Industry analysts often end the year with predictions of future trends. Bill Kircos, Intel’s director of product- and technology-related public relations efforts, has rounded out the year with 11 technology trend predictions for 2011. Although Kircos admits his list is “a bit slanted toward Intel,” this guest post offers a glimpse of what’s in the trend-setting chipmaker’s near-term crystal ball.
“Wow, 2010 is over. 2011 is on the way,” writes Kircos. “Coming off the year, I went out and talked to Intel CTO Justin Rattner, Intel CIO Diane Bryant, and others about what they think would be the top technology trends for 2011. While a bit slanted toward Intel (shocker), here’s a list of their thoughts and a couple of mine. I’ve added a couple of others from prominent industry analysts as well. But, most importantly, what are yours?”
Here are Kircos’s 11 predictions for 2011:
- Smart TV experience gets real — Expect a large number of TV, cable and other consumer electronics companies to join Comcast, Free, Sony, Logitech, Boxee, and Cisco to jump into the smart TV and video market. By the end of 2011, these companies should be able to gauge the consumer acceptance of smart TV — does it sizzle or fizzle?
- Tablet mania, “hybridization” — Tablet computing, in a multitude of form factor and operating systems, will inundate the market. Expect to also see hybrid tablet/netbook products as an Intel-based Dell prototype unveiled at the Intel Developer Forum or the new 11-inch Macbook Air that looks and feels like a combination of the best of netbooks with the best of tablets.
- Even stronger laptop sales — Laptops sales will continue with strong growth thanks to Intel’s upcoming 2011 Intel Core processors that add a multitude of new HD and graphics-related features for consumers including wireless display to beam content to TVs. With improved business-class capabilities like Intel Anti-Theft Technology, IT spending on server, PC and laptop upgrades should also increase.
- PCs, smart devices gain senses: context aware, perceptual computing — Consumers are bound to fall in love with the first wave of context aware or perceptual computers that leverage hard and soft sensor technologies. For example, a mobile device called the Personal Vacation Assistant uses context-aware computing technologies to help get the most out of the travel experience. The portable device uses “hard sensors” (cameras that recognize objects and GPS-based information) and “soft sensors” (information that travelers input into the device such as calendar and cuisine preferences) to make on-the-spot recommendations for sights to see, places to eat and more.
- Smart signage — Interactive, “Minority Report” movie-like digital signs will become widely accepted, featuring new modes of interaction, including face and gesture recognition.
- Consumer revolution on energy, environment — Consumers will go from talking about managing their energy consumption to actually doing it with a variety of home energy management devices and services becoming available.
- Securer security — As IT requirements change rapidly due to an increasingly complex threat landscape and new usage models, including clouds and numerous CE devices connecting to the Internet, security will remain one of the highest priorities for the IT industry. Over the next year, the industry will focus on foundational capabilities for infrastructure protection and maintaining both personal and business secrets. The Intel Core vPro processors, Intel’s proposed McAfee acquisition, and numerous projects inside and around Intel silicon chips will play roles here. We also expect consumers will have to become smarter about their online identify (e.g. their facebook and twitter accounts, what photos they are sharing).
- The “consumerization” of IT — 2011 will mark the point where we see a blurring of consumer devices and enterprise devices. We saw it in 2010 with iPhones and Droid phones brought inside the corporate firewall. Employees will want to use their personal solutions for work productivity and employers will want to augment the corporate environment with the devices to drive productivity. Virtualization, anti-theft technology, remote management and security will contribute here.
- Sunny forecast for cloud, virtualized computing — The enterprise cloud will take off as more cloud-based services are recast for business use, including social networking. With most large corporations plowing through the virtualization of their respective environment in 2010, next year will also see build-out of internal cloud solutions. In addition, cloud-based rendering will be done in the cloud and streamed over broadband networks to devices with modest graphics horsepower.
- Auto tech — With sophisticated technologies acting as central nervous systems in today’s cars, new in-vehicle technologies are attracting tremendous interest whether it’s new entertainment features, hands-free voice control of smart phones, other safety technologies or driver functions performed automatically by the vehicle. Check out this cool video.
- And finally… “Moore’s Law” thrives — New innovations and manufacturing techniques will continue to defy the skeptics who claim Moore’s Law is dead. This means that in the coming years, as billions of new devices acquire computing capability and Internet connectivity, they will be substantially higher performing with more features embedded in silicon, while also dramatically cutting power consumption and extending battery life.
Please note: This guest post originally appeared on Intel’s Technology@Intel blog, and has been reproduced here with Intel’s permission. It is copyright © 2010, Intel.