5 Game-Changing Technologies That Will Help Shape 2011

There’s no doubting the fact that technology is moving forward at breakneck speed, so much so that you’re bound to miss something significant if you so much as blink or close your eyes for a short catnap. What’s in today could so easily be obsolete tomorrow, that’s how fast the world of gadgets and gizmos is growing. That’s why it makes perfect sense to look ahead and be aware of the game-changing technologies that are going to shape the year that has just begun; some of them are reality and some are just in the pipeline, but they’re all sure to give you bang for your buck and so much more. So here they are – five game-changing technologies that will help shape 2011:

  • Quad core processors for mobile phones: It wasn’t that long ago that I was bragging about my dual core notebook, now it’s amazing to think that this power has been multiplied and brought to the confines of a tiny mobile phone. Hot on the heels of its runaway success dual core processor Tegra 2, NVIDIA has come out with Kal-El, a quad-core processor with gargantuan power. It leaves behind the dual core race and is well on the way to creating faster chips with its roadmap for Logan, Wayne and Stark – all chips with nearly 100 times the processing power of the current Tegra 2 phones and expected to become a reality well within 2014.
  • Lapdocks and webtops: If you’ve heard about Motorola’s Atrix smartphone, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Imagine carrying around your laptop in your pocket – with Atrix and the Lapdock (which is a docking station with a screen and a keyboard with a trackpad), you can use your mobile phone as the processor for your laptop. The innovative webtop application allows you to run your Android applications within a window, and browse the web with a full version of Mozilla Firefox. And with remote desktop software like Citrix, you can even connect to your desktop computer at home to access files and programs remotely.
  • Internet connected television: From browsing the net on your desktop to being able to connect on the go on your notebook to being able to stay always connected on your mobile, our browsing habits have come a long way since the dawn of the web. Now stay connected using your television set – you can use a cable, but that means you’re going to miss out on the new WiFi television sets that can hook up to your home’s wireless network just like your notebook. The latest come with high definition screens that offer good resolution and sharp pictures. Now you can download movies and any form of entertainment from the web, directly onto your TV, and make your desktop computer almost obsolete.
  • Mobile banking: We’re already getting used to the fact that we don’t really have to visit the bank at all, unless it is to open a new account or close an existing one. We can do pretty much everything else through the Internet, from wherever we are. Now banking moves to the mobile phone sector, and with the advent and popularity of smartphones, you can pay bills, check your accounts, move your money, check for stock updates, and even trade in stocks, all through the myriad apps that have been written for these purposes. The environment is secure, and as mobile banking gains in popularity, we can soon expect contactless payments where you just have to wave your mobile phone in front of a sensor and have the necessary amount deducted from your bank account for access to services and goods.
  • Gamification: We’re already seeing it being implemented through social networks like Foursquare and Facebook’s “Place” application – in simple English, gamification involves the use of gaming techniques in applications that are not games. Websites could get users to participate in surveys or visit their pages by making a game out of it, with visitors collecting rewards for each level that they climb. Virtual money can be amassed and used at other partner sites as payment for goods and services, and the competitive spirit can be egged on by getting visitors to play against each other for a prize or reward. We’ve only seen the start of gamification, and 2011 holds much more in store for this new technique.