You can always count on the end of the year as the time when everyone comes out with new gadgets. Three trends to keep an eye out for in 2013 are 3D printers, better Internet TV, and a smarter, more connected home.
If you’ve watched any of those biker build-off programs on TV, you’ve seen a 3D printer. The machine that precision cuts the wheel base or any of the ornaments is in effect a 3D printer. Imagine having one of those at home. OK, you couldn’t actually fit one of those in an apartment, but you can fit a Bits From Bytes desktop sized printer.
The print area is 10.75 x 10.75 x 8.25 inches. The total size of the printer is not much larger than that.
A lot of companies are coming out with smaller more manageable 3D printers. Now the real question is who needs a 3D printer? The printer uses a design file as a blueprint; it can then fabricate the item from layers of plastic. Just imagine if you could print a replacement part to fix a broken toy.
There are also a lot of stores and Internet sites that will do the work for you. You do not need to own a 3D printer to have use of one. But they are practically starting to build themselves.
Who remembers the 1964 (or at least remembers a reference to it on TV) New York World’s Fair? We were promised the automated home of the future. Well, we’re getting there. There are so many things you can control in your home while you are not there.
You can manage your home from anywhere. There are sensors to monitor when there is no one in the house. Then other products can turn the heat off, or turn a light on, or curtains can be programmed to close when the sun reaches a certain spot. You can start the car engine while you’re brushing your teeth. All of these can be controlled from a smartphone or tablet.
Keep an eye out in 2013; companies are promising to produce many more products and systems designed to integrate with the Internet and give you even more access to your home.
Better Internet TV
You can pretty much watch movies and some TV shows just about anywhere. A lot of cable stations have apps that allow you to watch their shows on your smartphone or tablet. With your Internet connection and TV cards, you have already been able to watch TV on your computer.
Soon there will be so much media streaming that you will no longer need to own a cable box to watch TV or movies. Apple (News - Alert) is planning on updating the Apple TV dongle to offer more services. It will increase the interactivity with the iPhone and iPad going beyond its Remote app.
Not to be left behind, Microsoft (News - Alert) will also be coming out with new versions and updates of its products. There are rumors that the firm will reach out to non-gamer consumers. It will come out with a “lite” Xbox version offering a large selection of Internet services. This is most likely an effort to get more interest in Windows 8 devices.
Companies like Amazon are starting to commission their own original programming. Its Prime Instant Video service has announced that it is producing six new series.
Of course there is still a price tag (News - Alert) that goes along with each of these devices. In 2013 there is definitely going to be an increase in both existing and new content, as well as new devices, but that just means that there will be more things to pay for.
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Edited by Braden Becker