Tech of 2012 that will shape the tech landscape of 2013

With 2012 coming to an end(not the world), it’s time to reflect on this years tech that will help shape tomorrow. From the NASA Curiosity Rover, to the Microsoft Surface and the Tesla Model S, see the tech that will revolutionize the world in 2013 and beyond.

6) NASA’s Curiosity Rover & Sky Crane Landing System

NASA Curiosity Rover and Sky Crane

$2.5 billion

NASA has made history in 2012 by landing the 1,982lbs Curiosity Rover on the surface of Mars. Although this may seem like something we have done many times before, it was a revolution in spacecraft landing techniques.

All previous rovers landing on Mars were essentially wrapped in bubble wrap, given a parachute and we hoped for the best.  The Space Crane system will allow us to land much larger and more delicate mechanical systems on Mars by gently lowering the equipment to the surface of Mars, and then jettisoning the space crane miles away from the equipment.

5) MakerBot Replicator 2 desktop 3D printer

MakerBot Replicator 2

MakerBot Industries, LLC

The MakerBot Replicator 2 allows anyone with $2,199 budget to easily fabricate and create almost anyting they can think of.  This device makes it much cheaper to prototype and even create products for sale.

The machine uses spools of plastic filament to lay down layer after high-resolution layer of resin that forms your object. The 3D printer revolution has begun.  Head over to  to make your imagination and 11.2 L x 6.0 W x 6.1 H your limits of fabrication.

4) Philips Dimmable LED 12.5 Watt(60 Watt equivalent) Light Bulb

Life expectancy:
22.8 years
Energy savings:
$130.62 per bulb

With the incandescent light bulb being banned in the United States in 2014 you will have no choice but to use a more efficient light bulb. Most people are familiar with the CFL(aka Compact fluorescent, aka squiggly bulb). These bulbs are an excellent energy saver, but have about half the life expectancy with the nasty side effect of releasing toxic mercury into landfills when disposed of improperly. That’s right, CFL bulbs are to be disposed of as hazardous waste. Save your self the trouble by investing in an energy saving bulb that doesn’t have to be handled as hazardous waste.

Philips 60 Watt LED equivalent bulb consumes only 12.5watts of energy, lasts 22.8 years, can be used on a standard dimming circuit and will not fade fabric or colors. That all sounds great, but a common argument they cost twice as much as a CFL. Keep in mind that that negligible 1.5 Watts saved with an LED light over a CFL is over the 22.8 years life span, which is over 3 times longer then the CFLs 7 year life span. Pay twice upfront, save energy and get and extra life out of the bulb. That sounds like a winner to me.

3) Second Generation Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest Inc.
Energy savings:
20% of HVAC bill

Your heating and cooling bill is typically 50% of you energy bill. This fact alone means small improvements in efficiency will save you a lot of money in the long run. The Nest thermostat can save you up to 20% of your heating and cooling bill. The Nest thermostat allows such savings by learning your living patterns, controlling your HVAC system more efficiently and allowing for remote control of your heating and cooling system via your computer or smart phone.

All of these features can be added to your home in less then 30 minutes. Not only will you save yourself some money on you monthly energy bills, but your thermostat will look a whole lot “cooler.” The savings of 20% on half of your energy bill, essentially paying itself of the first year, makes this the number one pick for saving money on your energy bill.

2) Microsoft Surface Tablet

Windows RT – $499.99
Windows 8 Pro – $899.99

Microsoft has been in the tablet category for a while now, but never in a form that customers accepted. Microsoft made a bold move with Windows 8 by removing the Start menu and replacing it with the touch friendly Start Screen (aka Metro), and in the process they have created the Surface tablet that may even rival the iPad.

The Microsoft Surface Pro tablet runs a full version of Windows 8 that runs all of your favorite x86/64 Windows programs in a form factor that was dominated by what is essentially an operating system for a smartphone. This allows for you to run any app that you would typically run on your PC like Microsoft Office or its free rival Libre Office. These full featured Office suites alone makes the Microsoft Surface, for many users, more useful then a tablet running iOS or Android.

In addition to the Surface Pro being able to run legacy Windows apps, a program call “Blue Stack” allows you to run most Android apps on your Windows 8 machine. With Blue Stack you have access to 700,000 Android apps to keep you busy until the Windows Store gets filled with apps.

Even with the oddities found in Windows 8 we think that the Microsoft Surface is on the path to being a no compromise tablet, even for hardcore PC users.

1) Tesla Model S

Black Tesla Model S

Tesla Motors Inc.

The Tesla Model S is in our opinion the single most influential piece of tech this year. The Tesla Model S is showing the world that electric cars are viable alternatives to standard gas powered vehicles, and that you can go green without driving a slow ugly shoe.

The Tesla Model S can get 300 miles on a single charge, while out performing many gas powered competitors in the same class.  While the Model S still suffers from the long charging time EV’s are know for, there are now options that allow you to charge your Model S to 80% in 30 minutes.

Tesla reports profitable week and Model S gains “Sleep Mode”

Tesla Model S White

 Tesla Model S White

Tesla Motors is having a good week with the announcement by CEO Elon Musk that the company had achieved a positive cash flow last week.  In addition to getting their cash flow Back in Black, Tesla has updated the firmware on the Model S to v4.0.

In this firmware update Tesla has added a new energy saving sleep mode, as well as made improvements the door handle capabilities, Voice Commands and enhanced media browsing capabilities, and added functionality for Maps, HomeLink, and Steering Wheel Controls.

The new power saving sleep mode shuts down all electronics when you leave your car, and will power them up again when your key comes in range of the vehicle.  This allows for minimal wait time before you can begin driving.  This feature saves up to 8 miles worth of electricity from being drained from the battery pack while with vehicle is in storage, your at work or run errands. This will let you squeeze even more range out the the battery pack when you don’t have a charger at your disposal.

Press Release


A new software update will be available in the coming days. The onboard notification will guide you through the installation. If you would like to review the process, instructions are available at the end of this email.

After installation, Model S will feature new energy-saving “sleep” functionality, improved door handle capabilities, Voice Commands and enhanced media browsing capabilities, and added functionality for Maps, HomeLink, and Steering Wheel Controls.

Beginning with this update, Release Notes will be displayed on the touchscreen right after the update and can always be accessed later by tapping the Tesla T in the status bar and tapping the Release Notes link located above your VIN number, next to the software version number.


  • Vehicle Sleep
  • App Launcher
  • Release Notes
  • Voice Commands


  • Synchronized Door Handles
  • USB Media Browsing
  • Alphabetical Index
  • Calling from Maps
  • Steering Wheel Controls – Fan
  • Speed / Sunroof
  • Throttle Response
  • HomeLink – Location Awareness
  • Energy App


  • Auto-Presenting Door Handles
  • Alarm
  • Metric Distance Unit
  • Range Driving Mode


Vehicle Sleep

With this release, Model S will power off the display and vehicle electronics each time you exit, transitioning to a “sleep” state. When you return to Model S, you’ll note a modest increase in the time it takes the touchscreen and instrument panel to wake from this energy-saving state.

Model S will initiate the startup process the moment the key is recognized nearby. You can only begin driving once both displays are ready.

If you would prefer to keep the displays powered so they’ll be instantly available each time you return, you can change the setting in Controls > Settings > Vehicle. Note that keeping the displays powered will reduce your car’s range up to 8 miles per day when the car is not plugged in, and will also reduce the life of your 12V battery and vehicle electrical systems. If displays are set to power off, the displays will power off 2 hours after the rest of the car goes to sleep. The displays will also power off when the battery charge is low (or after 60 hours without use), regardless of the setting.


  • App Launcher – With this feature, you can easily launch an app in the bottom app window (in addition to the current default behavior, where tapping an icon replaces the app in the top window). To try it, tap and hold an application icon. You’ll notice a small pop-up indicating the top and bottom viewing panes. Drag the icon to your preferred location.