Will 2012 be the year of exciting breakthroughs? As hardware gets smaller, faster, thinner and cheaper, this may be the year of flexible Smartphones and tablet devices. Samsung’s exciting prototype suggests just that (see below and video. Business users will likely see Software as a service (SAAS) and cloud technologies expand dramatically. Today, we’re discussing the most likely contenders, and, no surprise, you’ll likely see much of this emerging technology implemented in home electronics as well.
Tablets, Ultrabooks And . . .
It’s probably no revelation that, thanks in large part to Steve Jobs, tablets will continue to proliferate. In one study, Apple had an approximate 62% worldwide market share as of December 2011, so game-on for CES (Consumer Electronic Show 2012), no doubt. Prices should drop and competition ramp up. In fact, one tech guru feels they will eventually become standard fare as traditional PC’s continue to lose market share.
Importantly, the convergence-divergence of the phone-tablet-laptop market continues to be a mixed signal as the marketplace attempts to sort out just what is what - to whom - and why. For the serious business user, and, in particular, for graphic and game enthusiasts, tablets have yet to fully replace competent laptops and traditional PC’s. PC Ultrabooks, born of, yes, Steve Jobs, or imitative of MacBook Air- will be smooth, fast, very sleek and light-weight.
The clouds seems to be many things to many folks, so to use Wikipedia’s definition the cloud is, “the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a metered service over a network, (typically the Internet).
As we’ve seen each year of the last few, more and more applications and storage solutions are being pushed through the “cloud.” While the cloud may be seen as simply anything beyond your “machine,” i.e., your email, is one example, the real innovations are being seen in sophisticated business applications, content delivery and data storage.
Until recently software and hardware was nearly always purchased, installed and soon outdated, requiring frequent IT resources for troubleshooting, upgrades, installations, additional hardware, etc – not to mention unintelligible operating systems for all but a select few. For any business (or personal user) the concept of an efficient, completely remote operating, software, and networking system is an immensely appealing alternative to traditional computing. Agility, cost reductions, device independence, scalability and maintenance are among the prime attractions of cloud-based computing.
While the current delivery of cloud-based systems and software is exciting and expanding in offerings and complexities, the future of cloud-based computing is even more so as the nature of computation and its delivery (think mobile) will undoubtedly be irrevocably altered – a true game changer for all players at all levels of enterprise up and down the line!
As a subtext, cloud security as a critical component of cloud delivery means the security, reliability, and network infrastructure and integrity will be undeniably key to the success and safety of cloud computing as we continue down this path.
Smartphones get Smarter
Smartphones will get smarter, faster and more agile as the operating systems and underlying hardware improve. Dual core processors seen in 2011 will expand, and expect quad core to be a part of the 2012 picture. Higher definition screens and cameras will be on-scene. Mobile payment options and chips that let you basically swipe and pay are among hot technologies. For instance, NFC (near field communication) chips are destined to let your Smartphones act like a credit card. Just touch your phone or get it close to an NFC reader, and “whoosh” it acts just like your conventional credit or debit card.
Voice Recognition Gets Real
Why type with your fingers what your mouth can so easily say!
At last, we’re beginning to get the real thing! Should we once again thank Steve? Oh yeah. Voice recognition has been out there, but Siri got our attention, because it begins to normalize the conversation and provide context. The new Android Ice Cream Sandwich software also promises to provide enhanced voice recognition. Ziggy, Microsoft’s answer has preliminarily received promising reviews. It seems that finally conversational and pertinent voice recognition will begin to inhabit our lives. Talk to your TV, your phone, your appliances and your car, etc. I’m all in!
Flexible, bendable and foldable Interfaces (Want, Want!)
It seems certain that we’ll see a hint of these devices in 2012. But the excitement is yet to come. We think it’s a natural, future extension of our current technologies, and oh, so very exciting. Aren’t we really looking for one do-all device (instead of an iPad, a notebook, a cellphone) to carry effortlessly around in a coat pocket or purse? Smartphones sort of do the job, but aren’t really that exciting for watching a movie, say or really surfing Facebook and the Internet. Sure you can do it, and pinch and zoom, but let’s face it, the experience is not ideal. Even the beloved iPad or Android tablets don’t quite fit the bill in this respect. Samsung, Nokia and undoubtedly others are seriously pursuing futuristic interpretations of our current technologies.
BUT, for sure, take a look at this video of the Samsung prototype we showed in the intro photo of a transparent, bendable, flexible tablet! Wow! Seriously, it is likely symbolic of the future. Hopefully it will come to a store near you sooner, rather than later. http://bcove.me/zkx8js5q