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This Expert Is Watching 4 Huge Tech Trends

By Rex Moore - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:30AM

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CEA president Gary Shapiro guides us through four technologies investors should know intimately.

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 ( CSCO 0.35% ) 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 ( GOOGL -0.60% ) 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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