Kasey Cassells (Global) - Most Wanted Consumer Tech for 2012

In yesterday’s blog post we looked at the next big tech trends that are set to hit enterprises in 2012. But what will the consumer technology market look like in the next 12 months? Predictions have been made all over the web in recent weeks in the run-up to the New Year. Here’s a list of the technologies that are most likely to make an impact in the market (and possibly your wallet) in 2012.

1. Better Interaction with Devices (including touch screen and voice commands)
In the past few years, touch screens have been creeping into devices we use every day. In 2012, this technology is set to become more sophisticated, with multi-touch technology for your smartphones and mobile devices being perfected. But touchscreen phones and tablets are old news – with the release of Nintendo’s Wii-U console and a plethora of touchscreen monitors and laptops in the pipeline, the technology is likely to get even better. Voice control is also worth a mention for what to look out for in 2012. Siri voice commands for the iPhone upped the ante in 2011, and the same sophisticated technology is likely to make its way into other devices in the next year.

2. Augmented Reality
Augmented reality has been high on the list of ‘next big things’ for a while now, but it could really take off in 2012. As well as marketers for brands such as Volkswagen and Guinness World Records set to cash in on the technology next year, consumers will soon be able to make the most of AR too. Augmented reality in games and on mobile devices will be big in the next 12 months, and the possibilities are endless. You can read more about augmented reality and its capabilities in our previous blog post.

3. 3D
3D technology, which was first popular in the 1950s, had a rebirth recently. In 2011 we saw 3D TVs becoming more accessible, films released in 3D as standard, and even 3D games consoles without the need for glasses. With several classic films set to be re-released in 3D (such as Titanic, the Star Wars saga and a number of Disney favorites), the trend for 3D will continue into 2012. We predict that next year, 3D without glasses will be perfected, and mobile devices with 3D capabilities will become more widely available – putting this technology high on the consumer wish list.

4. Smartphones
Smartphones are nothing new, of course, but we predict that their popularity will continue to soar in 2012. A YouGov poll this week predicted that smartphone ownership is set to rise from 40% to 68% in 2012. The ‘smart everything’ trend that seemed to take off recently will recede, as mobile devices become sophisticated enough to do the job of several gadgets. Demand for smart TVs, which were high on the list of New Year predictions for 2011, will not be as high as previously expected, with just 15% of people in the YouGov poll saying they will buy one in 2012.

5. Near Field Communciation/Mobile Payments
NFC, the technology that had just started to lift off in 2011, will become big news in 2012. Technologies such as Google Wallet already allow users to make payments through selected mobile devices, but in the next 12 months this will become more common. In fact, it’s predicted that this time next year, one in five mobile phones worldwide will be equipped with NFC technology. The capability to wave your smartphone over a credit card reader to pay for good is an exciting prospect, meaning it’s on our consumer wish list for this year.

Of course, it’s difficult to predict exactly what technology vendors have up their sleeves for the next 12 months, but it’s likely that if you’ll be spending any money on gadgets next year, they’ll include the capabilities above. Is there any technology you’d like to see more of in 2012? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think. We’re taking a break for the holidays, but our blog will be back as usual on January 2nd. See you in 2012!

By Kasey Cassells, e-Content Writer at IDG Connect


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