Consumer tech trends to watch in 2014

In this post, Shaul Levi, Chief Scientist at the AVG Innovation Center in Amsterdam, looks at the trends he believes will impact consumers the most in 2014. This post was originally posted in January 2014 on the AVG Blogs.

In order to qualify as a trend, they must have reached a critical level of user interest and market size, and the technology must be readily available to the public.

Owning your identity

In 2014 we will see a strong movement towards ownership and management of your own data. Quantified self-applications will be used for traditional health care purposes and Governments will increasingly give citizens ownership of their civil digital documents and data.

This will result in improved DIY data gathering and management as we are witnessing with websites like

Also increasingly we will see governments and institutes accept digitally signed documents and identities which of course can be stored on mobile devices.

Total Anonymity & Privacy

After Edward Snowden dominated headlines last year, we expect cryptography/data encryption to be even more important than ever in 2014.

We predict that more funds will be spent on research and development of a groundbreaking new method of encryption – homomorphic encryption.

The same will apply to digital payments. The rise in popularity of Bitcoin is bringing us “back to cash” which gives buyers the additional security of anonymity previously impossible with digital payments.

Ambient computing and connectivity

The last decade has been dominated by ever more sophisticated technology.

2014 will bring us to the point where technology is integrated into our lives to the level that it will become almost unnoticed.

In advertising we see advanced automated techniques to understand user intent, based on input from multiple sources like phone sensors.

Increasing use of Biometrics like Facial Recognition, Fingerprints and Iris Identification are not only implemented for authentication purposes but also targeting and narrowcasting.

The fast growing adoption of wearables and implants continuously increases the amount of personal data that we are gathering. On top of that, our never ending connectivity to the internet and growing accessibility to free Wi-Fi results in an unprecedented vulnerability of our online identity.

Securing your digital identity will therefore become a mainstream concern in 2014.

Business Solutions will drive Internet of things

Hand in hand with unbundling, the commoditization of hardware will continue throughout 2014.

This will first become noticeable with a massive roll out of mashable hardware focused onselling a solution.

By adding smart sensors and connectivity, many low end electronic products will become viable solutions in the internet of things supported by apps and cloud services.

It goes without saying that these solutions are based on connectivity that needs to be secured with private authentication.

Disclaimer: All opinions are those of the author and not those of AVG or Innovation Labs.

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