2013 in Review: the Eight Biggest Stories in Exponential Tech
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In December, Google announced they’d acquired seven robotics companies over six months. Then they announced an electrifying eighth purchase, Boston Dynamics and their menagerie of mind-blowing bots.
The virtual currency, Bitcoin, had a hyperactive year. In short: bubbles, busts, hackers, heists, speculators, regulators, pirates, and IPOs.
A Computer for Your Face
For $1,500, tech geeks rocked Google’s touch- and voice-operated augmented reality Glass device, even as skeptics warned Glass would mark the end of privacy. Oculus took their Rift virtual reality headset from duct-taped ski goggles to $75 million in venture funding.
Self-driving headlines were previously dominated by Google, but 2013 brought the idea mainstream as heavy hitters including BMW, Nissan, Toyota, and Ford promised the tech from 2020 to 2025.
Some economists suggested stubbornly elevated unemployment isn’t cyclical, it’s structural. The culprit? Advanced robots and automation are taking jobs from humans, and it’s only going to get worse.
Uncle Sam Wants Your Data
According to secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden some of the biggest names in tech had enabled the NSA to snoop on, well, just about everyone.
Drones for good? What a novel idea. Amazon grabbed headlines by promising door-to-door fulfillment of orders by drone.
Buy Your Next 3D Printer…at Staples?
Staples announced it would offer the $1,300 3D Systems Cube desktop 3D printer, while other firms introduced cheap (or free) 3D scanners.