What Tech CEOs Are Buzzing About
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) The Internet reached full saturation in our society; it's in the hands and on the desks of nearly every modern human being for at least a period of time. The rise of this industry has led to the creation of countless new jobs in creative sectors. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Statistics, tech-related fields such as infosec analysts, computer systems analysts and computer support specialists have some of the fastest growing employment rates in the country.
If you're interested in tech, here are some new projects, gadgets, startups and trends to look for in 2014:
1. Freemium Pricing Strategies
In 2012, when gaming giant Electronic Arts decided to move its popular "Battlefield" series to the freemium pricing model, the company declared freemium the future. The model had already been proven successful in Korean and Chinese markets, however, and EA has a reputation for bucking trends; the company's stand-off against Microsoft to utilize its own servers for EA franchises marked the first time any company successfully defeated Bill Gates's seemingly-invincible juggernaut.
It wasn't long before everyone followed suit; from Blizzard's "Hearthstone to Smite" from Hi-Rez, everyone in the gaming world is jumping into the freemium model. This wave of investors and interest has created a slew of unplayable games (Flappy Birds sucks as much as the helicopter game it's based on) in the Android and iOS marketplaces, but consoles, PC, and mobile developers alike are onboard, so there are plenty of gems to be found (check out "Dead Trigger 2" on your smartphone, immediately). With Nintendo rumored to be jumping into non-console gaming to appease shareholders after the Wii-U flop, freemium gaming is about to enter a new boom.
2. The Gamification of Technology
Freemium pricing strategies aren't just found in video games; they've leaked into app development as well. From Foursquare to Facebook, the way we use technology is heavily influenced by video games (Favstar.fm is a great example of a company that profits from Twitter gamers). In fact, with touch screens, 3D technology and both voice and optical recognition technology being implemented into more and more devices, video games are quickly becoming the driving force in technological innovation.
Gaming rigs have always been the best consumer computers. Alienware, long-revered for its custom gaming rigs has gotten too commercial, and Razer computers is coming up very quickly, featuring custom mice, keyboards and other gaming gear that makes other creative and productive pursuits easier. Razer's Project Christine is a modular computer design that will revolutionize desktop rigs. Companies such as Fleksy utilize gamification while exploring ways motion controls found in all major gaming consoles can be integrated into a computer's user-interface. Integration of home and mobile computing is on every table this year, large and small. Whether in government, the private sector, or the consumer market, real life is reflecting video games more and more.