Top Technology: Reflections and Predictions

As the year comes to a close, I’m reflecting on what has happened and looking forward to what is to come.

In 2011:

  1. The number-one story in tech news was the death of Steve Jobs.
  2.  Social media came into its own. After the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, Facebook and Twitter became lifelines for those reaching out to friends and family. Facebook also played a crucial role in the Arab Spring uprisings, being used to spread messages and topple governments.
  3. This one has made ripples in the tech world for months and will probably be the year’s last big headline: After months of trying to merge, AT&T has decided to abandon its attempt to take over T-Mobile.

There were so many other stories of 2011: BlackBerry missteps, the PlayStation Network hack, and the last of the IPv4 addresses (with time counting down for IPv6 addresses).

I expect 2012 to be just as exciting a time.

Computers:
HTML will continue to rise, allowing web developers to create richer, more dynamic websites. The Cloud movement will continue and in the years to come may bring about Software as a Service (SaaS), an arrangement in which consumers don’t buy software but instead pay monthly fees to “rent” it.

Tablets:
Tablets have been a game changer, and they will continue to become faster, more powerful, and finally, cheaper. One rumor swirling around the web concerns an iPad Nano, smaller and cheaper than its counterpart and said to be arriving late next year.

Mobile:
Mobile payment will become the norm, and every phone will come NFC (Near-Field Communication)-enabled. Voice control, such as the iPhone’s Siri, will really take off, allowing a person to use a phone without touching its screen or any other buttons. If you decide not to speak to your phone, however, in 2012, zooming and scrolling will be done by bending the screen––I am looking forward to seeing where the bendable interfaces go.

In the coming months, I can’t wait to see what other surprises come from the tech world and how they change the way we communicate with the world around us.

Author: Susan Hallinan

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