6 Tech Trends That Will Dominate 2014

Posted by Harshad

6 Tech Trends That Will Dominate 2014

6 Tech Trends That Will Dominate 2014

Posted: 02 Jan 2014 05:01 AM PST

Editor’s note: This is a contributed post by Alexis Caffrey, a freelance writer with a focus on technology, new media, and design. When she’s not writing, she can be found glued to her Kindle, teaching yoga, or perusing home design blogs. You can reach Alexis via Twitter or alexiscaffrey.com.

It’s that time of year when we look back on all that was accomplished in the technology world in 2013 and pick up our jaws off the floor. In 2013 the tech world boomed. Both social media sensations Vine and Instagram video were launched in 2013, Google introduced the world to its Glass and Chromecast devices, and 3D printing was, well, everywhere.

Will 2014 hold the same caliber of mind-blowing tech advances that 2013 saw? Most experts think that next year’s technology will meet, and maybe even exceed, the significance of this year’s innovations. Here are a few of the budding tech trends of 2014, and the projected impact they will have. Of course, these predictions are only the tip of the iceberg.

Buckle up; it’s going to be a wild ride.

1. Growth of wearable computing

These computers, disguised as accessories or apparel will get a lot of attention in 2014. With wearable computing, the user experience could be even more personal than it is with smartphone and tablet technology, simply because the device is worn on the body. This gives the user more accessibility to real-time information and more personalized feedback, particularly fitness devices and healthcare gadgets.

google glass

Not everyone is thrilled about ubiquitous wearable technology though. While currently, to access information on portable devices, users must stop what they’re doing and retrieve the device, phone or tablet, wearable technology requires no additional effort to interact with the device. This has many worried that, socially, we’re not ready for wearable distractions that will invariably pull us away from face-to-face interaction.

2. Sensor Technology

The city population is at an all-time high of 3.5 billion. By 2050, that number is expected to double. To keep up with the world’s growing urban population, cities are working to improve efficiency – with sensors and cloud technology.

Today cities use sensors to detect crumbling infrastructure, find new oil locations, and collect meteorological information via street lights. But the sensors of 2014 will be dramatically more powerful and provide valuable, actionable data. Cities will connect sensors and cloud technology to collect transportation, healthcare, lighting, and environmental data.

However, tech-powered cities don’t come without a price: many are concerned about privacy and feel that we’re handing over a “massive trove of data.”


BYOD stands for “bring your own device,” and the number of consumer smartphone and tablets brought into workplaces will more than double in 2014.

Reactions amongst business leaders are mixed, at best. They welcome BYOD as a way to cut costs and are simultaneously wary of the trend because of the potential for security risks. Only 5% are adequately secure against viruses, theft and other computer threats.

4. Demand for Faster Internet

Users require more bandwidth and speed than ever before. For the first time, the average adult spent more time online than they did watching television in 2013. Also, users are steadily performing more Internet tasks that require high bandwidth, such as videoconferencing and streaming video (an hour of Netflix uses 1 GB of data).

Today, the universal opinion favors fiber-optic Internet as the future of broadband technology. This super-fast Internet option is limited in availability though, since both of the top providers, Google Fiber and Verizon FiOS, have only rolled out the service in certain locations in the United States.

2014 might be a year where we see more persistence from Americans to gain access to faster Internet speeds that at least approach traditional fiber-optic Internet speeds of 500 Mbps to 1 Gbps. Cable companies are attempting to improve speeds with new technology, specifically DOCSIS 3.1, and touting speeds closer to fiber standards.

5. Tablet Aesthetics

The movie “Zoolander” satirized the early 2000s trend that smaller-is-better when it comes to cellphones. However, the projected 2014 trend for smartphones is exactly the opposite.

Phablets & Curved Screens

Users have moved away from the laptop as their go-to portable device in favor of smaller and lighter smartphones and/or tablets. The result is a push to combine the two into a smartphone that doubles as a tablet — the phablet.

In an effort to make phablet screens easier to view, developers are creating devices with curved screens that mirror the curve of your eye. According to Dr. Raymond Soneira, president of DisplayMate Technologies, the slight curvature of this new type of smartphone “…substantially improves screen readability, image contrast, color accuracy, and overall picture quality.”

Samsung first debuted the curved OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display in the Galaxy Round smartphone. LG followed soon after with the G Flex, which can be bent out of shape and pressed flat on a desk.

As of late 2013, both devices are only sold in South Korea, but rumor has it they’ll come to the U.S. in early 2014. And of course, there are already rumors that Apple might be moving toward a curved screen in its next generation iPhone.

6. 3D printers

3D printers made it into the news quite often during 2013; rocket parts, bionic ears and even toothbrushes were all successfully 3-D printed. However, not many of these printers made it into the hands of the everyday consumer. In 2014, experts think that might change.

Metal printers are usually available for half a million, and only to organizations, not for personal use. Earlier this December, Michigan Technological University announced their open source 3D metal printer, which is available for only $1500.

Meanwhile, 3D printers as cheap as $100 are hitting the market. Key patents that prevent competition in the market for the most advanced 3D printers will expire in 2014, and mainstream companies like HP, Samsung and Microsoft might attempt to break into the 3D printing market in 2014.


As these machines become more accessible, many raise concerns over the use of 3D printers to print homemade firearms and other weapons. In fact, Congress approved an extension on a ban of plastic guns in response to these fears.

The 3D-printing future isn’t all grim, however. 3D printer developer Joshua Pearce feels that the good to come from 3D printing outweighs the bad. Goods printed at home are cheaper and greener than buying them in a store, and allows those with limited access to manufactured goods to print the items they need at home.


Access Any File On Mac / PC From Your iOS Device With Younity

Posted: 02 Jan 2014 02:01 AM PST

The mobile storage that we have in our smartphones are limited and usually used to keep the files that we need on the go: recent vacation photographs, work reports in PDF etc. If however, you want complete access to the files that you have on your computer, you don’t need to move files around. Just get the Younity app to gain spontaneous access anytime you have an Internet connection.


It doesn’t matter if you own a Mac or a PC or both, Younity will connect your iOS device to your computer, giving you access to all your files even when you don’t have your computer with you.

The app will also neatly organize your files for easy viewing on your iOS devices, and let you pre-download files for offline use. Here’s a further look at what Younity can do for you.

Get Younity On Your Devices

First, go to the Younity website to get the latest version for your Mac and/or PC. Then get the app to allow you access to all your files through an iOS device.

After installing the Younity desktop app, you’ll be asked to register for a Younity account. It will then scan for all the files on your computer. By default, it’ll pick the root directory of your computer, so you can gain access to pretty much every file on your computer.

Younity Desktop

However, if you’re afraid of any security risks, you can pick specific folders that you want it to scan instead.

To do this, go to the preferences by clicking on the Younity icon on the menu bar (Mac) or taskbar (PC) and select Add A Location. Navigate to the specific folder you want Younity to access and then click on Select Location.

Younity Preferences

You can do this to as many folders as you like, giving you complete control to which folder Younity has access to.

Accessing Computer Files

When you first run the Younity iOS App, you’ll have to login with the Younity account you registered for earlier. Once logged in, you’ll be able too see all the files you have given Younity access to.

Younity App

The great thing about the Younity app is that it’ll automatically sort music, video and photo files that it detects, no matter how scattered all these files are across your computer. It can sort music files by artist name, album title, song title, and even detect playlists that you have created on iTunes or other media players. It will also organize your photos.

Younity Sort

Downloading Files For Offline Use

Younity acts like a remote file browser and only loads the file when you open it. This means it doesn’t use up much mobile Internet data (unless you’re thinking of streaming your entire music library on the go).

If you need access to certain files for offline use, you can even pre-download the files you need. To download files onto the app, simply navigate to your desired document or media file and tap on the blue arrow at the bottom left corner of the screen. Select the files you want offline access to before tapping the download button.

Younity Download

Files that you’ve made available offline can be easily identified by the black ‘downloaded’ icon next to it. You can even filter out all the downloaded files by tapping on the top right corner button and turning on Downloaded Files for easier navigation to those offline files.

Younity Downloaded

Although this allows you to download files at home, then use them on the go, these offline files will take up space in your device. To delete them, tap on the blue button at the bottom right corner and then tap on the minus button (in red) next to the downloaded file.

Younity Delete

You can track how much space the app has taken by going into Settings. There, you can also see the status of the connected devices, and set up a PIN lock for launching the app (if needed).

Younity Settings


Younity is an awesome alternative to the mainstream cloud services and gives you even more flexibility when it comes to browsing just the files you need while on the go. Files on your computer cannot be deleted or moved with the app.

One drawback is that you need your computer to stay on to when using Younity to download the files. An Android version of the app will make an appearance in the near future.


A Look Into: Creating Custom WordPress Query

Posted: 01 Jan 2014 11:01 PM PST

Today, we are going to take a look at WordPress Query. Even though WordPress has documented its Query function, it is very intimidating and probably impractical to dive into each of the sections. This is the shortcut you need.

In this post we will be discussing a few practical tips on applying WordPress Query that you might need to frequently use on your theme.

Basic WP_Query

In short, WP_Query is a class to request WordPress posts and pages. We can create a new WP_Query class in a WordPress theme to query posts (or pages) in customized specification.

First, let’s take a look at the index.php within your theme directory; you should find the following piece of codes.

<?php if ( have_posts() ) : while ( have_posts() ) : the_post(); ?> <?php endwhile; else: ?> <p><?php _e('Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.'); ?></p> <?php endif; ?> 

It’s called Loop. It by default displays all the posts that have been published.

Let’s see how we can customize it with WP_Query. In this example, we are going to exclude posts from a specific category.

First, we set a new WP_Query in a variable.

 $my_query = new WP_Query(); 

Within it, we can assign the category ID that we want to exclude. For example:

 $my_query = new WP_Query('cat=-1,-5'); //exclude category 1 and 5 

Then, we refer to the variable within the Loop, as follow.

 <?php if ( $my_custom_query->have_posts() ) : while ( $my_custom_query->have_posts() ) : $my_custom_query->the_post(); ?> <div class="title"> <a href="<?php the_permalink() ;?>"><?php the_title() ;?></a> </div> <?php endwhile; else: ?> <p> <?php _e('Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.'); ?> </p> <?php endif; ?> 

Note that when you have multiple custom queries, particularly within a single page, you have to enclose it with wp_reset_postdata().

Assigning Query with WP-PageNavi

WP-PageNavi is probably the most popular plugin to add numbered pagination in WordPress. Most people however encounter an error when they use it along with custom WP_Query. The pagination simply won’t work.

Since version 2.74, WP-PageNavi has provided an option where you can assign custom query. Taking the above custom query as our example, we can do the following:

 wp_pagenavi( array( 'query' => $my_query ) ); 

… and that should solve the error.

Cache Query

It should be noted that when you have multiple queries, particularly on a single page, you will end up with multiple server loads which could affect your site load performance.

One of the ways to optimize it is by using Transient API. In this case, we use it to cache the queried object from WP_Query, and store it in a certain period of time.

That way, we can speed up query load times by retrieving and processing the cached data rather than querying it everytime the page is loaded.

Here is a code example, where the cache is stored for 24 hours.

 if ( ! ( $my_query = get_transient( 'my_query_cache' ) ) ) { $my_query = new WP_Query('cat=-1,-5'); set_transient( 'my_query_cache', $my_query, DAY_IN_SECONDS ); } 

Wrap Up

With WP_Query, we can create simple or more complex queries. If writing a custom WP_Query seems complicated to you, there is a tool called WP_Query Generator that will make it easier.

I hope you will find this tip useful, and if you want to dig into this topic further, below are some references:



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