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This Expert Is Watching 4 Huge Tech Trends

Are you interested in a technology that will have a bigger impact on the world than smartphones? How about a coming trend that could reduce traffic fatalities to near zero?

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, is watching several tech trends for 2014 and beyond -- and is talking about them at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Conference in Austin, Texas.

Motley Fool analyst Rex Moore was able to catch up with Gary at SXSW and chat with him about four tech trends for 2014. These include:

1. The Internet of Things: Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO  ) is a major player in the early stages of IoT. Cisco CEO John Chambers perked up more than a few ears when he estimated this could have a $14.4 trillion impact by 2020. Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) validated that thinking with its $3.2 billion purchase of smart-thermostat maker Nest.

2. Driverless Cars: Google is also on the cutting edge in the move toward autonomous cars. Its fleet of self-driving vehicles has logged hundreds of thousands of miles without incident, and many experts predict traffic fatalities will virtually be eliminated once these cars dominate the roadways.

3. 3-D Printing: After years of success on the industrial front, 3-D printing is finally starting to take off on the consumer side. This technology will evolve well beyond the simple printing of toys and accessories we see today.

4. Ultra HD TV: 4K television is still high on pricing and short on content, but we'll eventually get to the point Ultra-HD is simply called "TV," the way we refer to our high-definition sets today.

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Read/Post Comments (7) | Recommend This Article (23)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2014, at 12:33 PM, meth wrote:

    Any thoughts on VR? It failed in the 90's but seems to have many of the issues worked out. See: and

    There are others working on products, but occulus and glass get most the press currently. The technology has the potential to blur the line between digital and physical realms. And potentially dovetails with each of your 4 trends at some level.

    As a general HUD(heads up display), data whether automotive or environmental (internet of things) can be directly mapped into your field of vision.

    As an entertainment medium, Ultra HD... well this can fill your entire field of view. Most people can't afford their own imax theatre, but this will be affordable. For gaming, it will be full fully immersive. As for 3D printing, Things that exist ingame can be physicaly brought into the real world. An in game reward may no longer be just a high score, etc.

    It's still a ways out, but if you want ponder trends, it's worth a look.

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2014, at 1:28 PM, Pancakes22 wrote:

    I feel like he didn't say much about ultra hd tv's, great interview though!

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2014, at 2:29 PM, Squire wrote:

    Two sentences to sum up 3D printing? So much for "knowing intimately."

    SSYS has released a revolutionary multimaterial printer - it can mix plastics and rubbers to make a final product with multiple types of flexibility, color, and density. (

    My favorite for 3D printing, though, is Organovo ( It has seen ups and downs, and is certainly not without critics, but I believe this company is on the brink of something truly revolutionary.

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2014, at 6:44 PM, cmalek wrote:

    "we'll eventually get to the point Ultra-HD is simply called "TV,""

    By the time Ultra HD becomes just plain TV, there will be a "Super Duper Ultra HD" everybody will be hankering for.

  • Report this Comment On March 12, 2014, at 10:02 PM, ddlive wrote:

    4k Television? what about OLED? I thought that was the BIG thing.

  • Report this Comment On March 13, 2014, at 8:56 AM, Mathman6577 wrote:

    Driverless cars have a long way to go before paying off for Google (unless you mean some advertising for the Google brand).

    Apple will be a big player in IoT too.

    A more immediate high-tech payoff would be in the energy sector (hydraulic fracturing is actually high-tech and making money for energy producers, MLP's, refiners, manufacturers right now).

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2014, at 12:36 PM, jrj90620 wrote:

    I don't know how many times I've read the experts saying plasma HDTV's are better than LCD,but LCD is about all you can buy.Hopefully OLED will be as good as plasma and we will see more,at much lower prices.

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Rex Moore

Rex Moore spent his formative years in Texas, and fought beside Davy Crockett at the Alamo. He currently travels the globe for TMF, bringing back video reports on conferences and companies that matter for investors.

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