5 trends to expect: The year ahead in tech

Fortune

Creating a sci-fi future always takes longer than expected, if it happens at all.

Consider the example of the connected home, in which everyday devices like security cameras, garage doors, and refrigerators are connected to the Internet and controlled from a smartphone. Companies have pushed the idea for several years, but have gained only limited traction.

The technology industry’s ambitious road map will be on fully display this week at the International Consumer Electronics Show, the annual gadget industry rally in Las Vegas. Executives from electronics makers, car manufacturers, and entertainment companies will make splashy sales pitches for their latest products and, maybe, some people will eventually buy them.

Some years in tech turn out to be truly revolutionary. In 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone and reshaped the technology industry. Other years are more a game of catch-up, when companies focus on the difficult but important job of making entire…

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