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CFP: Gartner’s Top 10 Technologies of the Next Four Years

Gartner’s Top 10 Technologies of the Next Four Years
By Joshua Hill Sunday, June 1, 2008

The lifespan of technology is such that it’s hard enough to buy a computer that will last you more than three years, let alone be state of the art after 6 months. So when Gartner Group – an information and technology research and advisory firm – releases their “Top 10 Technologies” list, it isn’t for “the next decade,” but rather “for the next four years.”

Such a list has just been released by the world’s leading technology research center, and appears below.

1. Multicore and hybrid processors
2. Virtualization and fabric computing
3. Social networks and social software
4. Cloud computing and cloud/Web platforms
5. Web mashups
6. User Interface
7. Ubiquitous computing
8. Contextual computing
9. Augmented reality

10. Semantics

Ubiquitous computing
Want your fridge connected to the internet so that it can order the milk when it goes bad? Want to turn on the lighting or heating when you are on your way home from work? Want your life to be interconnected by the devices you use? Ubiquitous computing is also, funnily enough, called pervasive computing.

In addition, it means that, akin to cloud computing, your information can follow you from device to device. JB – who has helped me out with this article – describes that he wants “the football game to follow” him around. In other words, he sits in the car listening to the audio of the game, walks in to the house to his TV where it is then on, and then upstairs to his computer where it is then on.

Contextual computing
This is basically the idea that your computing devices will be able to perform based on whatever context you find yourself in. For example, when you undock your laptop from your work dock is it 12pm or 5pm. In other words, are you heading to a meeting – and thus don’t need anything special – or are you heading home, and thus need your calendar updated and emails checked?

This is also going to be used for mobile devices such as your phone. A recent grant was provided by Google to students at MIT for developing an application for the Android platform, that allowed the device it was on to sense whether you were outside, in a meeting or at home, thus allowing the device to swap profiles accordingly.

Augmented reality
We’ve often seen examples of this in futuristic movies. Those people wearing the goggles or with the contact lenses that pop up video calls, text, pictures, etc, that’s what we’re talking about when we use the term augmented reality. It’s basically augmenting your real-world reality with technology.

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