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2014 in Tech

2014 was an exciting year wasn’t it? Now that it’s over with though, why don’t we have a quick look back through some of the awesome technology that happened as a result of that year? When we think of technology, some of us get a bit obsessed with computers, video games, toys… This doesn’t even scratch the surface of what happens in technology.
Allow me a few minutes now to indulge you with the very best technology advancements that took place in 2014.


2014 in Tech

Computing

i7 Processor Hex Core

I thought we’d begin our look back with a fresh pair of eyes on computing and what advancements we have seen there in 2014. So let’s start with the basics of computing: a processor! Lo and behold, we give you the powerful new Intel i7! Yes, yes, it’s another variant of a really well established processor but what can we say? It tops the list because it benchmarks supremely well and the price that accompanies it kind of speaks volumes.

The version we’re talking about is the extreme hex core, 3.50GHz, 15MB Cache, 140W, Socket 2011-V3 variety. It’s pricey, but holy moley, those specs truly are a sight to behold. Will computing get much better? Is this real life? Of course it will get better and yes, get back to Earth now.

EVGA GeForce 970

For graphics, the clear winner for 2014 is the EVGA GeForce GTX 970 FTW with ACX 2.0. This is a serious bit of kit here, but if you don’t believe me, check out what PC World posted about this and it’s rival over at AMD. The results are really very clear.

Okay, while that’s exciting and all, that’s not the only thing to happen to computing. Here’s just a quick breakdown of some of the exciting technological advancements in this area:

Gaming

It was going to be on this list and let’s not even lie about that for a second. So what big techy news happened for gaming in 2014? Actually; it was more like a year of the prototype for gaming.

Since the rise of crowd funding, games of all shapes and forms have been getting noticed. One of the most currently talked about projects in the whole of the gaming world ((and indeed possibly even the whole of the tech world)) is the rise of the Oculus Rift.

Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2

Last year saw the release of the Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2, which boasted some impressive improvements including a much improved SDK, engine integrations such as Unity, UDK and Unreal Engine 4. As well as this, from a hardware point of view, there’s now a built in latency tester to improve the responsiveness of the headset and positional tracking – For when a 3D game from a static camera just isn’t enough for you – Now you simply look around your room as if you had stepped inside of the software. You also get to look slightly crazy doing this.

Whilst the Oculus Rift was tearing up the tech world for gaming hardware, in video games however we have seen many brand new games come to surface: But one game that seems to stand out is a game that was… Probably ill fated… But ended up to be absolutely genius. I don’t know what happened over there, I don’t know who decided to do this, but damn… Thank you. You’ve created a game that’ll be remembered for some time, if just for all of the pillow clenching fright-inducing moments.

Alien_Isolation

Yes, I’m looking at you Creative Assembly and your incredibly popular Alien: Isolation. With a truly intelligent AI, honestly frightening scenario and graphics to make you cringe until the light of day, this was a game that at least I did not expect. I mean Creative Assembly are a great company; Just take a look through the Total War series. But to think, a company that specialises in strategy games ended up creating one of the best (and most pleasantly surprising) horror games of 2014, if not the past 5 to 10 years. Keep it up, guys.

Gadgets / Mobile technology

I thought I’d couple Gadgets and Mobile Technology as the two are often brought together, as if they were one and the same thing. Smartphones as we’re all very much aware are more powerful than some computers, so with this being said, I always felt it unfair to simply label them gadgets.

From a gadget point of view, I’m going to say my gadget of the year comes in the form of a sort of sensor kit. It’s called the SmartThings Starter Kit and it basically is a lot of sensors which hook up to your smartphone or tablet, allowing you to control its functionality. How about your coffee machine knowing when you wake up to make your coffee for you? What about a simple voice to tell you “Feed the cats”? How about a monitor for your house?

SmartThings Starter Kit

The SmartThings Starter Kit is all of these and then some, so do go and check it out. It’s not terribly priced either for what you get out of it. Maybe one day we can live in a truly automated household? It’s looking more likely now.

Here’s the big one: What was the awesome Mobile Technology tech revolution of 2014?

Nexus6

Google Nexus 6. Well okay, it wasn’t a revolution and it certainly wasn’t the coolest of the mobile tech scene – But it’s powerful and it knows it. I mean when you read these specs; you kind of want to weep for your PC’s… Wait, I’m alone in this? Oh.

It runs Android 5.0 (Lollipop), boasting 3GB of RAM. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor boasting up to 2.7GHz – This little thing is a beast! Honestly, it’s no wonder it did so well on benchmarking tests.

Health

Medicine has taken us such a long way, that looking at the technological advancements that have come by really makes me happy at times. It can also make me feel anxious or even curious about what the future will hold. The next picture will summarise 2014 in health for me.

Mind-Controlled Limbs

What you’re looking at is a man with no arms. Instead, he has 2 mind-controlled robotic limbs. They work… Isn’t that incredible? I don’t know the specifics behind the operations or what is actually going on, but the picture alone makes me happy and anxious about the future.

Medical technology is truly incredible. Thank you scientists, doctors, nurses, everyone in the medical field from the bottom of my heart. You give hope to those who might not have expected it.

Transport

Other than cars that go somewhat faster every year, as well as adding miles to the gallon… As well as trains that might arrive more on time than other trains… As well as planes that might have one or two more seats and better catering… What advancements can we truly see in transportation?

Oh I don’t know. How about the Airbus E-Fan, the first ever two-seater carbon-fibre electric aeroplane?! You’re welcome!

Okay, what does this actually mean for aero-transportation anyway? It means we’re that step closer towards emissions free flying through the world. We’re so close to tasting this for ourselves that Airbus who are making the E-Fans have announced they will be marketing a line of E-Fans… It’s so close. The above video was taken from the E-Fans first ever flight in March 2014.


 

That concludes my look back at some of the best technology to come out of 2014. I probably missed a lot of really important bits and pieces, but this was just a quick look back at some of the really cool stuff I found through 2014.

What did you think of my little look back through the amazing world of Technology in 2014? Are you as awe-inspired as I am to want to be in on all of these advancements? What are you looking forward to in 2015? All of your comments below please and get techy!

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