As 2015 prepares to be another big year for technology, we look at give revolutionary gadgets that are going to shake things up this year.
The technology industry is in its prime right now. Gone are the days when people would recoil in shock and horror over electricity (or near enough) and we no longer think that the biggest step up in technology is our phones going from clunky Nokia bricks to thin, touchscreen smartphones. It means that we are ready to embrace new gadgets and devices more than ever, even if it means abandoning our old ways of doing things or using technology to improve our traditional methods.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of five revolutionary gadgets. These five devices will improve an industry or catapult it into public consciousness so read on to find out what will be taking the tech sector by storm in 2015.
1. Oculus Rift
Oculus Rift is by far the most anticipated piece of tech hardware this year. The wearable virtual reality (VR) headset was already on the path of success but then Facebook snapped up Oculus Rift (and the company that makes it) for a massive $2 billion.
Tipped for a mid-Summer 2015 release, when Oculus Rift launches it will mostly focus on games. For years we’ve experienced games by looking at the back of our characters’ heads or looking at a TV for a first person view through their eyes. But Oculus Rift will make us feel as though we are exactly in their shoes; when we turn our heads whilst wearing Oculus we can look around the setting as if we are our character and aren’t just controlling some fictional person on a screen.
In addition to more immersive gaming, Oculus could even be used for shopping (it could make you feel as though you are inside a supermarket) or as a new way of experiencing movies or TV shows.
2. Steam Machines
Also focused on gaming are Steam Machines. Pioneered by game publisher, developer and digital game distributor Valve, their Steam Machines will use their PC gaming platform Steam to power a console that sits under your TV.
Steam Machines allow you to play PC games on your TV much easier than using fiddly wires to plug your laptop or desktop computer into your TV. The benefits don’t stop there either as the games on Steam are much cheaper than their PlayStation or Xbox counterparts and, as Steam Machines are upgradeable with extra parts, you’ll be able to increase their power to handle the bigger, more demanding games.
Steam Machines are available now from various manufacturers (including Alienware).
3. XYZPrinting Food Printer
3D printers have been making a splash for the past few years with their promises of 3D printed jewellery and artwork and even body parts but the XYZPrinting Food Printer allows us to 3D print food.
Demoed at CES 2015 in Las Vegas earlier this year, the printer specialises in chocolate decorations and cookies. You put in the chocolate and it will decorate anything for you with it, which is perfect for cakes or other edible decorations. The cookies meanwhile, require the raw ingredients, which the printer then mixes all up and presents for you in a various array of dough-y shapes. With the cookies you do have to bake them yourself but as it takes most of the effort out of baking it’s probably worth it.
The XYZPrinting Food Printer will be released later this year.
Another piece of kit shown off at CES this year was the Ozobot. Described as a ‘robotic toy’ (it was a Toy of the Year finalist at CES), Ozobot is an educational tool too.
The aim of the Ozobot is to teach children how to program as they figure out how to use code to control the Ozobot. The Ozobot can travel lines that you’ve drawn with markers, it can dance with free Ozobot apps (including dance app OzoGroove) and there’s even information about creating custom board games using Ozobot’s programming.
Ozobot is available now.
5. Apple Watch
According to analysts, the wearable technology industry is set to increase by $10 to $60 billion in the next five years and with Apple about to become a massive player in the wearable game, it’s not hard to see why.
For now, the Apple Watch doesn’t have a release date past ‘early 2015’ but people are still chomping at the bit to get their hands on the company’s hi-tech accessory. When it finally launches, the Apple Watch will come in sport, standard and gold ‘luxury’ versions, so that you can tailor your watch type to your specific style. They’ll be able to run apps and with the digital dial on the side of device you’ll be able to zoom in and out easily as you browse the web and won’t have to cover the touchscreen as you try and zoom in by pinching your fingers.
The Apple Watch will be available soon.