Tech industry trends follow a fairly predictable pattern: there's a rush of hype, an inevitable backlash, and then a long, tired slog towards a product that actually works. It eventually produces incredible things like the internal combustion engine or my Droid 4, but it can be hard to tell exactly where given technology is on the slow journey from bullshit to reality.
Luckily, the analysts at Gartner have given us a kind of roadmap, plotting out the trends of 2014 on an immutable line they call the Hypecycle. Gartner has been making these for 20 years, and there's always a lot of guesswork involved, but this one's particularly useful as a snapshot of the present moment. Speech recognition is just starting to be useful (hello, Siri), and virtual reality decks like the Oculus Rift are getting there. People have stopped saying "big data" as much, but "internet of things" is still ascendant, and god help us once "neurobusiness" gets going.
Check out The Verge's March Report on the state of virtual reality