Here’s Some Tech You May Not Have Heard About in 2014

Here’s Some Tech You May Not Have Heard About in 2014

December 15

When I set out to do my article this week, my goal was to find some of the cool tech releases that we didn’t read about in the headlines.

Little did I know that is no easy feat. In fact, it’s nearly impossible.

I presented this challenge to a number of experts, and many didn’t have a quick answer.

I suspect that with social media and the like, it is much easier to advertise your new product or service. In addition, if you are doing anything that people think is cool, they are going to talk about it.

However, Rich Langdale, managing partner at NCT Ventures in Columbus, Ohio, spoke to me about some of the technologies he has been looking at that we might not know about.

The first one is holographic storage. This one has been around for a few years, but is still being called a “potential technology.”

He is also keeping tabs on IBM, which also suggested a few years ago that it could store a bit of information at the atomic level — on 12 magnetic atoms.

When I asked him if there were any technologies that he thought were cool, but had a quieter launch than he would have thought, he confirmed what I had thought, which was most of the markets he follows don’t fall under the radar. Rather, they deal with global issues being addressed — Internet of Things, energy, communication infrastructure, etc.

One of the new technologies he is looking at involves the media, mainly advertising, and the way it goes about buying advertising.

“It is still largely done in an archaic way,” Langdale said.

One of the answers to that is DOmedia, one of NCT Ventures’ portfolio companies, which has created a platform for direct media buying that is “on the cutting edge of that trend,” he said.

The company’s technology streamlines the Request-for-Proposal and Vendor Management processes, which typically involve phone calls, emails and spreadsheets (he did warn it was archaic.)

In fact, he even mentioned that this way of doing things was actually considered “new technology.”

Another area he finds exciting and new are the changes the electric grid are going through. While most of the talk in this area involves the smart grid, there is still that pesky matter of making sure the existing grid remains online. Exacter, another portfolio company, has created analytics to analyze existing grids and alert if they need to be upgraded so they don’t fail.

Langdale concluded that there are a lot of other technologies that at one time had been assumptions, but are becoming closer to reality. One of those is solar energy, which he said is getting to the point where it is going to be economical.

I doubt something like that will be launched quietly, though.

Is there any technology few have heard of that you’re excited about? Share in the comments.

Photo credit:  UCL Mathematical and Physical Sciences via Flickr