As the 21st century advances, technology is accelerating rapidly. The gadgets we now hold in our hands were once mere props in science fiction movies most would never have been thought possible. Yet here we are talking to people located thousands of miles away, face to face, on a gadget no bigger than our palms, or looking for streets in neighboring cities with a flick of our fingers on a gadget no thicker than 10 mms. Our awe has passed and we wait hungrily for more, hoping that the next one will be as mind-blowing as a flying DeLorean.
While time travel still remains a distant concept, let’s look at tech trends that are within our reach. Let’s take a peep at what may be up Silicon Valley’s sleeve.
- Touch computing will be used on almost any device. Apple no longer holds a monopoly over a smooth and responsive touch screen interface. Other brands have caught up with quality touch screen displays that are almost as good. Soon, good quality touch screen controls will not be limited to smartphones and tablets. Laptop and desktop displays shall follow suite. And with the release of Windows 8, a mouse may soon become just a part of history.
- Voice control will grow in leaps in bounds. With Siri and Google voice search, the first steps into reliable voice control began. There is no doubt every geek in Silicon Valley is aiming to take it further.
- The smaller the better. Portability will be the new fashion. Ultrabooks and the success of the Google Nexus 7 mean that consumers are going for gadgets that are smaller, thinner, and lighter. It’s cool to think you have the whole world in your back pocket, or at least Google Earth.
- The cloud will be the new standard. Every enterprise will migrate to the cloud and the trend will move on further to tech providers and consumers. Storage capacity will never be the same again.
- Near Field Communications (NFC) and mobile payments will become a major part of global commerce. Innovation in mobile payments is continuing to grow. Pretty soon all you will need to do is to wave your mobile phone in front of a card reader and your payment will be made and the amount automatically deducted from your account. Google Wallet is making sure they are at the forefront when NFC-enabled phones become a trend.
- Bulky desktop computers are out and all-in-one-computers are in. Though laptops, notebooks, ultrabooks, or netbooks will remain popular, All In One Computers will appear in a lot of households and offices with sleeker designs and more intuitive controls. These computers can be mounted on a wall, like a flat-screen TV, and they offer top-of-the-line graphics and a great home entertainment system (along with their computing capabilities).
- Spatial gestures to control devices will gain more ground. Microsoft Kinect established the foundation for controlling devices with gestures. It will be no surprise if more devices will be given a similar interface for control in the future.
- Tablets will be made with flexible screens. Some smartphone manufacturers have hinted that flexible screens that give people new ways of control are not far off in the future. This would definitely be an innovative interface that will go well with a mini tablet.
We can continue to speculate on what is yet to come in the tech industry and dream of a world no different from what was envisioned in The Minority Report. For now, let’s give the geeks more room to introduce new toys that will keep our feet on the ground. Moving too fast may leave nothing to the imagination and nothing for us to dream about.