Looking ahead, I think there are some rather interesting things coming.
Up until now, physical and electronic terrorism have been very separate. The people that attacked electronically stole information and defaced websites but generally didn't blow folks up.
However with the Sony hack escalating to physical threats likely sourced out of North Korea, there is a very high likelihood that physical and electronic attacks will happen more in concert going forward. This will force tighter integration between physical security, IT and operations to mitigate these threats.
While Google Glass almost killed the segment before it was born, we will likely see more vertically focused offerings in 2015, particularly for law enforcement, which has received massive funding for projects like this. Right now, many cameras are placed on their chests, but these don’t show what the officer sees. In a shooting incident, chest-mounted cameras might miss what actually happened.
I think 2015 will be the year robots start to move broadly across markets. From self-driving cars to manufacturing line robots and even more advanced robotic systems for the home, we will likely start to feel we are up to our armpits in these things.
Advances in defense technology are rolling out autonomous platforms like drones relatively quickly as well. I expect we’ll have our first major robotic catastrophe either next year or in 2016 as a result of not really being ready for this robotic invasion.
3D printing is already moving very rapidly, but even though you can now buy 3D printers in Best Buy and Home Depot, they are mostly going to geeky buyers in small numbers. (Home Depot is reporting significant dissatisfaction with this technology and returns.)
In 2015, we should see this technology move more strongly to manufacturing lines and into fast prototyping environments.
Chromebooks from Google and Dell are the biggest drivers of this technology now. They will likely get one additional driver in Microsoft, which will more aggressively respond to the Chromebook threat in 2015, while HP slowly backs out of this market due to the separation of their client and server businesses. Dell is expected to emerge as the strongest end-to-end player, but firms like Mainframe 2 and Amazon Web Services should also strengthen to provide centralized services. They will likely be joined by Microsoft as they more aggressively position Azure for this opportunity.
From a much greater focus on wireless connections to TVs and monitors to the rapid spread of resonance charging over a distance, 2015 should represent the first year we truly have solutions that are "wireless." Intel is the most aggressive driver of this change now, but they will be joined by others as products that have this capability will enjoy a huge competitive advantage.
A lot happened in 2014, but it will be overshadowed by the massive amount of change expected in 2015.
One of the biggest changes is that I believe Carly Fiorina will enter the presidential race, forcing both parties in the U.S. to focus more on tech issues to respond to the threat she represents. If she can use technology as effectively as President Obama did, she could be a strong advocate for data analytics, which has been flooding into the market this year and was already identified as one of the primary reasons for the wins in the last two elections.
It'll be an amazing year. But I bet, as powerful as 2015 will be, it will be overwhelmed by 2016. We certainly live in interesting times.
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