Virtual reality becomes a reality, mobile solutions take over industries, 3D printing creeps towards the mainstream, and more. Our roundup of ten of the biggest tech developments of 2014:
1. Mobile Solutions Everywhere
2014 was the year when mobile solutions began infiltrating industry after industry. Apps exploded beyond music, games, and photos and began to change young consumers’ behaviors in multiple categories. The mobile dating app Tinder's success with young consumers has led to "the Tinder effect," and the swipe right/swipe left design has become a go-to design for apps devoted to politics and wedding registries. Job hunting for the next generation began to go mobile, with new apps, like Jobr, that might just be getting started, but could be future hubs to recruit the next generation of workers. While the debate about what multiple devices, social media, and small screens are doing to young minds continued to rage, some are tapping into the educational potential of modern tech and leveraging mobile screens to make learning easier and maybe even more fun. Tablets are becoming teachers, with more apps and games devoted to educating. Meanwhile, new mobile-based financial services are appealing to investment-shy Millennials by allowing them to take baby steps into the financial world. News outlets are also going mobile, with startups reimagining the way news is delivered to cater to an on-the-go, fragmented audience. Millennials are so used to turning to mobile solutions for the problems in their lives, they’re looking to their phones as a solution to help solve their tech-addiction. As smartphones continue to become a central part of consumers’ lives—led by Millennials—we will continue to see mobile solutions created to keep up with their needs.
2. Virtual Insanity