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If you had told someone just five years ago they’d be using a touch screen phone that could browse the internet, play movies, and stream music at broadband speeds, they would have thought you were getting way ahead of yourself.
Then the iPhone came out.
Technology moves so fast, it’s almost impossible to tell what we’ll be using just a few years from now.
But there are a few clues based on some emerging trends we’re seeing in the latest gadgets.
To round up our four-part gadget buyer’s guide, we have five pieces of technology you can expect to see on store shelves in the future:
Wider adoption of 3D. It’s a gimmicky technology, but every major TV manufacturer has it now. Even some tablet makers are getting into it. And with gaming devices like Nintendo’s upcoming 3DS — which doesn’t require special glasses to use — you can expect future gaming gadgets to take full advantage of 3D technology.
Larger emphasis on mobile. People enjoy the convenience of computing on the go. This year, we’ll see tablets from every big name in tech from HP to Motorola. Even with all this emphasis on smartphones, most cell phone users still use traditional flip phones and other “dumb” devices. With so many enticing options at reasonable prices, expect to see that trend shift.
Wireless internet everywhere. It’s pretty silly that in 2011 we still have to go hunting for a decent wifi signal in public places. Wouldn’t it be convenient to get online anywhere? Cell carriers like Verizon are already offering 4G USB modems for laptops, but it won’t be long before this technology is built in to every mobile device.
On demand web-delivered entertainment. TV manufacturers are already scrambling to make “smart TVs” with web-connected apps like Netflix and Hulu. For everyone else, several new set top boxes like Apple TV and Boxee offer streaming video over the web. As more content creators free up shows and movies for online consumption, you can expect to be able to watch almost anything over the web whenever you want.
Connected household. We’re already starting to see this now. You can use your smartphone to control your stereo, TV, and set top box. You can stream content from your computer to your TV. But these features tend to be limited to the tech-savvy, and aren’t easy to set up. As everything in our homes becomes connected to the web, expect seamless integration between everything you own with an on/ off switch.
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