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  Date: 24/12/2013

Symphony Teleca's tech trends forecast for 2014

Product design service company Symphony Teleca Corporation (STC) has shared these below top tech trends for year 2014.

Newcomers to the Wearable Device Race
Small, niche companies will join mobile device giants like Samsung in the wearable technology race, opening it up to be anyone's game. The market will also become highly segmented around consumer experiences for fitness enthusiasts, health and wellness advocates, business users and other targeted audiences. OEMs that can produce quality products that deliver a seamless portable experience will likely come out on top.

Multi-Screen Engagement Will Transform the Living Room
The trend toward smart TVs and set-top boxes will take on a new form in 2014. As the industry moves to standardizing existing platforms, challenges from the game console makers and consumer demand for ease of use will create a new market dynamic. New user interfaces and content formats will emerge that will not only work with the cable box and the remote, but also connected devices like smartphones and tablets. Cable companies and broadcast producers will capitalize on this opportunity to engage with consumers in a myriad of new ways by unlocking the set-top box, enabling a third-party ecosystem and integrating with other smart devices, making the living room a modern, connected entertainment space.

The Car is the Next Personal Electronics
More and more technology advancements from both consumer electronics and automotive sectors will be available to the automotive industry in 2014. The challenge however, will be figuring out how to effectively install, upgrade and integrate these systems quickly to meet consumer demand and expectation. To help address this challenge, automotive OEMs will increasingly see consumer technology companies as their top strategic partners and innovation engines.

Retailers and Healthcare Professionals Turned Data Scientists
Shopping habits and patient outcomes will no longer be guessing games in industries such as retail and healthcare, thanks to advances in predictive analytics.

On the retail front, an explosion of data analytic tools will hit the retail space, forcing brick and mortar stores to mimic their online counterparts by tracking consumer shopping patterns and serving up in-store mobile advertising, sales and merchandising accordingly. Brands will leverage omni-channel retailing and location-based tracking to execute bi-directional engagement with the shopper to ensure timely, relevant and personalized offers.

Acknowledging the inherent deficiencies in point-of-sale (POS) data, retailers will leverage social and interactive technologies like Instagram or near-field communication (NFC) to get insights at the shelf level. Getting feedback from the shopper at the moment of purchase will be determined as more accurate and valuable for product innovation, thus companies will leverage crowdsourcing at the point of purchase to drive product innovation.

In the healthcare sector, in the US, 2014 will see healthcare payers and providers deepening their commitment to data analytics as they try to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs in line with the Federal Government's Triple Aim. Predictive analysis and risk-scoring models will be used to improve population risk stratification and reduce readmissions, predict the onset of chronic diseases and normalize care utilization costs to reward performance.

Smart Energy as the New Norm
As cities across the world face growing urban populations, aging infrastructures and dwindling financial resources, city governments will increasingly undertake initiatives to manage these challenges. They will turn to smart-grid technologies for grid modernization; outage management; and integration of a variety of power generation sources, including on-premises generation, and consumer energy management solutions, to meet evolving expectations and control costs. In 2014, this trend will drive strong demand and growth for the emerging smart-grid players.

"From point-of-sale advertising in retail to advances in remote software management in automotive, this year saw significant developments in data analytics fueled by the growing smartphone and tablet markets. That has set the stage for disruptive consumer and enterprise solutions that will answer the ongoing challenges that arise at the convergence of data and mobility in the new year," said Sanjay Dhawan, President and CEO of Symphony Teleca. "As the technology landscape continues to evolve, we will see a fundamental shift toward real-time connectivity, and organizations, both manufacturers and service providers, will look to third parties to help them bring solutions to market quicker."
Author: Srinivasa Reddy N
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