2014 was a big year for tech. Here are just a few of the amazing innovations we saw this past year.

Virtual Reality

2014 saw virtual reality become, well, a reality. With products like Samsung’s Gear VR headset, virtual reality is both believable and affordable. While the need for the Galaxy Note 4 may limit its customer base, costing $200 means that, for the first time, virtual reality is a feasible option for the everyday consumer.

Smarter Smart Watches

LG-G-Watch-R-1While smart watches are nothing new, they definitely became more prevalent in 2014 with a growth in functionality. Not only did smart watches get smarter, they got prettier. When they first debuted on the market, they were clunky rectangles you strapped to your arm with a cheap-looking band. Now there are some that look just like a regular watch (LG G Watch R), some that highlight craftsmanship (ASUS ZenWatch), and you know Apple will bring the style with their Watch, out any day now.

 3D Printed EVERYTHING

3D foodWhen the 3D printer first launched, there were more than a few people who thought it was just a passing fad. 2014 proved them all wrong. This past year saw (pretty much) everything 3D printed.  3D printed car? Yep. 3D printed house? You betcha. 3D printed food? Kind of creepy, but yes. If you can think it, you can 3D print it. This trend shows no sign in slowing down. The healthcare industry has taken notice of the benefits of 3D printing and has already used it to create casts, prosthetic limbs and bones. Researchers are now looking for ways to print functioning human organs (Harvard focusing on kidneys and University of Louisville focusing on hearts).

THE ROBOTS ARE TAKING OVER!

Pardon the hysterics. What I meant to say is, automation is becoming the norm.  Locks, lights, thermostat, and home security systems can now all be controlled from your phone. Gone are the days of getting halfway to work and wondering if you left the lights on. No more do you have to worry about locking yourself out, as long as you have your phone with you. Just open the app of your automation of choice and set your mind at ease. And now with self-driving cars coming from Mercedes and Audi, you might not even have to worry about your commute anymore.