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Technologies from the Future

In this post, lets look at current concepts and prototypes peek at which devices we will be drooling over in the not too distant future

Pocket Technologies

Touchscreens will go a long way on portable devices, as the technology is getting increasingly cheaper. The keypad might be replaced even on lower-end candy bars, and the back surface of the device is an untapped area for further interfacing. This will allow for versatile devices for a wide spectrum of activities, from gaming to communication. Modularity may be another trend, with gaming pads or high quality video recorder plug-ins available for your hardware. The processing power will soon reach that of desktops in the beginning of the millennium, and being online won't be a problem at all. If all you want is a functional mobile phone, you may get it as a ring, an earpiece, a bracelet, or even a disposable one where the sim, circuitry, and buttons are all printed on in vending machines.

Wearable Technologies

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi T-Shirts and Caps are passe; we'll soon be putting on much more than clothes. Embedded within the fabric or as strap-on gadgets are a wide range of input and output devices. A lot of these will easy plug in to existing systems. The utilities range from easy to use cameras, wafer thin, glove-like cell phones, keyboards that are wired to your fingers and searching for information on the go. Consumer exoskeletons to boost the physical strength and agility of the body are under massive development, with military and industrial applications as well. Augmented reality devices, like MIT's Sixth Sense showcased here will be a major landmark, as this will blur the lines between the digital world and the real world. All of this is without the gadgets getting beneath our skins.

Display Technologies

Getting a cheap, flexible electronic display is one of the major challenges that labs around the world are trying to meet. This will save a lot of space and allow for easy mobility. This has been achieved to an extent using LCD technology, but right now only monochrome displays are possible, not great looking HD displays that is the rage right now. 3D and holographic displays have been in the works for a long time, and will probably be a long time coming. 3D requires a lot of efforts on the production front, as well as glasses. Current Holographic technologies involve large spinning mirrors that occupy more space than the hologram itself. What you will be seeing around are portable and immersive entertainment systems such as the MYVU crystal ev.

Input Technologies

There are a bunch of major trends when it comes to input technologies. Roll up keyboards are passe, the rage now is flexible, water-proof and food-proof keyboards, that are pretty lightweight. Ultra-portability is achieved by pen-sized projectors that can throw out a keyboard on almost any surface, and these are already on the market. Touchable surfaces with tactile feedback are another area of focus. Be prepared for inputs to invade all kinds of surfaces, from tables, toll booths, advertisements in newspapers, even the roads are not ruled out. The sky is however, the limit, which will probably be saved up for displaying the tweets you send in about the food in a restaurant using a digital napkin. Wires will soon be stone-age technology.