2012 was another action-packed year in the technology world. Leaks and rumors concerning the next generation of games consoles have abounded, the tablet market evolved further with the battleground being dominated by smaller 7-inch models, and of course, the latest iteration of the iPhone was released. But whilst last year was a great one for the evolution of current tech, 2013 looks set to see the introduction of various completely new and exciting products.
The New iPhone
We might as well get this one out of the way. Yes, in 2013 we will see a fresh iPhone, whether it be named the 5S or the 6. Using past occurrences to predict the future, it is safe to assume that the new model will be almost identical to the iPhone 5 with a few very minor specification upgrades. That won’t stop millions of us from rushing out to buy one on release day, of course.
The Oculus Rift
Gamers will have many reasons to be happy this year. Aside from the litany of new consoles set to be released, we will also witness the launch of the world’s first consumer virtual reality headset. The Rift allows real-time head tracking, meaning that when you look left or right, up or down, and even back over your shoulder, your in-game avatar will do the same. Reviewers have called the Rift a revolution and compared it to the introduction of 3D gaming graphics in the 90s. Games will have to be specially developed for compatibility with the headset, but this doesn’t look set to be a major drawback – the Doom franchise and developers of the widely-used Unreal Engine have already signed up.
It’s about time the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were replaced, as their hardware is now thoroughly updated. Gamers’ prayers are being answered, as the new consoles are rumored to be significantly more powerful. This should allow bigger and better games, with more intensive graphical capability and immersive worlds. There’s also likely to be more emphasis on motion capture devices, with the new version of Microsoft’s Kinect apparently being able to track 4 separate players at once. Meanwhile, a couple of new entries could change the market, with the Kickstarter-funded Ouya aiming to make waves with a very low price point and Android-based operating system, and PC gaming legends Valve allegedly releasing their first console to rival Microsoft and Sony.
It’s been hard to miss news of the Internet giant’s headline-grabbing product, which will overlay web functions onto our views using a pair of sophisticated specs. Whilst the idea of being able to text and surf without looking at your phone is a great one, and whilst it is undeniably a cool gadget, the success of the Glass project is far from certain. The cost of a pair is currently unknown, and Google will need to be careful not to price itself out of the market. Depending on its functions, there is a chance that the Glass project could be useful in providing IT services for businesses, making it more likely to be viable in the long term.
The Pebble watch is a clever little device which offers contemporary styling alongside the ability to control your smartphone from your wrist. It doesn’t have any revolutionary abilities – you can only really use it to read texts and skip music tracks. It does, however, appeal to gadget freaks and could become very fashionable. The Pebble is available to pre-order for $150.