More gadgets, falling prices and connected devices are coming our way in 2014, but what's the impact on users?
Watch out for Nomophobia
Nomophobia, the fear of not being connected due to a flat battery, lack of signal or loss of one’s mobile phone, will become more aggressive as the “Internet of Things” digs deeper into mobility.
People are now expected to have their mobile phone when making arrangements and increasingly, people will be expected to have it when paying for things, such as parking meters and restaurant bills.
The intimate relationship between users and wearables
The Internet is inching closer to the user more than ever before. As wearable technology continues to trend, this area of focus will be driven by new device categories, such as smart watches and fitness gadgets. Innovations like Google Glass, however, won’t have as much of an impact, as it isn’t niched close enough to its function.
A smartwatch still maintains its primary function of telling time, but Google Glass doesn’t make you have better sight or protect from UV rays.
Different devices for different activities
Falling device prices mean once 'luxury' devices become an option for many more people.
People can now afford to have different mobile devices that each deliver the best experience for their specific activities. More people will use a mix of devices from different ecosystems – Netbiscuits report released in October showed that tablet representation in the top 100 devices has more than doubled in a year and tablets are set to outpace PC sales in the 2013 retail holiday season demonstrating the shift away from traditional devices.
Beyond tablets, carriers like Samsung have made the impending phablet phenomenon evident, with the creation of the Galaxy Note 3, which has many users singing the praises of the hybrid phone and tablet, adding to the plethora of device formats.
Rising demand for synching between devices
2014 looks like it could be a year of frustration for consumers who will be delivered poor experiences on devices that don’t allow them to share. Humans are social animals. We are also busy. We should be aiming towards being able to swipe an experience from one device to another.
However, this is unlikely in 2014. HTML5 is still an evolving standard and NFC isn’t universally available. Search is likely to remain the most common way of picking up an activity on another device in 2014.
Personalized Web content will make or break
Organizations that get ‘customization for the masses’ right will be the biggest winners in 2014. It’s about identifying the right ingredients that can be individually tweaked to give users the sense of something that is highly personalized. A key trend we'll see playing out in the coming year is the ability to identify the right customizable components using analytics and tools that provide real-time actionable insight.
In 2014, prepare to also see different strategies for web content design aimed at smartphone and tablet users as advertisers and brands scramble to reach mobile users and fight to make mobile websites better and more enticing.
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