January Tech Roundup

microsoft hololens

January Tech Roundup

By: Jane Hainze

For the tech world, January is less about commitments to shiny New Year’s resolutions, and more about the beginning of a relentless stream of predictions. Executives, media (and, okay, us too)  jostled to see who could make the biggest and boldest claims about what we’d see in 2015 from Silicon Valley and the rest of the tech world.

Connecting the Dots at CES 2015

It seems fitting that the year in tech kicks off with CES—the expo that showcases the glossy gadgets techies expect us to be brandishing by year’s end (or more realistically, by the year 2030). But at this year’s behemoth of a tradeshow, “The Internet of Things” stole the show, proving that developers’ next challenge will be infusing the  slew of glittering new wearables and smart home technology into the mundanity of our everyday lives.

Of course, no CES could be complete without the sleek lines of futuristic concept cars—but this year’s models were seemingly less concerned with which had the greatest horsepower, and instead focused on weaving in the tech we already know and love into the cars of the future. The next wave of tech, it seems, is intent on connecting the dots between the things we use and the gleam of the future.

Microsoft Makes the World Your Screen

Even as we all breathed a collective sigh of relief as the CES fanfare died down (it was an intense week for attendees, journalists, and PR folks alike), January wasn’t quite through. Microsoft made one of its boldest plays in years with the launch of HoloLens– effectively making the world around us the next big screen.

Snapchat, Uber and Spotify Take Big Strides

Meanwhile, Snapchat shook up the media world by proving that the next big thing in news might come from an app that, just a year ago, was perhaps best known as a sexting app. And in the offices of VC firms and Wall Street, 2015 proved that it would be no different from 2014 regarding tech’s valuation: Uber closed in on another round of financing to bring their total valuation to $1.6 billion, while Spotify picked up an astounding $500 million.

The Disappearance of the Internet is The Future of Tech

In all though, the best prediction for the year in tech wasn’t buried in the trades, but rather in an comment by Google’s executive Eric Schmidt. He suggested at the WEF’s Davos summit that it won’t be long before the Internet simply disappears. While Schmidt may have been pointing to a more distant future, his theory already characterizes what we’ve seen just in the last month.

If January is any indication, 2015 is due to be the year in which tech becomes further nestled into our lives, ingrained in a way that will make innovation less noticeable on a superficial level, but perhaps more useful—and powerful—than ever before.

Image c/o Microsoft

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