2014 in Review: AZ Tech Beat’s Top Stories

It’s almost time to say goodbye to 2014, so take some time to look back on all the awesome things that happened this year. As a tribute to the year, we’ve collected some of AZTechBeat.com’s most popular and exciting stories. Enjoy!
GOOGLE FIBER is coming to the Valley– Quite possibly the biggest announcement of the year was that Google had begun talks with Valley cities to bring fiber to millions. If you’re reading this from the future and using your fancy Google Fiber connection, congratulations, we envy you greatly.
Google_fiber_logoWhy we need Wheezy more than ever – founder and CEO Vicinity Health Chris Stiffler dies at 35– Chris Stiffler passed away this year while working to develop a gadget that could help predict asthma attacks. Stiffler himself experienced severe asthma attacks.
Lil hackers: Where AZ kids learn to code– Coding is more important than ever in the modern workforce, and here’s an exclusive look at where the programmers of the future are getting their start.
4K and 5K TVs – the future of television– If 2014 was anything, it was the year of wearables and 4K. The super resolution screens may still be expensive, but they’re more than impressive.
Gadgets for the Guru: Holiday Gadgets Guide– Looking for the perfect gift for that technologically inclined relative or friend? Look no further than our holiday gadgets guide.
You and 007 can fight hackers with biometric technology – video– Catch up on the latest in biometric tech and think like a superspy! Watch our report on The List, an Emmy Award-Winning show.


Gadgets for the Guru: Tailgating edition– Football season is winding down, but that just means you should stock up for next year! Check out some great options to boost your tailgating experience.
MistoBox doubles in size post Shark Tank– Read this exclusive interview with MistoBox’s founder about the future of the service and impact of Shark Tank.
Mobile Safe Case signs multi-mill deal with co-founder LifeProof– For the security-minded among us, Mobile Safe Case, now Smart Armor, is on the right track and landed a huge licensing deal this year.
USA Today’s Jefferson Graham and EVB Live shine the light on AZ startup scene – video– Jefferson Graham, host of USA Today’s Talking Tech video series, spent some time checking out local startups. Hear what he has to say!


Crowd Mics turns your smartphone into a wireless mic– The perfect option to always have a microphone on the go. Next time you organize a rally or speak to a room on a whim, you might want to consider Crowd Mics.
Winners of Spring 2014 Arizona Innovation Challenge take home $250K– That number’s certainly nothing to sneeze at, and these companies certainly earned every cent.
Jo Overline and Ryan Allen – “Embracing Disruptive Mobile Technology” for your business – video– Check out this presentation on disruptive mobile technology from AZTechBeat’s Lunch and Learn.


The secret sauce to raising money on Kickstarter– Ever wonder what tricks you need to make your crowdfunding campaign a success? Local founders have the answers from this Lunch and Learn.
Women in Tech panelists agree – Boosting your reputation online starts with quality content– An excellent event celebrating women in tech brought together a quality panel to help you learn to improve your web presence.
GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving talks generic Top-Level Domain rollout – interview – video– Blake Irving sits down with AZTechBeat for a technical talk on top-level domains. Watch the short interview here.
CEO Paul Elio showcases his 3-wheeled car for $6,800 – interview – video– Hear about the exciting three-wheeled car from the founder/CEO himself!


I never got the memo I wasn’t supposed to be an engineer – Elissa Murphy, CTO, GoDaddy – video– AZTechBeat chatted with Elissa Murphy at the Grace Hopper Women in Tech Event about her experiences as a woman in the tech industry. Watch the short interview here.
It’s fast, but crazy cluttered and far from done – Samsung Galaxy S5 review– Samsung certainly stuffed the spec-sheet with this one, but is it fun to use?
Microsoft-Band_Hero_cropEye candy at a cost- Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review– A sleek design and nice look doesn’t change the fact that you’re paying the same price for lesser internals.
Microsoft Band will keep you fit and buy you a cup of coffee – review– The Microsoft band is an intriguing take on what people want from wearables.
Collaborate, create and have a beer: AZ co-working spaces make work fun– One of the best things about Arizona’s tech community is its co-working spaces. See what makes them awesome!
Desarrollo opens co-working space in the heart of Tempe tech– Another newcomer to the vibrant co-working scene right by ASU.Inside Co+Hoots
CO+WORK, CO+BUILD, CO+CHANGE – PHX CO+HOOTS launches non-profit arm– CO+HOOTS extended its community involvement this year with new non-profit initiatives.
Thin, sleek, but so big! Reactions to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus– Feeling the new iPhone 6 Plus in your hands for the first time can be a surprising experience. Check out these first-takes at the phones and their size.
Board Blazers can light up your next tailslide– Oh, bro! I duct-taped Christmas lights to my skateboard. And that’s how Board Blazers was born.
Wearables aren’t going anywhere…ABC 15 Katie Raml – special report w AZTB– Wearables, wearables, wearables. 2014 was definitely the year of the wearable.
What did you think of 2014? Let us know in the comments or on social media!