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TECH
TRENDS 2014
Thursday, January 9, 14
TECH TRENDS 2014

frogs from around the world
predict the 15 most significant
technology trends you will see
in the coming year.

www.frogdesign.com/techtrends2014

2

Thursday, January 9, 14
ANONYMITY
WILL GO MAINSTREAM
BY JOHN LEONARD, ADAM SILVER,
AND CARLOS ELENA-LENZ

The age of indiscriminate sharing on social networks is rapidly
changing. In 2013 we learned of NSA leaks, privacy debacles, and
massive inquiries into our digital lives. Simultaneously, a social
platform based on transmitting communications with minimal
digital tracks was valued at $4 billion. This isn’t a coincidence;
scrutiny is playing an important role in how we sculpt our digital
personas. In 2014 we’ll see an influx of platforms catering to a
digital experience grounded in anonymity. The rise of “The
Snapchats” is going mainstream.
The Innovators: Snapchat, Wickr, Heml, Gryphn

Thursday, January 9, 14
DRONES.
EVERYWHERE. AND
RAPIDLY EVOLVING.

Autonomous, miniature flying machines are nothing
new. But they are more common than ever before. Soon,
advancements in drone technology will make the sky a
place ripe for innovation, leading to a proliferation of
airborne applications. The design implications are huge,
from the drones themselves down to the ecosystems
that support them.

BY ADAM PRUDEN, ERIC BOAM,
AND CARLOS ELENA-LENZ

The Innovators: 3D Robotics, Spiri

Thursday, January 9, 14
DISCONNECTING
IN THE MODERN,
DIGITAL WORLD
BY TIMOTHY MOREY

You will step into a library and disconnect. The theater will hush and
your GPS will shut off. The dark zone in your home will allow you to
sink into a chair, web-free, and muse. Faraday Zones, as frog
strategist Timothy Morey calls them, will become a ubiquity in 2014.
From these dodgy origins, they will find mainstream acceptance on
trains, planes, and automobiles, as well as certain public spaces such
as libraries and cinemas. Back-to-nature resorts and vacation spots
will pile on, offering the opportunity to be “beyond reach.”
The Innovators: Camp Grounded

Thursday, January 9, 14
RISE OF THE
CHINESE INTERNET
GIANTS
BY STEVE BOSWELL

In 2014, the world will discover WeChat. With its user
base of 300 million and an innovative offering, including
instant messaging, group chat, content sharing, payments,
and e-commerce, WeChat has evolved from a messaging
application to a truly integrated mobile Internet platform.
Not only will they unseat Facebook, WeChat will also
disrupt the enterprise communications, financial services,
and retail industries on a large scale.
The Innovators: Tencent

Thursday, January 9, 14
MIND
CONTROL!
BY KENJI HUANG

If someone from the 1500’s came to us now and looked at
what technology has enabled us to do, they’d think we were
superhuman. In 2014, we’ll make even greater advancements.
Our ability to control objects with our minds will be within
reach as more companies look toward experiences that
directly harness electrical signals from our brain.
The Innovators: EPOC, Melon

Thursday, January 9, 14
AUGMENTED
REALITY
BY ANTONIO DEPASQUALE

Technology has always helped us solve problems and extend our potential.
Until now our technological tools were external add-ons, largely separate
from our bodies. Today they are evolving on a new path integrating with
our physiology; we are “hacking” the human body and the senses. Wearable
technology, such as Google Glass, is an example of the first generation of
consumer products that is changing the way we think about technology
extending our potential. But it’s only the beginning: system-powered
exoskeletons, and bionic arms, feet, and eyes, are the next phase.
The Innovators: BioM, Touchbionics, Honda

Thursday, January 9, 14
SELFDRIVING
CARS
BY JARED FICKLIN

Our cars will tuck themselves into a driveway or garage with
precision, leading to the convenience of being able to begin the ritual
exit of the vehicle—gathering belongings, checking smartphones,
looking for sunglasses—early. Self-driving cars are on the horizon in
2014, with practical elements like self-parking paving the way.
The Innovators: Ford

Thursday, January 9, 14
THE INTERNET
OF THINGS GOES
ART SCHOOL
BY ROBERT TUTTLE

Thursday, January 9, 14

Everything around us is getting smarter. As the Internet of
Things becomes ubiquitous, smart technology will move beyond
“practical” uses (medical, fitness, security, etc.) and into more
subjective, artistic scenarios. Riding the wave of connecting sensors,
devices, and people, digitally augmenting live music performances
will enhance the audience experience and deliver more
entertainment value.
The Innovators: ITP at Tisch School of the Arts
DATA, RICH
AND FULL OF
VALUE
BY PATRICK KALAHER

The technology we use creates an abundance of data. That
“digital exhaust” can take myriad forms, from descriptive
data to data about product use and compatibility. In 2014,
the quality and richness of this data will be the most
refined and top-notch it has ever been.
The Innovators: Etilize, Icecat

Thursday, January 9, 14
THE REINTERPRETATION OF
CRAFT
BY MARK WHEEDON

Thursday, January 9, 14

At a time when every new piece of tech or service seems to be an
app or digital entity, we’re craving the tangible. Nike is a leader
in reviving craft and skill, by combining advanced materials and
3D printing. Next year will fundamentally change the way we
think of mass-produced objects, with the rise of emotionally
driven customizations and stylized “imperfections.”
The Innovators: Nike
BUCKING THE
PRICE NORM
BY CORMAC EUBANKS

For years it was a common industry belief that very few people
would shell out more than $100 for a pair of headphones. Then Beats
by Dre dropped in and recalibrated an industry. They showed the world
that people were willing to pay for a premium design and bass heavy
sound all wrapped in an outstanding aspirational brand. Industries are
waking up to the fact that people are eager to purchase products at
prices never before considered, provided those products deliver
excellent design and user experience. Good design involves envisioning
a product and user experience from the ground up. For disruptive
companies that can do that effectively, the sky’s the limit.
The Innovators: Apple

Thursday, January 9, 14
THE UBERFICATION OF
SERVICES
BY MICHAEL ROBERTSON

Thursday, January 9, 14

San Francisco startup Uber has led the revolution of
personal transportation: Click to order, and minutes later
your personal, quality-checked driver arrives, with the
payment taken care of behind the scenes. 2014 will see this
“on-demand” model extend across other personal services,
from home maintenance to dog walking. Appliance repair
person? Your device says they’re only three minutes away.
The Innovators: ClubLocal, HandyBook
THE CONSUMER
WILL OWN DATA
BY ANNIE HSU

With companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter making
billions of dollars from what is essentially aggregated and analyzed
user data, there will be a counter-movement of user-controlled
data ownership (and even user-controlled data monetization)
growing stronger over time. To quote a colleague here, ‘‘If you’re
not paying for it, you’re not the customer—you’re the product
being sold.” 2014 will be the year of data reclamation!
The Innovators: Personal.com

Thursday, January 9, 14
QUANTIFIED
SELF AT THE
OFFICE
BY CLINT RULE

Thursday, January 9, 14

How long you slept and how fast you ran won’t be the only
quantified elements of your life. Quantifying your time at
work will become the norm: How, when, and where you
spend your time at work will be automatically captured and
translated into timesheets, project management software,
and analytics dashboards. Expect debates about privacy
rights and coercive versus caring uses of the technology.
The Innovators: Peak
REINVENTION
OF PC AS PRODUCTIVITY TOOL
BY TJEERD HOEK

Device manufacturers are primarily focusing their innovation on
the high-volume mobile device market and the booming sales
numbers of smartphones and tablets. But these consumption/
communication-optimized devices aren’t a good replacement of
the PC when it comes to creation and productivity tasks. And yet
no one is investing in its future. A reinvigorated interest in
computing tools to make things will be news in 2014.
The Innovators: Apple

Thursday, January 9, 14
FOR INQUIRIES, CONTACT
business@frogdesign.com
www.frogdesign.com

frog is a global product strategy and design firm. We identify business opportunities, create great products, and design meaningful experiences to grow
brands and delight customers. We are more than 600 strategists, researchers,
designers, and technologists who consult and partner with clients across
industries. Headquartered in San Francisco, we have offices in Amsterdam,
Austin, Boston, Milan, Munich, New York, Seattle, and Shanghai.

AMSTERDAM
Van Diemenstraat 200
1013 CP Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel. +31 20 520 3600

MILAN
Via Ugo Bassi, 21
20159 Milan
Italy
Tel. +39 02 898 25900

SAN FRANCISCO
660 3rd Street, 4th Floor
San Francisco, California 94107
United States
Tel. +1 415 442 4804

AUSTIN
101 W. 6th Street, Suite 200
Austin, Texas 78701
United States
Tel. +1 512 477 3764

MUNICH
Leopoldstraße 55
80802, Munich
Germany
Tel. +49 (0)89 232397 0

SEATTLE
413 Pine Street, 2nd Floor
Seattle, Washington 98101
United States
Tel. +1 206 876 3900

BOSTON
1 Broadway, 14th Floor
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142
United States
Tel. +1 212 965 9700

NEW YORK
325 Hudson Street, 7th Floor
New York, New York 10013
United States
Tel. +1 212 965 9700

SHANGHAI
3F building 6, No. 800 Changde Road
Shanghai 200040
China
Tel. +86 21 6157 7188

18

Thursday, January 9, 14
frog is a company of Aricent.

Thursday, January 9, 14

© 2014 frog design inc.

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Tech Trends 2014

  • 2. TECH TRENDS 2014 frogs from around the world predict the 15 most significant technology trends you will see in the coming year. www.frogdesign.com/techtrends2014 2 Thursday, January 9, 14
  • 3. ANONYMITY WILL GO MAINSTREAM BY JOHN LEONARD, ADAM SILVER, AND CARLOS ELENA-LENZ The age of indiscriminate sharing on social networks is rapidly changing. In 2013 we learned of NSA leaks, privacy debacles, and massive inquiries into our digital lives. Simultaneously, a social platform based on transmitting communications with minimal digital tracks was valued at $4 billion. This isn’t a coincidence; scrutiny is playing an important role in how we sculpt our digital personas. In 2014 we’ll see an influx of platforms catering to a digital experience grounded in anonymity. The rise of “The Snapchats” is going mainstream. The Innovators: Snapchat, Wickr, Heml, Gryphn Thursday, January 9, 14
  • 4. DRONES. EVERYWHERE. AND RAPIDLY EVOLVING. Autonomous, miniature flying machines are nothing new. But they are more common than ever before. Soon, advancements in drone technology will make the sky a place ripe for innovation, leading to a proliferation of airborne applications. The design implications are huge, from the drones themselves down to the ecosystems that support them. BY ADAM PRUDEN, ERIC BOAM, AND CARLOS ELENA-LENZ The Innovators: 3D Robotics, Spiri Thursday, January 9, 14
  • 5. DISCONNECTING IN THE MODERN, DIGITAL WORLD BY TIMOTHY MOREY You will step into a library and disconnect. The theater will hush and your GPS will shut off. The dark zone in your home will allow you to sink into a chair, web-free, and muse. Faraday Zones, as frog strategist Timothy Morey calls them, will become a ubiquity in 2014. From these dodgy origins, they will find mainstream acceptance on trains, planes, and automobiles, as well as certain public spaces such as libraries and cinemas. Back-to-nature resorts and vacation spots will pile on, offering the opportunity to be “beyond reach.” The Innovators: Camp Grounded Thursday, January 9, 14
  • 6. RISE OF THE CHINESE INTERNET GIANTS BY STEVE BOSWELL In 2014, the world will discover WeChat. With its user base of 300 million and an innovative offering, including instant messaging, group chat, content sharing, payments, and e-commerce, WeChat has evolved from a messaging application to a truly integrated mobile Internet platform. Not only will they unseat Facebook, WeChat will also disrupt the enterprise communications, financial services, and retail industries on a large scale. The Innovators: Tencent Thursday, January 9, 14
  • 7. MIND CONTROL! BY KENJI HUANG If someone from the 1500’s came to us now and looked at what technology has enabled us to do, they’d think we were superhuman. In 2014, we’ll make even greater advancements. Our ability to control objects with our minds will be within reach as more companies look toward experiences that directly harness electrical signals from our brain. The Innovators: EPOC, Melon Thursday, January 9, 14
  • 8. AUGMENTED REALITY BY ANTONIO DEPASQUALE Technology has always helped us solve problems and extend our potential. Until now our technological tools were external add-ons, largely separate from our bodies. Today they are evolving on a new path integrating with our physiology; we are “hacking” the human body and the senses. Wearable technology, such as Google Glass, is an example of the first generation of consumer products that is changing the way we think about technology extending our potential. But it’s only the beginning: system-powered exoskeletons, and bionic arms, feet, and eyes, are the next phase. The Innovators: BioM, Touchbionics, Honda Thursday, January 9, 14
  • 9. SELFDRIVING CARS BY JARED FICKLIN Our cars will tuck themselves into a driveway or garage with precision, leading to the convenience of being able to begin the ritual exit of the vehicle—gathering belongings, checking smartphones, looking for sunglasses—early. Self-driving cars are on the horizon in 2014, with practical elements like self-parking paving the way. The Innovators: Ford Thursday, January 9, 14
  • 10. THE INTERNET OF THINGS GOES ART SCHOOL BY ROBERT TUTTLE Thursday, January 9, 14 Everything around us is getting smarter. As the Internet of Things becomes ubiquitous, smart technology will move beyond “practical” uses (medical, fitness, security, etc.) and into more subjective, artistic scenarios. Riding the wave of connecting sensors, devices, and people, digitally augmenting live music performances will enhance the audience experience and deliver more entertainment value. The Innovators: ITP at Tisch School of the Arts
  • 11. DATA, RICH AND FULL OF VALUE BY PATRICK KALAHER The technology we use creates an abundance of data. That “digital exhaust” can take myriad forms, from descriptive data to data about product use and compatibility. In 2014, the quality and richness of this data will be the most refined and top-notch it has ever been. The Innovators: Etilize, Icecat Thursday, January 9, 14
  • 12. THE REINTERPRETATION OF CRAFT BY MARK WHEEDON Thursday, January 9, 14 At a time when every new piece of tech or service seems to be an app or digital entity, we’re craving the tangible. Nike is a leader in reviving craft and skill, by combining advanced materials and 3D printing. Next year will fundamentally change the way we think of mass-produced objects, with the rise of emotionally driven customizations and stylized “imperfections.” The Innovators: Nike
  • 13. BUCKING THE PRICE NORM BY CORMAC EUBANKS For years it was a common industry belief that very few people would shell out more than $100 for a pair of headphones. Then Beats by Dre dropped in and recalibrated an industry. They showed the world that people were willing to pay for a premium design and bass heavy sound all wrapped in an outstanding aspirational brand. Industries are waking up to the fact that people are eager to purchase products at prices never before considered, provided those products deliver excellent design and user experience. Good design involves envisioning a product and user experience from the ground up. For disruptive companies that can do that effectively, the sky’s the limit. The Innovators: Apple Thursday, January 9, 14
  • 14. THE UBERFICATION OF SERVICES BY MICHAEL ROBERTSON Thursday, January 9, 14 San Francisco startup Uber has led the revolution of personal transportation: Click to order, and minutes later your personal, quality-checked driver arrives, with the payment taken care of behind the scenes. 2014 will see this “on-demand” model extend across other personal services, from home maintenance to dog walking. Appliance repair person? Your device says they’re only three minutes away. The Innovators: ClubLocal, HandyBook
  • 15. THE CONSUMER WILL OWN DATA BY ANNIE HSU With companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter making billions of dollars from what is essentially aggregated and analyzed user data, there will be a counter-movement of user-controlled data ownership (and even user-controlled data monetization) growing stronger over time. To quote a colleague here, ‘‘If you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer—you’re the product being sold.” 2014 will be the year of data reclamation! The Innovators: Personal.com Thursday, January 9, 14
  • 16. QUANTIFIED SELF AT THE OFFICE BY CLINT RULE Thursday, January 9, 14 How long you slept and how fast you ran won’t be the only quantified elements of your life. Quantifying your time at work will become the norm: How, when, and where you spend your time at work will be automatically captured and translated into timesheets, project management software, and analytics dashboards. Expect debates about privacy rights and coercive versus caring uses of the technology. The Innovators: Peak
  • 17. REINVENTION OF PC AS PRODUCTIVITY TOOL BY TJEERD HOEK Device manufacturers are primarily focusing their innovation on the high-volume mobile device market and the booming sales numbers of smartphones and tablets. But these consumption/ communication-optimized devices aren’t a good replacement of the PC when it comes to creation and productivity tasks. And yet no one is investing in its future. A reinvigorated interest in computing tools to make things will be news in 2014. The Innovators: Apple Thursday, January 9, 14
  • 18. FOR INQUIRIES, CONTACT business@frogdesign.com www.frogdesign.com frog is a global product strategy and design firm. We identify business opportunities, create great products, and design meaningful experiences to grow brands and delight customers. We are more than 600 strategists, researchers, designers, and technologists who consult and partner with clients across industries. Headquartered in San Francisco, we have offices in Amsterdam, Austin, Boston, Milan, Munich, New York, Seattle, and Shanghai. AMSTERDAM Van Diemenstraat 200 1013 CP Amsterdam The Netherlands Tel. +31 20 520 3600 MILAN Via Ugo Bassi, 21 20159 Milan Italy Tel. +39 02 898 25900 SAN FRANCISCO 660 3rd Street, 4th Floor San Francisco, California 94107 United States Tel. +1 415 442 4804 AUSTIN 101 W. 6th Street, Suite 200 Austin, Texas 78701 United States Tel. +1 512 477 3764 MUNICH Leopoldstraße 55 80802, Munich Germany Tel. +49 (0)89 232397 0 SEATTLE 413 Pine Street, 2nd Floor Seattle, Washington 98101 United States Tel. +1 206 876 3900 BOSTON 1 Broadway, 14th Floor Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142 United States Tel. +1 212 965 9700 NEW YORK 325 Hudson Street, 7th Floor New York, New York 10013 United States Tel. +1 212 965 9700 SHANGHAI 3F building 6, No. 800 Changde Road Shanghai 200040 China Tel. +86 21 6157 7188 18 Thursday, January 9, 14
  • 19. frog is a company of Aricent. Thursday, January 9, 14 © 2014 frog design inc.