The tech events that defined 2014

Been asleep for 12 months? Then join Stuff as we look at the stories — big, small, strange and terrifying — that shaped the world of gadgets and tech in 2014
The tech events that defined 2014

It began with a smart crock pot and ended with the world’s smartest man arguing AI will eventually do for us all.

We think these events might be related, but in-between there were too many shiny things to distract us. The Moto X! The 5K iMac! The HTC One (M8)! And a new Star Wars film!

Join us as we speed through the months, exploring the news that was, and blithely ignoring numerous mentions clearly foreshadowing the end of humanity!

January: Toaster fridges and smart cookers

January: Toaster fridges and smart cookers

The year kicked off with CES 2014, boasting toaster fridges in the shape of Asus’s Windows/Android laptop/tablet, and a literal smart cooker, because everything now has to be connected to an app. Elsewhere, Google continued its plans to take over the world via robotics, through buying AI company DeepMind, and your living room, by acquiring Nest.

In the world of gadgets, Motorola revealed the Moto X, which topped Stuff’s best smartphones list, fending off the LG G3 and Apple iPhone 6. Still, we’d argue it was only the second-best thing released that month — the best was of course Lego Ghostbusters. (Who you gonna call? Lego’s helpline, because Venkman’s not in our box! Dammit.)

February: Threes!, Nadella and the $25 smartphone chipset

February: Threes!, Nadella and the $25 smartphone chipset

Contrasts in the smartphone space as Samsung’s Galaxy S5 stoked the fires of the rumour mill (we’d later get our mitts on one and totally loved it) and Mozilla unveiled a $25 chipset for Firefox OS devices, to “bring even more people around the world online”.

In the month of love, we also totally fell for Threes!, an absurdly addictive mobile puzzler for iOS and, later, Android; Facebook clearly had designs on WhatsApp, snapping it up for a cool $16 billion; and Microsoft got itself a new CEO. Satya Nadella became only the third person to lead the industry giant, but would make his mark throughout the remainder of the year.

March: Triangular music players and medical awesomeness

March: Triangular music players and medical awesomeness
March: Triangular music players and medical awesomeness
March: Triangular music players and medical awesomeness

Hell froze over as Nadella made his presence known with Office arriving for iPad. And continuing last month’s buying frenzy, Facebook bought VR headset Oculus, causing Kickstarter backers to throw their toys out of the pram, despite — unlike many backers of other projects — actually having received hardware they’d funded.

In tech, Philips released a 55-inch Android-powered 4K display (and we’re slightly surprised no-one tried to put a touchscreen on the thing), the HTC One (M8) arrived, and an old musician made a weird, triangular music player that almost everyone forgot about by April.

March was also the month a 3D-printed skull was implanted in a patient (as reported by NBC News), which made pretty much every other tech achievement look comparatively insignificant.

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