Looking back, 2009 started out fairly bleak as the world fought to fend off an economic collapse, combat climate change and disasters (both natural and human-induced), while elsewhere, we lost superstars in the music and film industry. Thankfully, the second half saw semblance of economic recovery for several nations. In fact, we even witnessed Lionel Messi take home World Player of 2009 on more than one occasion, if that's a positive sign in the context of the sporting world.
Back on matters close to heart, tech developments were still going strong for the year and you needn't search hard as our list of Top 100 Products for 2009 further reinforced that 2009 has been a good year for technology. Some companies actually came out looking better as a result of the downturn, and we'll touch more on this on the following page. For starters, we present you a light hearted video on the top tech trends and cultures observed for 2009; not to mention, what you should keep your eyes peeled for the coming year:-
To wrap up the video, here's what was discussed -
- e-book Readers: The Amazon Kindle 2 keeps astounding folks with the device being the most bought Christmas gift from Amazon this year. Sony and Barnes&Noble are not going to take that lying down and are coming up with their own brand of readers. Will we see even more players in 2010? The latest news has it that LG has acquired licensing for daylight-viewable LCD technology, so you can certainly hope to expect more developments from the Korean chaebol in time to come along with other players. Other expectations are larger screens as well as affordable color screen based e-book readers.
- 3D Entertainment: How many of us are beginning to love those new 3D movies that tease the eyes to the core? Well, with the technology hitting the living room scene in 2010 (thanks to the new Blu-ray 3D specs finalized), we might also see a new fashion trend - 3D glasses. Don't forget, true 3D gaming is picking up on both the desktop and mobile front thanks to NVIDIA's 3D Vision and manufacturers coming out with more 3D friendly screens.
- Touchscreen Gadgets: Phones obviously have a lot to say in this department but PCs and notebooks are definitely going in that direction thanks to Windows 7 having support for such functionality natively. Expect more product segments to embrace touchscreen technology for new forms of interactivity and yet another chance for companies to charge a premium for such devices.
- High Definition Content: With Full HD TVs becoming more affordable to the masses, no longer are we deciding whether to go Full HD or HD Ready, but we are asking ourselves for more HD content. With keen competition by cable providers, expect them to satiate this demand in a bid to differentiate themselves, besides even more varied content. Further out, developments for Quad Full HD TVs are underway for the masses.
- Maps: Gone are the bulky load of the trusty Street Directory and flipping its several pages back and forth. Welcome GPS devices, Bing Maps, Google Street View and Nokia Maps. Designed to assist you to your destination in the most efficient manner, even the contestants of Amazing Race could use them. Compass, anyone?
Well, we couldn't squeeze all of 2009 in a small video clip, here's a few more notable points worthy of note:
- The OS Wars: Shortly after Snow Leopard was released, Windows 7 was introduced to much fanfare with folks embracing it far better than Vista's initial uptake. After all, Windows 7 is a much better and reworked edition of Vista - A Vista done right. Now with Google announcing their own operating system coming first half of 2010, we look forward to seeing what they can dish out without the premium prices of course. Certainly it's not going to rival a full fledged Microsoft operating system, but perhaps it might be an ideal OS for netbooks?
While that's just the personal computing front, expect even more excitement and developments for the mobile OS space as Window Mobile 7, Samsung's bada and Nokia's Mameo operating system take center stage along with the existing crowd. The device in your pocket is going to see the biggest OS change in 2010.
- Demise of Physical Media: To put it ever so eloquently, physical media discs are dead, or at least dying. What isn't online now, we ask you? With the advent of online application stores like the Apple App Store, Windows Marketplace
and more, we are seeing more manufacturers heading in this direction saving manufacturing costs on discs, boxes and the lot, thus lower pricing for original content. The same applies for online music stores as you don't have to buy CDs and transcode the tracks to your music players. Instead, just download them straight from the source, complete with album artwork and all.
The list can go on, what with Augmented Reality making its appearance on consumer applications and Cloud Computing reaching out to the masses amongst others. You can read more about these in the January 2010 issue of HWM. Besides tech trends, another interesting angle for your consideration if you're into speculation are the comeback kids of 2009. Companies like Motorola who we all thought was going gracefully exit the mobile phone space has came back with the Droid; All this and more in the next page.