The implications of new technologies in travel, the potential for Bitcoin and realising the Internet of Things at London City Airport...
This trio of articles were the most compelling for me during 2013.
Anticipated and unintended consequences with wearable tech, NFC and biometrics in travel
My top article this year was this suggesting a new way of thinking when it comes to rolling out wearables and other new technologies into the travel ecosystem.
By focusing on "outcome based thinking," this presentation reminds technologists in no uncertain terms to think about the desired outcome - and not just implementing a technology because it happens to be new.
Discussions surrounding the implications of new technologies in travel are always fascinating - and this year did not disappoint. With wearable technology, such as Google Glass, finally entering the wild, this year was just the beginning of new interfaces for travel.
While it remains to be seen if these devices will see the uptake of other new technologies - such as the smartphone - the fact that we are moving into new realms of tech was a significant development in 2013.
We're going to hear much more about these sorts of technologies as more people have the chance to test and use them to determine how (and if) they fit into the travel experience.
Bitcoin begins inching into travel as an alternative means of payment
Bitcoin in travel is a very bleeding edge concept - and one that may or may not have legs.
Nonetheless, it was all over the news in 2013, and will be closely followed in 2014. The volatility alone makes for good copy, so expect journalists to continue their heated coverage.
With other developments, such as China outlawing banks from exchanging Renminbi for Bitcoin, the digital currency faces headwinds in the coming year.
Even the definition of the digital currency is up for debate here - most countries have not determined how to deal with it, and it could turn out that the digital currency is more like a security, as if paying with stocks and bonds for goods.
Regardless of how it pans out in the coming year, the most salient part of the bitcoin saga is simply the desire for alternative means of payment that eliminate cash and credit cards.
Companies from Apple to Amazon to Google (story here) to several startups are all working to leverage themselves into the dominant form of digital payment.
The Internet of Things and travel take off at London City airport
London City Airport was the first airport to roll out a complete strategy on the Internet of Things.
By taking a whole airport as a research lab, the airport seized the opportunity to start testing how this new connectivity impacts travel in a real world scenario.
This first-of-a-kind experiment was big in 2013, and will only develop further in 2014 as the real world rollout is experienced by more travelers.
And with airport IT investment said to have hit $6 billion in 2013, this is just the beginning of the new airport experience.
Airports are realizing that their competitive advantage is derived from the actual in-airport experiences, especially with increased competition from nearby airports.
NB:2013 technology image via Shutterstock.