Looking back at the year that’s been, it isn’t always easy to pick out a single development in the world of high technology as the biggest triumph of the year.
Opinions from a panel of analysts and South African tech company bosses seemed to confirm this, with a range of events and trends being mentioned.
From stock market listings to open source distributed storage engines, the panel highlighted the breadth of exciting work being done in all aspects of technology.
Interestingly, of the topics mentioned only Twitter’s initial public offering came up twice.
Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx said that the successful listing of Twitter and the market’s growing confidence in its potential was one of the year’s triumphs in the technology sector.
Another exciting trend that Goldstuck highlighted is 3D printing going mainstream.
In South Africa, 3D printing made local headlines when Quinton Harley’s RepRap Morgan 3D printer won the $20,000 Gada prize, and when Hans Fouche’s chocolate 3D printing was put to the test for Nestlé SA’s “Chocnology” event to celebrate Android KitKat.
Gys Kappers, CEO of Wyzetalk agreed with Goldstuck on Twitter’s initial public offering, saying that it reflects the growing realisation of the power of social engagement. “The continued rally of the Facebook share price is also affirmation of this,” Kappers said.
Yaron Assabi, founder of Digital Solutions Group chose the low cost smartphone as his technological triumph of 2013.
“Last year we looked at under $100 for low cost smartphones, and in one year that number just reduced by half to $50, making it affordable for the masses and a catalyst for bridging the digital divide,” Assabi said.
“What is amazing is that although the price has come down the functionality and bill of material is enhanced,” he added.
Gerhard Botha, CTO of PBT Group said that in his opinion the biggest technology-related triumph of 2013 is the slow but steady interest in Hadoop as a storage platform.
“Whilst it is strongly associated with Big Data, the use of Hadoop is bound to become the storage mechanism of choice for most large scale databases,” Botha said.