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10 Tech Themes and Forecasts for 2012

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2012 will likely see M&A cool down, voice-recognition software infiltrate business, and Smart Wallet technology gain momentum -- to name just a few of the coming tech trends.

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3. Voice Recognition Goes Mainstream
I know you have already heard more than enough about Siri, but the bottom line is that everyone has been playing with this technology for years. Microsoft has made a huge investment along with a number of other companies and yet none of them have had the success that Apple has had in such a short time. This consumer-driven technology will now find its way through every business.

4. Windows 8
Given that enterprises are still upgrading to Windows 7, the biggest impact of Windows 8 may be on either side of the desktop.

  • Since it will enable PCs and tablets to turn on instantly and potentially run all day, finally the Mac Air will have some legitimate competition. I have also heard developer chatter about a number of Windows 8-powered tablets that have the power of a PC inside, enabling a much wider range of applications than current tablets. Look for Windows 8 to drive Ultrabook and sophisticated tablet sales.
  • The server side of the house will also benefit as Microsoft is boasting a greatly upgraded hypervisor. While Hyper V3 will probably not match everything VMware (VMW) can do, it should pressure pricing and provide end-users with more options.
5. iTV
When was the last time you were really excited about a television? I think there are legs to the iTV story in 2012. Just look at Steve Jobs' own words on this the television experience as penned by Walter Isaacson in his biography of Jobs. Here's what Jobs said: "I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use. It would be seamlessly synched with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it." I am willing to believe that he did in fact crack it, and that the first product ships before year-end.

6. M2M
While Machine-to-Machine (M2M) potential has been discussed for some time, we are finally seeing a number of products begin to enter the market and fill a niche. Even more interesting is that these offerings are beginning to be integrated with other multi-function devices, meaning that this technology is about ready to go mainstream. Look for a wide variety of products to deliver additional value to businesses across the marketplace, beginning with verticals.

7. Smart Wallet
Mobile-enabled payment solutions definitely have interest. With both Android and iOS devices expected to come with Near Field Communications (or NFC) chips built in, we could this technology gain momentum in the US very shortly.

8. HTML 5
With Flash biting the dust there will be a mad rush to HTML 5. This will make many websites much more friendly to end-users. The prediction is that HTML 5 will cut down on the need to design customer-downloadable apps. This could make it easier for enterprises to deploy solutions, but I don't see the app store going away anytime soon. There is too much profit motive and the benefit of control for it to disappear.

9. Education
Education will be greatly impacted by the tablet explosion – look no further than our local librarians giving lessons on how to utilize your tablet with the public library system. Even more amazing than the technology itself is the incredible amount of talent that can be pooled and captured on a single platform to make learning easier. If you haven't watched a Khan Academy lesson with your children or for your own benefit, you just don't know what you are missing. They have topics on anything you could imagine including math, science, history and art with more lessons being added all the time.

10. Security
2011 got us talking about custom malware attacks that seemed almost like something out of a spy thriller. Expect even more custom attempts in 2012. Personally Identifiable Information (or PII) will also gain increased visibility as states, companies and consumers all become more concerned.

What do you see happening in 2012?

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on Liquid Networx.

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Positions in IDCC and TKLC
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