The future is here — with augmented reality and other fancy toys

2013-12-28 00:00

THE new year is almost here and for techies that comes with the hype of new gadgets, operating systems and fancy toys expected to be launched next year.

2014 is likely to see advancements in the augmented reality field and other advanced features from smartphones and tablets.

We’re likely to see the kind of stuff we saw in movies a decade ago predicting what the future will be like.

The future is here.

Curved Glass from LG

2013 saw the launch of the first range of curved LG high-definition TVs.

Coupled with this, we saw LG launch the G2 smartphone. Having been out of the top contender rankings for smartphones, the G2 put LG back in the running. LG will launch a curved-screen smartphone in early 2014 in the form of the G Flex, helping it position itself as one of the leading smartphone manufacturers on the back of a year of innovation.

Samsung 2014 Galaxy Note 10.1

Samsung knocked all the competitors out of the top spots with the launch of the Galaxy Note III and Galaxy Gear smartwatch combo this year.

The duo made for one of the best device launches of 2013. However, we can expect Samsung to have something other than a Galaxy Gear up their sleeve in 2014. Already touted is the 2014 Galaxy Note 10.1, compatible with the Galaxy Gear. Some of the specs of the tablet include 3GB of RAM, 2.3 GHz processor and augmented reality apps, among other features.

Samsung Galaxy S5

While nothing is confirmed about Samsung’s latest flagship offering, we expected to see some upgrades from the Galaxy S4. Previous rumours include the introduction of a flexiglass display, among other features.

But more trustworthy rumours in the tech sphere say that the Samsung may opt to remain with the design they have currently and launch a new line in the form of an “F series”, which will most likely feature a metal base as compared to the current plastic mould.

The S5 is expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2014.

Apple iPhone 6

It’s no secret that Apple will launch a new smartphone next year. But will the company manage to launch the device in the first quarter of 2014?

Speculation around the next release of the iPhone is still very light, indicating the company may be setting a launch date for the third quarter of 2014. This will give the company sufficient time after the release of Samsung’s new flagship smartphone, and could spark another tech battle.

The next iPhone is expected to be called the iPhone 6, but even that could change come launch day.

Apple iWatch

To follow along the lines of Samsung’s Galaxy Note III and Galaxy Gear, Apple could be pairing their next iPhone with a smartwatch. The iWatch has been rumoured for years, even before the launch of the Galaxy Gear and Sony’s smartwatch. However, with pressure mounting by the release of smartwatches from its rivals, 2014 may be the year we finally see it make an appearance.

Augmented Reality Glasses

Having been at the forefront of augmented reality in South African newspapers, augmented reality is nothing new to The Witness and its readers.

Google have been promising it to us with the launch of Google Glass since 2012. Since then, interest in the public applying this technology to everyday life has been growing. Google Glass has launched a variety of projects, partnering with professionals in various industries to test the technology, but it is yet to be released to the public.

An augmented reality company called Meta has designed what could be a Google Glass killer. Meta Pro glasses are available for pre-order for deliveries from July 2014 for around $3 000 (about R31 263) — if you want to feel like Tony Stark.

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