Well, just like that, this year has flown by. We’re at that transitional stage between two years, and with that comes a plethora of speculations and rumors about what the new year will hold in the realm of technology. It seems that geeks love to predict; after all, technology is a fast-flowing river where anything is possible.
So, with that being said, I’d like to offer my speculations on what we’ll see in 2012. Now, this year has seen some interesting developments; for starters, Amazon’s Kindle Fire has seemed to re-kindle the Android spirit (although, rather obliquely given the heavy customization they’ve had done to the open-source OS), and it really looks to be a serious threat to Apple’s flagship product, the iPad. Then there’s Windows Phone OS, which looks very promising; it offers a fresh take on the user interface with the Metro UI that forgoes the current “icon-based” model used by Apple, RIM and Android. And, of course, we have the barely-there BlackBerry platform, which floundered incredibly over the past year.
So, what can we expect in 2012?
1. The Rise of the Superphone
Not so long ago, we were in the cross-over from the feature phone to the smartphone. With the smartphone came the myriad app stores, and indie developers the world over rejoiced at getting their work onto a more marketable platform. Now, I feel us entering a new age – the age of the “superphone”.
Think something along the lines of a far superior mobile experience with faster processors, better graphics and more use of newer mobile technologies such as NFC and augmented reality. These features are legacy of the smartphone era, but they also provide the bridge over to the superphone realm, where these intuitive features, coupled with better hardware and a far greater emphasis on the mobile phone, will result in a whole new platform to play with.
2. Apple’s Television Set
The rumour mill has been working overtime since the tragic loss of the great Apple co-founder and visionary, Steve Jobs, and the subsequent release of Walter Isaacson’s brilliant biography of the tech titan, where Jobs alludes to having finally cracked the user interface of the television set.
Then, Apple culture websites started posting speculations from insiders, and supposed intel from manufacturers readying components for such a television. If Apple does indeed release a television set in 2012, expect it to change this faction of the entertainment sector just as the iPod and iPad revolutionized music, books and magazines.
3. Next-Gen Game Consoles
Nintendo already announced their foray into the next generation of gaming, with the Wii U, an updated version of their once-popular gaming console, the Wii.
It looks interesting enough, but I expect Microsoft and Sony to do even better. After all, the original Wii was a lesson to them; expect more motion-integration with incredible graphics. Shows to look out for, where these announcements could happen: CES 2012, and E3.
4. The Tablet Overtakes the Netbook
There’s a very blurry line between the tablet computer and the netbook. But as tablets become more affordable, and more emphasis is placed on touch screens for lightweight computing, expect the netbook to slowly die out, and the tablet to snugly fit into the recently-departed space more permanently.
Well, these are just a few of my ideas about tech in 2012. I’m quite excited, as I am at the beginning of every year, to see what the genius engineers and designers have in store for our future. What’s your take on tech in 2012? Drop a line in the comments section!