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10 Technology Trends for 2012

Hollywood’s once high-tech future fantasies are not far off. Much of the technology depicted in films like 2001: A Space Odyssey is now reality, and smart houses like Eureka’s  S.A.R.A.H. might be sooner than we think.  But what will we see this year? Here are my top ten best guesses:

1. Old technology being used in a new way

This year will be about going back and using technology we already have in new ways. For instance, the new Ford Escape is reducing wind noise with pre-WWII technology.   Many items that showed up at CES like the Nest, used old technology (thermostat) and applied new technology (internet connectivity and new interface) to create a gadget that has flown off the shelves.

2. Internet-capable features dominating the television market

With the popularity of devices like Roku and Apple TV, this will put more pressure on innovation in the world of television manufacturers. The next natural step will be for simplifying the connectivity for smarter and easier connected entertainment.

3. Near instantaneous media streaming

Current “4G” is considerably faster than 3G and is making headway towards the low-bandwidth, high-information capability of ITU’s official 4G standards.

4. Second Screen Experiences- a household term

With our attachment to mobile devices and The Sundance Film Festival’s introduction of “The New Frontier Story Lab” last year, it is likely we will see more films made for the second screen experience.

5. Cloud-based networking expansion

Cloud is not just for businesses anymore as seen this year at CES. Many companies are switching to cloud-based networks for accessibility and safety. To help pave the way, Cisco is delivering powerful innovations in its switching portfolio.

6. World-wide collaboration

With cloud networking, teleconferencing, and the increase in ‘co-working’, innovative minds across the globe will be able to work together to find solutions and create more amazing projects like the Bloodhound SSC project.

7. Connected Cars

With the increasing demand for our lives to be constantly connected to social media, car makers will continue to integrate applications to allow drivers to connect to their networks, the internet, and drivers around them.

8. Increase in assisted driving cars -- but not yet giving up the wheel

A car that can parallel park itself is appealing, but with many questions still unanswered regarding safety and legality issues, it is unlikely autonomous cars will be implemented for a few years.

9. Virtual assistants a must-have

Apple’s Siri stunned the world last year and was the main draw for the iPhone 4S. This year, competitors like Google and Windows are racing to produce their own versions of the virtual assistant.

10. Better than ever: voice recognition and control

Moving past recognition to comprehension, voice software is no longer just for smartphones as this year’s CES showed voice recognition being used in TVs, laptops, and remotes.

With the recent fulfillment of many past sci-fi fantasies, it is hard to tell what will come next. However, as we continue to make incredible leaps in technology we must challenge our minds even more to reach farther into the depths of our imagination.   With the creative images of our wildest dreams and a little luck, we will continue to move forward and “boldly go where no one has gone before”.

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6 Comments.


  1. Definitely agreed with you on the cloud computing front. It’s scary how far we’ve come since called the internet “the cloud” and now having most mobile OS’s synchronizing everything from contacts to music to photos in the cloud. Eventually we could get to a stage where all operating systems can be forced to be compatible and mirror each other across devices, a bit like RAID.

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  2. Kenneth Leung

    WSJ today just had an article about the next generation of cars that include capabilities to buy movie tickets, book a table and integrate social media.

    The key driving force for automotive technology innovation will be the convergence of experiences. Instead of driving to the bank, park and go into the branch, you can do conceivably do all the financial functions from bill pay, account management in your car and drive up to the ATM machine and the cash dispenser is waiting. The ficitonal K.I.T.T. had a built in cash dispensor, but we are not there yet. The same goes for the retailing as people can make table reservations and buy things online while in the car while parked (we hope).

    This all ties into the future of automotive design and manufacturing that allow for post sale continous upgrades (cars last for 10 years+, consumer electronics run on shorter cycle). I can imagine cars getting software upgrades when they are serviced mechanically in the future as part of the ownership experience, which creates interesting challenges for car manufacturers to suppor that model.

    Exciting times indeed…..

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  3. Cloud is very exiting and where I am doing a lot of work right now, but Internet in cars? That scares me a bit!

    Roger

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  4. Could you imagine if we were already using cloud technology in the past to this day and age??!!! Where would we be by now!!? I love cloud technology, and I love the fact that we can use older equipment to get better results than a single new technology pc with all the bells and whistles. Suddenly, all of my paper weights have turned into a chain of command with infinite impossibilities.

    I am looking for a way to incorporate this technology to become my virtual business. A one man army with the capabilities to handle all of my workload while informing me that it needs to be upgraded and learn different skills that I have not taught it to do, so that I can stay ahead of my competitors!

    Welcome to the NEW WORLD!

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  5. I think 1phone 4S is must have gadget for 2012.

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  6. Cloud-based networks have become like cell phones and internet. How did we ever live without them?

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