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Once science fiction, it'll be reality in 2014

As we prepare for a new year, we're excited about gear that brings to life for the first time ideas that have long been only future tense.

Virgin Galactic tweeted a photo of the historic test flight SpaceShipTwo on April 29, 2013. and Clay Center Observatory

Why wait for the future? We're ready for science fiction to become real.

As the calendar gets set to turn from 2013 to 2014, it's also time to get excited about the kinds of things that will be coming out in the new year that until now, would have been considered nothing but science fiction.

Thanks to advances in technology, along with the help of good funding, new markets, and good timing, 2014 looks set to be a banner year for new products and services that just a few years ago would have only been imaginable by futurists or sci-fi authors.

But now these things are real, and in 2014, the general public, or at least businesses that need them, will finally be able to get their hands on some of these things.

Starting with commercially available trips to space and continuing through the ability to pose questions to the most cognitively advanced computer in history, and including athletic wear that tells us in real time what kind of workout we're getting, next year looks packed with great innovations that take us to the edge of the future -- and beyond.

Here are eight products and services that should be ready for prime time in 2014, and which would tickle the minds of the Heinleins and Asimovs of the past:

• Virgin Galactic's commercial space tourism.

• Martin's jetpack

• IBM's Watson in the Cloud.

• Nymi's hearbeat-based personal authentication system.

• The new Oculus rift virtual-reality goggles.

• SolePower's power-generating shoe insoles.

• Virtuix's Omni stand-up virtual-reality interface.

• Radiate Athletics clothing.

To see pictures and read more about each of these innovations, click here.