The top tech trends for 2013

From 4G mobile broadband to even smarter TVs, here’s what to look forward to in the world of technology over the next twelve months.

With iPhone and iPad continuing to dominate the tech scene, Samsung Galaxy SIII giving them a run for their money and ultrabooks showing the future shape of laptops, 2012 was a hugely exciting year for technology.

2013 is set to bring even more big changes, so to predict what the future holds we’ve gutted an old Apple Newton to see what its components tell us of tech events to come…

4G mobile broadband

The big mobile networks will be spending billions of pounds to access the new high-speed 4G mobile frequencies. This means they’re going to be telling us all about it through 2013 as more and more of us make the leap to 4G.

Everything Everywhere (owners of Orange and T-Mobile) already provide 4G coverage, but expect Vodafone, O2, 3 and others to start pushing 4G phones and tariffs. iPhone 5, HTC One XL, Samsung Galaxy SIII and Huawei Ascend P1 can all offer support for 4G and that roster is going to get much bigger.

Flexible devices

Samsung Flexible AMOLED

Samsung demonstrated its flexible technology during 2012.

The technology for flexible and bendable displays is already available. It’s just a matter of time until devices that support them start to appear and we think the first wave will be here before the end of the year.

Both Samsung and LG have demonstrated working screens prototypes and we think Samsung is holding out for a big release. Could it be the Samsung Galaxy S4?

Bigger, smarter, brighter TVs

If you haven’t noticed, TVs are getting bigger. Much bigger. With 3D TVs already out there, manufacturers are looking for new ways to wow the public. One of the easiest is just to make them bigger with sets reaching up to 110 inches in size.

TVs are also getting smarter. Even standard TVs will soon be offering loads of internet features, apps and video chat with some running Android.

Samsung is introducing gesture and voice control on many new sets, including its new OLED 55-inch model. This enables you to control the TV with a wave of the hand, so if you misplace the remote, that’s no problem. And talking of super-vibrant OLED screen technology, this will gradually replace LED displays to become the norm.

Augmented reality

Life through your lens?

Life through your lens?

We’ve already had a taste of what augmented reality can bring to the table through smartphone apps.

But in 2013 we’re expecting the first Google Glasses to hit the market and they could cause a big splash with talk of Microsoft and Apple wanting to get in on the action.

Everything connected

Expect every electronic device to come with network capabilities. Google and more are looking at ways to move “home automation” to your phone so you can use it to control the lighting, heating, turn the TV on and more.

To be in on the action manufacturers will need to create devices with network abilities built in. This will extend to your car, with a variety of connected internet-based entertainment features showing up in all new models.

Smart cameras

This is already happening with the Samsung Galaxy Camera, but expect to see plenty of new cameras brandishing “smart” features. These will range from full versions of Android to more basic sharing features and social networking over Wi-Fi. GPS tagging will be included on even the lower-end models.

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