As we wave goodbye to 2014, here's the tech we can't wait to play with in 2015
Looking back at the past twelve months there's certainly been plenty of highlights. The battle of the big smartphones is no longer ruled by Apple and Samsung thanks to the award-winning LG G3. In the world of gaming, the PS4 and Xbox One are getting a better roster of games, although we still want more. If you love your TVs like we do, then 4K prices also started to drop and that can only be a good thing.
It's not all been great. 2014 was supposed to be the year of smartwatch, but we remain unconvinced. The new iPads were great but we wanted more innovation and then there was all of the hacking.
So what does the next twelve months have in store for us? Here's what the TrustedReviews team is most looking forward to.
Steam Machines and Project Ara
(Evan Kypreos - Editor)
It’s teased and it’s tantalised for two years now but 2015 should be the year we finally see Steam Machines and I can’t wait.
The PS4 and Xbox One have been out for more than a year now and they’re good, but I crave a return to my PC roots. The Steam platform is one of the best and innovative out there and comes with one of the biggest catalogue of games you’ll hope to find. From Indie games to AAA titles – it’s all there.
Having the ability to play these in front of my big telly (in 4K… Mmmmmmmm – as Homer would say) would be fantastic, especially with the incredible wallet-vacuuming Steam sales that come about with dangerous regularity.
I’m going to cheat (Editor’s prerogative) and pick a second upcoming release. It is Google’s Project Ara. I’ve seen some wearable startups using modular designs and they’ve been exciting. Quite how well a lego-style smartphone will work remains to be seen but I’m excited to find out.
SEE ALSO: Apple TV vs Amazon Fire TV
The next generation of Apple TV, HomeKit and Apple's music streaming service
(Andy Vandervell - Deputy Editor)
It feels as if we've been on the cusp of the 'future of TV' for years. Google has taken multiple stabs at the idea, while the Xbox One's much-derided TV features were only the latest in a number of Microsoft attempts to 'fix TV' in a modern image. Then there's Apple and that famous line from Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs that he has finally "cracked" TV. More than a few signs suggest 2015 could be the year we finally learn what he meant.
What's exciting for me is the untapped potential of Apple TV. Aside from AirPlay, it doesn't interact much with Apple's other products, but the advent of HomeKit opens up the opportunity to make Apple TV the centre of the future smart home. Throw in Apple's inevitable and overdue entry into music streaming and a (hopefully) more complete TV experience and Apple TV 2015 could come define what the future of tech's most polarising company looks like.
Affordable smart clothing
(Michael Sawh – Features Editor)
I've worn enough smartwatches and activity trackers around my wrist this year to know that not one company has really nailed the concept of the wearable. Yes, there will be a great deal of excitement surrounding the launch of the Apple Watch, but I don't believe it will influence billions to buy one in the same way that the iPad or iPhone did.
The potential with wearables lies with healh and fitness. I've already seen people who have previously had no interest in going for a run or going to the gym wearing Fitbits, Jawbone trackers and sports watches with heart rate monitors.
The next step is smart clothing. The wearable tech you can't forget to put on in the morning. Companies like OMSignal and the French-based Cityzen are already making great strides with the technology but at the moment it's financially out of reach for most.
My hope for 2015 is that smart clothing will deliver meaningful health data at a price that you won't have to sacrifice a large chunk of your monthly pay packet to own it.
SEE ALSO: PS4 vs Xbox One
PlayStation Now in the UK
(Samantha Loveridge – Games Editor)
PlayStation Now is finally coming to the UK in 2015, albeit in beta, after an extended US exclusivity. It will definitely offer some added appeal to the PlayStation TV, but it will be a boon for gamers trying to get some old school PlayStation games on their new PS4.
Install times on the PS4 can sometimes be the bane of my life, so being able to play a new game streamed straight from the cloud will make those quick gaming sessions a breeze if you’re happy to peruse the PlayStation back catalogues.
Let’s just hope my rubbish Sky broadband connection will be fast enough to stream some of the top-notch PS3 games.
I also hope 2015 will be the year PS Now extends to Sony Bravia TVs and other supported devices.
(Simon Osborne-Walker – Digital Content Manager)
Yes, really – I'm excited about Windows 10. Like most people, I found Win 8 a baffling decision. Basically it's a pair of half-arsed operating systems bolted together, and you can't avoid switching between them. Instead of a roaring V8 under the bonnet, you get a pair of 1.2-litre flat-4s with timing issues.
I've been using Mac OS for work and play for over 15 years, but I like competition, and I like a change.
I've been test-driving a Windows 8.1 hybrid for the last few months, and I really want to love it, but... Give me Windows 10 already! I'm not sure I care about Cortana, but a streamlined, unified Windows OS would be lovely. And from what I've seen, that's what Microsoft plans to deliver.
However, the best reason for a Windows overhaul is that when I get those inevitable calls from relations with computer problems, my answer might not have to include: "You're right, it doesn't make sense. You should've bought a Mac."
KTM Freeride E
(Luke Johnson - News Editor)
Forget wearables and smart homes, futuristic phones and gaming breakthroughs, for me, 2015 is about the future of travel.
Google’s driverless cars project is set to kick on over the coming year, and the UK will start road testing autonomous vehicles in four cities. It’s the KTM Freeride E though that’s grabbing my attention.
The first consumer-available electric motocross bike, the Freeride E is the two-wheeled equivalent to the Tesla Model S – albeit with an added dose of awesome.
Offering an hour of off-road action on a single charge, the electric bike hosts 360 Lithium-Ion battery cells alongside a new brushless permanent magnet synchronous electric motor.
Not sure what that means? Well, it means 16kW of power – 22 horsepower in old money – and 42Nm of torque for instant drive out of the berms.
It also means that motocross fans will once again be able to enjoy their beloved sport without the scourge of pesky noise restrictions.
If you prefer your wheels on the tarmac, we will also be seeing a lot more of Project LiveWire – the electric Harley in the coming months.