Four Technologies to Watch in 2013
Over the past 12 months, tech companies have added touch screens to just about everything. This trend will surely continue in 2013, but what is the next big thing in technology? What can consumers and business professionals look forward to in the next 12 months?
Samsung, LG and other manufacturers continue to experiment with prototypes for flexible screens. While many have assumed that this will inspire a new era of wearable computers, it could also lead to more durable tablets and smartphones.
The Galaxy S IV -- Samsung's upcoming smartphone -- is rumored to feature one of the company's first flexible displays. The concept images may be a little extreme (they show a phone that can be bent in half), but the potential is huge -- and tech companies are taking notice.
Consumers might think that they have seen the last of motion control. After all, it has been two years since Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) released Kinect, the company's first motion-sensing input device for gaming. Nintendo (OTC: NTDOY) made billions selling the motion controller concept of the Wii console. However, it all but abandoned that technology when developing the Wii U, which is backwards compatible with the Wii's old remotes but primarily uses a new touch screen controller.
Even so, Microsoft is expected to drag its own motion technology back into spotlight. The company recently demonstrated the amazing potential of its new wrist controller, which can be applied to gaming in a number of unique ways.
Microsoft is also rumored to be working on a next-generation version of Kinect for its third game console, the presumably titled Xbox 720. Both the console and Kinect 2.0 are expected to ship next fall.
While Microsoft is experimenting with motion control, Sony is attempting to revolutionize the future of interactive entertainment by building a new virtual reality headset. The Japanese tech giant recently demonstrated a head-mounted VR display concept at the Tokyo Game Show.
Id Software's John Carmack firmly believes that the future of gaming is in virtual reality. When Oculus launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund a new VR headset, the company asked for $250,000. Consumers and game developers were so impressed that they pledged $2.4 million -- nearly 10 times the amount requested.
Virtual reality may not be ready for prime time in 2013. It is coming, however, and there are bound to be some exciting developments over the next 12 months.
If virtual reality can provide its users with the world they wish they lived in, augmented reality might give them the world they should live in.
Google has not said when its augmented reality glasses will be released. Given the amount of hype surrounding their progress in 2012, however, it is safe to assume that the company will have more to reveal in 2013.
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