The 30 Most Important Technology Trends (Part 3)

11/30/2012 10:41:46 AM

NVIDIA GeForce Grid

Nvidia has started a cloud service for 3D computation. Called GeForce Grid, the service is a computing centre full of special graphics processors that compute the 3D graphics for thousands of gamers simultaneously. Using this service, complex 3D games can be played even on weak devices. The games are shown as video streams through a browser, be it on smartphones, tablets, PCs or 60-inch LCD TVs.

Our Prognosis: Cloud based 3D games will compete with game consoles from 2013.

Description: NVIDIA GeForce Grid

NVIDIA GeForce Grid

Flexible Glass for New Mobile Devices

Glass manufacturer Corning has introduced a new type of glass. Called Willow, it's so thin that you can bend it and it can cling to surfaces. For this, Corning uses a special manufacturing process that enables the production of glass plates that are as thin as a sheet of paper, around 0.1mm thick. Normally, glass thicknesses of about 0.5 to 0.7mm are used in smartphone displays. Willow glass can also be used at high temperatures (up to 500°C) without problems. This new type of glass can be used to equip smartphones, tablets and notebook displays with much thinner back plates, colour filters for OLED and LCD displays, and touch sensors of touch displays. As this glass is flexible and can bend, curved smartphones and more complex designs are possible.

For instance, a company can come up with conical or convex/concave displays. Samsung has already implemented this glass with the arched display of the GALAXY Nexus. As Coming's Gorilla glass is found on Apple devices, it is speculated that Willow glass could soon debut on the iPhone 5.

Our Prognosis: The new invention will influence the design of new gadgets and cause prices to decline. As Willow glass can be wound onto rolls, manufacturers can process it at high rotation speeds, drastically reducing manufacturing costs.

Charge Cell Phones Wirelessly

In 2008, Intel lit a bulb wirelessly with unlinked wire-wound coils as a tech demo. Since then, an increasing number of products that transfer electricity wirelessly through induction are arriving. Samsung has announced a charger for the GALAXY S III that charges the phone by merely placing the phone in the charger dock. Intel also showcased a notebook adapter in June that can recognise and wirelessly charge a phone.

Our Prognosis: In three years, most mobile devices will be charged wirelessly'.

Description: Charge Cell Phones Wirelessly

Charge Cell Phones Wirelessly

Super-Fast Memristors will abolish Long Boot Times

In research publications, the term, "Memristor" (a word created using "memory" and "resistor") has been already circulating for many years. This passive electrical component is expected to be used in mobile devices from 2014/15 onwards, according to Hewlett-Packard. HP wants to produce the "ReRAM" modules, which are a lot faster than NAND Flash memory, and retain information after being switched off.

Our Prognosis: If ReRAM succeeds in the market, boot times will finally disappear.

Description: Super-Fast Memristors will abolish Long Boot Times.

Super-Fast Memristors will abolish Long Boot Times.

Smart Glasses

What comes after the smartphone era? Google is working on Google Glass, a pair of glasses that display web info on a small display in the frame. Google recently demonstrated the concept device at the Google I/O 2012 developers conference The whole process is probably controlled with a ring on the finger. Google holds at least one patent for this.

Our Prognosis: Smart glasses will remain a niche product, unlike smartphones.

Description: Smart Glasses

Smart Glasses

Quantum Computers

IBM researchers could recently sustain quantum bits (Qubits) at temperatures slightly below -273 degrees Celsius for as many as 0.1 milliseconds in two metal blocks. This is an important step towards quantum computing as Qubits can simultaneously hold the values 0 and 1, and can theoretically compute extraordinarily fast.

Our Prognosis: Quantum technology could revolutionise the computer world from 2030 onwards.

Description: Quantum Computers

Quantum Computers

Downward Trend

Cheap Netbooks

Atom processors were never designed for notebooks, and Intel was quite taken aback when ASUS landed a major coup with the EeePC in 2008 and established the netbook category. However, in the meantime, most users prefer faster CPUs for smoother performance and a better overall experience. As a consequence, there are barely any notebook providers today who venture to sell netbooks.

Our Prognosis: Intel will only sell a few Atom CPUs, but will just sell more expensive mobile processors.

Budget GPUs

Since Intel and AMD directly integrate graphic units into their CPUs, these chipsets noticeably perform very well. Intel's Ivy Bridge CPUs and AMD's new Trinity processors, for example, beat their respective predecessors in terms of 3D-performance by approximately 50%. Their CPUs’ speed is more than adequate for casual or office use, and the newer desktop and notebook motherboards also offer sufficient video ports.

Our Prognosis: Affordable graphics cards costing up to $98 will soon become obsolete.

Fibre Optic Broadband

Malaysia is already started to equip its households with fibre broadband. However, only a fraction of the world has access to fibre connections as compared to South Korea (approx. 60%). The reason for this is the "Sell first, build later" strategy of the ISPs. This results in the world lagging behind in the fiber optic expansion.

Our Prognosis: Many broadband customers will switch to cable.

Portable Game Consoles

If you have played games on a new, high-end tablet or smartphone, you will its 3D rendering, speed and display quality match the likes of the Sony PSP or Nintendo 3DS/DSi. In addition, smartphones have access to an exhaustive game repository from the App markets which are often free of cost.

Our Prognosis: Mobile gaming consoles have outlived their time and will be extinct soon.

Holographic Versatile Disks

After CD came the DVD, then Blu-ray. Now it’s the turn of the Holographic Versatile disk (HVD) to take over. The HVD shines with its specifications and capacity (capacity: up to 3.9TByte, transfer rate: 1GBit/s). However, as was already foreseeable in the case of Blu-ray disks, most users worldwide prefer to save their data on USB sticks and hard disks.

Our Prognosis: HVDs will remain a niche product the large amounts of data in the future will anyway be stored on the cloud.

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