is reportedly working on a matching tablet and is in talks with major phone makers.
8. Full-frame compact cameras
Full-frame cameras, with image sensors as large as a 35mm film strip, are set to become smaller, cheaper and more available. In addition to the three models already launched by Sony and Nikon late this year, there are more rumoured from Sony, Pentax, Samsung and perhaps even Canon.
9. A bigger iPad
Apple could have a big 2014, if rumours prove correct. One development allegedly on the agenda is a 12.9-inch iPad, breaking the size barrier and delivering a new challenge to manufacturers pitching tablets as laptop replacements. The new tablet is rumoured to be called the iPad Pro and feature a 4K screen.
10. Speedy mobile downloads
Expect more high-speedy mobile internet coverage in Australia next year. By the start of 2014, Telstra promises to have 85 per cent of the population covered with its 4G network, and it will continue trials of LTE-Advanced that could deliver downloads as fast as 300mbps. Rival Optus promises to cover 70 per cent of the population by April next year, and its reseller Amaysim has announced plans to add 4G to its offerings.