Technology in 2011: Pocket-lint's predictions

With Christmas out of the way, we're just a hop, skip and a jump away from seeing in the New Year. January brings CES - the biggest tech show in the world which will be where thousands of new gadgets make their debut. But what kind of innovations can we expect to see throughout the rest of 2011?

The members of the Pocket-lint team have gazed into their crystal balls to see what's on the horizon...

 

Stuart Miles:

What will happen

2011 will be the year of the tablet, with a number of companies launching tablet devices as the market takes off in the same way Netbooks did a couple of years ago. Beside that 3DTV will continue to try and woo our hearts with more and more televisions coming with the technology as standard. It means that rather than deciding whether or not you want the technology it will just be there.

As for phones - Android will continue to get people frustrated over upgrade paths, Nokia will continue to struggle, and Windows Phone 7 will find its legs. Oh and half the year will be dominated by the iPhone 5 and how it's once again the second coming - oh those fanboys.

What I wish would happen

As for what I wish for? Gadgets that excite, gadgets that improve our lives, and gadgets that make a difference.

 

Rik Henderson:

What will happen

Apple’s iPhone 5 will come along in June, naturally, although there will be a choice of several colours from day one - we might even see them before the white iPhone 4, at this rate. And the iPad 2 will be very similar to the original generation except for a front-mounted camera (no rear) for FaceTime, a higher resolution screen and faster memory.

Plus, Microsoft will enter the tablet market with an innovative, different idea, but struggle to compete against the flood of devices already in shops. And Sony will announce a TV with a PlayStation 3 inside; PlayStation TV.

Steve Jobs will buy himself a new wardrobe… To keep his black turtleneck sweaters in.

What I wish would happen

It’s just a small thing to ask, but it’d be, you know, really cool if somebody somewhere released some 3D Blu-ray content to go with the 3D Blu-ray players and 3D TVs. Oh, and if a senior Apple employee wants to leave a pre-production model of the iPhone 5 in a bar somewhere, would they mind leaving it near Pocket-lint Towers this time please?

 

Dan Sung:

What will happen

The obvious move is more tablets. We'll see them at CES and we'll see another from Apple. What I also suspect is that the others won't do so well. HTC's will fare better than Samsung's and the PlayBook will do ok provided it actually exists but, ultimately, these will remain luxury items for the time being rather than having the same ubiquity as the mobile phone or laptop. Between these things and FaceTime, video calling's finally going to take off too. The kids'll get into it and hopefully not use it as a tool of bullying. Finger's crossed that whatever cultural perversion they come up with will be more creative than that.

Elsewhere, yep, it's all going to be 3D. That'll be the rinse for a while until we wake up in 2014 and realise everything we own is 3D Ready whether we actually want it to be or not.

Outside gadgets, it'll be location, location, location as GPS improves and specific, more relevant and instant searches become the norm. Expect the second steep rise of Facebook because of it with few people sparing a thought for Foursquare.

Google will be Google, Apple will be Apple, Microsoft will be Microsoft and Palm will remain niche no matter who owns the name. Also, something's going to give with paywalls one way or the other. Really hard to say but I'm starting to think they're going to work.

What I wish would happen

I wish paywalls wouldn't work. The Times falling flat on its rump would be nice just to make sure no one else follows suit. Other than that, a non-Nokia smartphone with a Nokia grade antenna would be nice and the arrival of a mobile broadband service that's actually good enough to rely on when you're out and about. LTE? Now, that's really a dream.

 

Chris Hall:

What will happen

I think we'll continue to see added features to mobile devices, with Android continuing to gain popularity in flagship devices, whilst leaving a trail of fragmentation behind it, with the mobile OS appearing in a range of products for which is wasn't designed. By Mobile World Congress in February we'll definitely see some strong implementations of Android, and I suspect some stronger tablet offerings. We could also expect to see Apple making some updates and if, as rumoured, they add near field communication to the iPhone 5, we might see this technology take off.

I think we'll see a continued march toward cloud services, the evolution of the Apple's desktop App Store will make people think about traditional software "packages" and new avenues for piecemeal delivery, with a trend towards lighter simpler PC applications that reflect the success of mobile solutions. I don’t think we'll see a convincing unified solution from Windows, however, I suspect we'll see a number of stores from different manufacturers trying to "add value" but failing to hit the mark.

What I wish would happen

I wish syncing services would find their place so that everything "just works", cloud or not cloud, across platforms, without throwing up errors you'll never be able to trace.

 

Ben Crompton:

What will happen

In terms of consumer technology the key developments for 2011 will possibly be mass uptake of the tablet form factor, as OS specific software creates a better user experience and costs begin to come down. There will also be a convergence in the technology you use to surf the Internet, with more people opting into internet-enabled devices.There will also be an increase, as well as a growing awareness, of consumer technology that demands you to hand over private data in order to use the device.

What I wish would happen

My hope for 2011 is that there will be more of a balance between technology itself determining the pace of adoption and society directing our technological path. This will hopefully ensure the latest developments aren't simply adopted on the grounds that they're the "latest thing".

 

Paul Lamkin:

What will happen

2011 is going to be the year that web-powered TV becomes the norm in the living room. There's just so many ways to get IPTV piped into your home-cinema set up now and with the likes of YouView and Google TV set to launch in the UK next year, our options are going to increase,  building healthy competition between manufacturers. Expect to see more Sky and Virgin Media broadband-based internet TV services too - they won't just sit back and see their market eaten into.

What I wish would happen

I wish for world peace, an solution for global warming or a cure for cancer. Failing that, I'd settle for something exciting to come out of Cupertino. We know that the iPad 2 will launch at the start of the year and I just hope that there's some innovative tech on board, rather than Apple simply slapping a couple of features (such as a front facing camera and a USB port) that it could have put on the original but held back because it likes to drip feed us a new device every year.

 

Libby Plummer:

What will happen

I think that we'll be seeing 3D tech gathering pace, particularly in the projector world as people begin to realise that you really need the biggest screen possible to enjoy three-dimensional content. We'll also be getting the much-rumoured second-generation iPad from Mr Jobs and co, so I'm just hoping that it offers such genuine extra benefits compared to the existing model. A lower price would be nice, too.

What I wish would happen

I'd like to see more 3D Blu-rays becoming available as the current selection is rather pitiful and the whole 3D offer really needs some help if it's ever going to win people over. And hover boards. I'd like to see hover boards in 2011.

Now you know what the Pocket-lint team thinks, do you agree? What do you expect to see launched in 2011? And what would you like to see?