Each year we marvel at the speed by which man has innovated and technology has advanced. The year 2012 will be no different. We look at the most recent technological trends and predict which ones will be the most sought-after this year. Here are the top seven in no particular order:
It’s easy to see how consumers have lapped up products that package themselves as mobile, making mobility one of the top buzz words for 2011. Thus, we are captivated by the novelty and arguable success of Siri on the iPhone. This year, we can expect more tech designers and creators to add voice control features on their devices. While this capability has been around for years, it still hasn’t been perfected. It will be interesting to see how voice action will be used in more gadgets this year.
Hosted services have already become a part of our lives. As examples, we have Yahoo for e-mail, Google for apps, RingCentral for small business telephony, OnLive for games, and Hulu for TV. This year, we can expect an even more massive adoption of hosted services as they proliferate and as the technology improves.
Statistics show that more and more people have embraced the e-book. Last July 2011, BookStats reported that e-reader ownership doubled in six months. An Aptara e-book survey released September 2011 also notes that the rate of e-book production rose from 50% to 76% in two years. Amazon, the world’s largest book seller, announced last May 2011 that it sold more Kindle books than all print books combined. However, print sales were also still very healthy. The print book is far from dead, but this year, we can expect more bibliophiles to store their beloved narratives in an easy-to-lug-around tablet.
Women in technology
Women in technology were very much visible the past year and this year won’t be any different. With women tech leaders like Shaherose Charania, Kellee Santiago, and Dr. Robin Murphy on the spotlight last 2011, more women will be inspired to act on their passion for technology this year.
Social media and tablets in the classroom
More teachers are finally taking advantage of the benefits of popular technology in the classroom. Google “Twitter in the classroom” and you’ll see articles of real-life stories and resources. Despite the disadvantages of e-readers, workshops and seminars on iPad use in the classroom have sprung up. Aside from this, we also see more teachers putting up Facebook pages instead of e-mail groups for their academic requirements.
From eco-friendly cars to eco-friendly Lego, we can see the green revolution growing stronger and stronger. Solar energy, renewable energy, and sustainable businesses have also been popular catchphrases. As we increasingly experience the impact of environmental issues in our daily lives, we can expect more eco-friendly gadgets this year.
What Philip K. Dick envisioned in the sci-fi short story The Minority Report has become a reality. With the Microsoft Xbox Kinect winning the Gaming Gadget of the Year award from T3 Gadget Awards 2011, motion sensing devices will become more popular and hopefully more affordable in 2012.