Thursday, 01 January 2015 20:23

2015: Happy New Year from iTWire! Featured

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It’s 2015, and we’re half way through the second decade of the 21st century. What cool new things can we expect in tech this year?

2015 has arrived now in all parts of the world, with plenty of amazing pyrotechnics lighting up the world’s capital cities in spectacular displays.

Australia’s fireworks extravaganza in Sydney can be seen in spectacular 360-degree style recorded by a drone with six HD cameras from 1000 feet in the air, via any iOS and Android devices from Telstra’s Sydney NYE 2014 app, which you can download from links at Telstra’s NYE site here

No doubt you can find YouTube videos of various NYE 2014 fireworks displays worldwide just by searching online.

But 2015 promises a lot more than just pyrotechnics.

Next up this year to make a massive bang will be the yearly and legendary International CES held in Las Vegas from 6 to 9 January 2015.

All of the major keynotes from top tech companies should be streamed live to the world, and we’ll be there virtually from our notebook in Sydney to bring you the latest news from this major tech event.

Sadly, if something is shown off at CES, there’s no actual guarantee it’ll ever end up on store shelves, but most of the big things on display are destined to arrive at retail around the world sometime in 2015, so it promises to be a spectacular tech event no matter what.

Then on 21 January we’ll see Microsoft finally showcasing the Consumer Preview of its upcoming Windows 10 operating system, due to arrive in final form in mid-2015, which will be Microsoft attempt at not only re-energising its desktop, notebook and enterprise operating system, but also its tablet efforts.

Cortana will arrive with Windows 10, letting you talk to your Windows PC the way you can talk to Siri or Google Now on smartphones and tablets, or Cortana on Windows Phones. Perhaps then it is the year Apple will bring Siri to Mac OS X, too.

We should also see Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 arrive sometime later this year, probably alongside the Windows 10 launch, with the currently on sale Surface Pro 3 still a contender for the best Windows-based PC on sale, combining the best of the desktop PC world along with Microsoft’s tablet PC efforts.

Another major tablet to arrive this year besides the iPad Air 4 will be Apple’s expected iPad Pro, rumoured to be a 12-inch tablet, which may well come with the Apple iPen stylus that Apple has been busily patenting over the past few years, as seen here at Patently Apple

While the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus continue their stellar sales run, we also expect to see the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, and if the success of the current 6 and 6 Plus are anything to go by, the 6S will be a strong success, too - and will have the name for it, to boot.

iOS 9, the successor to Mac OS X Mavericks, newer versions of Android 5.x or even 6.x will come too, but all of these are quite predictable.

And let's not forget the Apple Watch!

Touch ID will also hopefully come to Apple’s Macs - as well as a stronger Touch ID implementation that’s harder for that German computer club to ‘crack’ - and harder for police authorities to force you to use to unlock your devices in defiance of the fourth amendment in the US - not that the fourth amendment helps non US citizens very much.

Samsung and Google will also release new tablets, too - it’s just natural - but will they have any surprises that really resonate with the public?

Telstra is also aggresively rolling out its LTE Advanced (LTE-A) network it has dubbed 4GX, but is this the year we'll also see Steve Perlman's pCells 'mobile fibre' networks arrive from Artemis Networks in New York, San Francisco and elsewhere in the world? I hope so!

Optus has also now rolled out a lot more 700MHz 4G, too, taking the 4G fight up to Telstra in a stronger position than ever before, even if Telstra is still miles ahead of Optus thanks to its widescale LTE-A rollout. 

The big question though for 2015 is what technologies we’ll see arriving that we didn’t expect, becoming massive hits that change our lives.

Virtual reality will probably still not be the massive hit it has promised to be for decades, but at least Samsung will finally get its Gear VR headset out the door, in Australia, sometime this month.

That said, Samsung and Oculus are surely working hard on a Samsung Gear VR 2.0 you’d imagine they’d want to release towards the end of the year.

A new 12-inch MacBook Air with Retina Display is also highly anticipated, and perhaps we’ll see the rest of the iMac range go Retina as well, alongside the 5K 27-inch iMac.

We can only hope battery technology makes some kind of breakthrough this year, too, or at least super fast charging technologies so that the batteries we have today can be charged super quickly, even if they don’t actually end up delivering more hours of life - which is less important if you can fully recharge a battery in minutes rather than hours.

But what else? CES should give us some hints. 4K TV will get cheaper and cheaper this year as TVs get bigger at lower prices.

Artificial intelligence will get smarter, but we won’t see humanoid Androids like those from Isaac Asimov’s brain anytime soon - both sadly, and happily (given the Terminator-like implications warned of in movies like Terminator and the mind of Elon Musk).

We’ll also finally see the next Marvel Avengers movie - the Age of Ultron appearing in the next few months, while movies such as Ex Machina and a BladeRunner sequel will take sci-fi movie robots to the next level. There’ll even be a new Terminator movie this year.

The latest Star Wars movie will arrive at the end of the year - let us all sincerely hope it is better than the last three.

As for what else is coming, beyond better electric cars, solar cells with better efficiency, faster processors from Intel, Apple and others… is yet to be seen.

Let’s just hope that 2015 really does turn out to be a very happy new year for us all!


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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