When ANC’s Future Perfect invited me to guest on their year-end show, they had an interesting question, what could we, as consumers, expect next year when in comes to technology?
Time was limited on the show proper but I’d like to discuss some items that I think would have an impact on 2013 moving forward. Some may be a dud while some may prove to be a hit, only time will tell.
Influx of Touch-screen Notebooks
With the entry of Windows 8, hardware companies are now producing notebooks and ultrabooks with touchscreen displays to fully utilize Windows 8' touch-centric Metro Start screen. Desktops in the form of All-in-ones are now also coming out with edge to edge displays that also have 10-point multi-touch panels set as a minimum by Windows 8.
Whether you like Windows 8 or not, it really made a significant shift on the way hardware manufacturers think of the next big thing.
What I think Palm and HP got right with their mobiles phones was the feature to charge wirelessly or via magnetic induction. The Nokia Lumia 920 and the new Google LG Nexus 4 has already introduced their own versions of wireless charging. Apple is also said to be working on their own but It still needs to be standardized so that manufacturers can just stick to one and will work on all charging docks and mats.
Smart Watches and Smart lights
Internet connected watches like the Pebble might prove to be a sleeper hit. I’ve backed their Kickstarter project and have been anticipating the watch ever since delivery got pushed and pushed back until next year. There are other smart watches in the market that also can communicate to your smartphone and vice versa like the Sony Smartwatch and I’m Watch.
What got me with Pebble was the battery-efficient Sharp’s White E-paper display that can last up to more than 7 days without recharging. If you don’t want charging your watch, you can opt for Phosphor’s Touchtime which is just a smart watch without any connectivity.
Smart lights are also in, There’s Philips Hue and Lifx. I wold love to have one, but prices are still steep for just a couple of wireless or bluetooth enabled LED lights. Still a cool way to jazz up a room though.
Modern UI Design
Dropping of skeumorphisms or "real-life" textures on user interfaces to more modern user interface will be the next shift when it comes to user design interaction. Apple knew that iOS 6 was going bland hence Scott Forstall was let go and Android seemed to be playing in the middle between iOS and Windows’ Metro and is doing a good job at it.
There will also be a focus on mobile display efficiency with responsive design in mind, meaning applications and websites will scale properly on any device its viewed on.
There are a number of technological advances that I won’t include here that might slowly catch up in the next few years. Advances in wireless infrastructures utilizing white spaces may just be the next big thing, specially in un-urbanized areas. Google Fiber? Google Glasses?
2013 also holds the fate of Blackberry and Nokia. Will Windows 8 adoption slowly rise? Will we ever see the mythical Apple “big” TV? These are just some burning questions that we might expect to find out next year.