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Technology Trends

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Technological connectivity will transform the way people live and interact Technology has a big impact upon people and their lives. People are more dependant now upon computers and televisions and other electrical appliances now than before. Now if people need to find out information, they more likely look on the internet, than going down to their local library and looking it up in a book. Also more people use internet chat sites and emails instead of phoning people or even writing letters. Also more people sit and watch the television when they have free time rather than going and playing a game or reading a book or doing something else. Trends in technology: The technologies on the 1995 Hype Cycle have evolved; wireless communications have exploded into hundreds of underlying technologies, standards and applications, and the information superhighway has manifested itself through the Internet and World Wide Web to drive ubiquitous information access, new forms of community and whole industries built around online commerce. Some technologies didn't fare so well; videoconferencing, handwriting recognition and speech recognition are still featured 10 years later on the 2005 Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle as they struggle toward mainstream adoption. {draw:frame} In 2009, Web 2.0, cloud computing, Internet TV and RFID are all labeled "transformational" which means that they are predicted to have a big impact on the market. Cloud computing is "changing the way the IT industry looks at user and vendor relationships." It points to vendors such as Amazon.com, Google, Microsoft and salesforce.com. {draw:frame} How technology has changed the lives of people: Technology has totally changed the life of all the people in the world. Most of the people are happy with internet/mobile and computers at present life. Thanks to the Internet, virtually anything you desire can be delivered to your door in a matter of days. Personal information is more accessible over the Internet as well -- you can look up everything from a long-lost cousin to the registered sex offenders in your neighborhood. You can even trade stocks or file taxes online. Parents don't need to lose sleep waiting for their teenage daughter to come home -- they can just call her cell phone, or send an unobtrusive text, to check up. Due to Technology, we can now stay in contact with people that have moved away or live in other parts of the world. With only a simple download, we can stay in contact with friends and family anywhere in the world. There are many chat sites in which we can meet people from all over the world and start friendships. With the technology that is being created, we can do almost anything on our computers. We can even order our shopping over the internet! We can even watch movies and listen to music on the internet now. How technology has changed the way we conduct business: Technology -- and we mean the advances in communication and information technology -- has changed the face and the pace of business As communication and information travels faster and faster, the world seems smaller and smaller, and this has large implications for the way we conduct business. Storing important in files on a computer rather than in drawers, for instance, has made information easily accessible. Using e-mail allows businesses to communicate and send these files quickly to remote locations outside of an office. Many argue technology has blurred the line between professional and private lives. Wireless Internet, cell phones and BlackBerries have made it easy to work from home -- or for that matter, from the beach. The fact that it's easy to work from the beach compels people to do so. On the flip side, people also feel compelled to use Internet access at work for personal reasons. In this way, technology allows workaholics to work and slackers to slack Negative impact: As well as the problems that can be caused by Internet Security risks, there are some aspects of technology that can be damaging to us. For example, less people go and practise sport, with more people sitting and watching television on a weekend and during their free time. Also when people do shopping over the internet, they are more likely to miss out on things that they needed or wanted to buy because when they are looking around a shop, they will see the things that they want to buy and they will not forget, but on the internet, they can not see the products, so they are more likely to forget what they need, or end up buying something that was not what they wanted in the first place. Also when you are shopping over the internet, if something you want can not be found, then the shop will try to find a compromise item instead, which may be of lesser quality and value and might even cost quite a bit more than what they wanted would have cost. Due to some recent technologies, people are getting less ands less exercise because they would rather sit and watch television, or play on their computer, or listen to their music than go out and do something. Also because of technology, more people are getting stolen from because they have the most advanced phone or music player. It also means that more people are spending their money on things that are not especially necessary, such as cameras on phones and video playing capabilities on music players. Future dimensions the trend is going to take: The future trends coming up focus on energy efficiency and mobility -- a bit greener and a lot faster. {draw:frame} Few upcoming trends in 2009 include: Mobile applications:With the India's mobile telecom network expected to grow from over 300 million subscribers now to over 400 million by the end of 2009, mobile applications (m-apps) will become central to entertainment, information, banking and other services - and, of course, revenues for telecom companies. You'll see many m-payment services, and banks will urge you to use SMS and m-banking. The media will get serious with the platform, with SMS, mobile Web, widgets and m-apps. And m-marketing... expect lots of SMS spam and the failure of do-not-disturb lists, until a service provider gets taken to court. The mobile will drive a host of apps: global positioning system (GPS), digital photography, music distribution. These started off earlier, but will really take off in 2009. Your phone will be at the centre of a converged, digital universe. With 3G technology, and 16 GB of storage, it'll be your storehouse, your credit card, your identity. Green energy: The world is energy-starved, and this influences product development. Especially with mobile devices, which need to stretch battery life to handle 3G and multimedia. Laptops are moving from a four-hour battery life to eight hours. While we do have long-life laptops (over 20 hours), they are not the norm. Low-power processors and displays, flash memory, and newer software will help more laptops move to the high-battery-life band. The 'Energy Star' logo will adorn appliances and adapters. And policy will drive stricter energy standards for appliances (and cars), and e-waste and disposal laws by year-end. But the disappointment will come from batteries, as this tech won't see a quantum leap. So your overloaded mobile phone will last even less on a charge. Green lighting: Lighting will shift to compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). They consume less power and last longer, and you spend less on backup. Their high cost means that we'll see more power utilities subsidising CFLs. You'll also see more LED lighting. Already popular for traffic lights and pocket torches, they'll enter areas where long life and low power offset high initial cost: vehicle and aircraft cabins, and some homes and offices. One will also see electro-luminescence or EL, which has for years lit aircraft cockpits and 'Indiglo' watches. EL panels cover large areas - backlighting a ceiling or wall, drawing less power than a small light bulb. Global Positioning System: GPS entered the Indian market in 2007 with maps. Last year saw several products, and software for phones - especially Google Maps and Nokia Maps. In 2009, GPS will enter sub-Rs.10, 000 mobile phones -- and midrange cars. Up ahead will be 3D GPS landmarks. Nokia Maps 3.0 is testing this for its devices. And new tech will combine real-time video with turn-by-turn directions, as with Blaupunkt's TravelPilot 500 "SafeDrive" navigation. The iPhone may also integrate Google Street View images with satellite data, to provide a similar interface. Next generation networks: Till 2008, India was stuck with second-generation mobile tech. We trailed in 3G, which Japan launched in 2001, South Korea in 2002. Over 40 countries had 3G networks by early 2008. 3G was finally launched in India last month by the state-run Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) in the national capital. It will roll out in other parts of India, first from another state-run company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and then from Airtel, Vodafone and others by around mid-2009, thanks to the delay in spectrum auction. 3G allows fast Internet access on the move and fixed access in hard-to-reach areas, without cabling. It spurs new services like mobile video and multimedia. You'll see PCs and laptops with built-in 3G, like Qualcomm's Kayak prototype. Many mid-range handsets are already 3G-ready, so you may not need to change your handset. But don't expect WiMax taking off. While we patiently await it, 3G may overtake this always-around-the-corner technology. Green Mobile: The oil price swings of 2008 (up to over $140 a barrel, then down to under $40) were a gift for our planet. They forced the world to re-look at fuel-efficient cars. Sports utility vehicles (SUVs) went out of fashion. Even in the US, buyers bought smaller cars and hybrids. In India, the quirky Reva electric car generated interest again, and the Civic Hybrid was sold out on a discount scheme. The car tech of 2009 will centre on fuel efficiency. Honda's all-new City will pick up some 'Car of the year' awards, with its blend of space, superb power, and drive ability, combined with fuel efficiency. You'll see more hybrids in India and a range of electric vehicles - from buses to two-wheelers. The fuel cell will power some car models, globally. Other car tech for 2009 will include night vision, head-up displays, fog-penetrating laser scanners... and an advanced anti-collision system from Mercedes (who gave us airbags and ABS). The system brakes automatically, bringing the car to a stop if necessary. Netbooks: We saw the Asus EeePC last year, and then other netbooks - ultra-portable, minimalist but connected notebook computers at Rs 20k to 30k. Rising global demand and Intel's low power Atom processor are helping flood the market with netbooks. Cloud Computing: Cloud computing is a way for SMBs to access enterprise-class technology with minimal up-front costs and easy scalability. Over the next three years, we’ll see cloud computing continue to expand. Because cloud computing allows a large number of networked computer systems to share an IT infrastructure, operating “in the cloud” frees small business owners previously limited by the capabilities of local or remote computers. It also allows midmarket companies to reduce in-house IT infrastructure costs and transfer day-to-day business applications to the cloud from their terrestrial offices. Cloud computing is particularly attractive to SMBs because it allows them to reduce up-front investment in technology infrastructure and use Web-hosted services as they would electricity or water—paying only for what they use. But John Sloan, a senior research analyst at Info-Tech Research Group who likened the cloud computing market to a "gold rush," said SMBs need to understand some of the unresolved issues around cloud computing."The attraction of cloud computing options right now is very similar to the attraction [of] distributed processing. It offers opportunities to do things with a far lower threshold of investment than what was traditionally thought possible," Sloan said. "In the same way the SMBs led distributed processing in the '90s, I think that the opportunity is there for a company like Zoho to show the benefit of lowering that threshold." Virtualization: Virtualization has been widely touted as a major cost-saving technology that reduces infrastructure costs and streamlines IT management. In essence, virtualization lets you transform hardware into software. Virtualization essentially lets one computer do the job of multiple computers, by sharing the resources of a single computer across multiple environments. Virtual servers and virtual desktops let you host multiple operating systems and multiple applications locally and in remote locations, which frees your from physical and geographical limitations. Additionally, you will save money on energy costs and reduce expense on hardware resources. Building a virtual infrastructure can often result in a higher availability of resources, better desktop management, increased security and improved disaster recovery processes. Vendors such as VMware and DataCore have recently offered virtualization packages aimed at the SMB market, as has chipmaker IBM. DataCore President and CEO George Teixeira said the software is a “renewable resource” within SMBs that will provide years of return on investment. Open Source Software: Real investment in open source software is still off the radar of many SMBs, and that’s a pity, because cost-conscious midmarket companies can look to open source as an easy way to reduce IT costs: There are no licensing or upgrade costs, not to mention no initial software purchase. Companies can save money by switching their CRM platforms to SugarCRM, a Linux-based CRM application, from Salesforce.com. Even running a supported version of the software, which means paying support costs, is far less than the forced upgrades and licensing issues that can crop up with a vendor lock-in. While open source certainly hasn’t become a dominant force in the midmarket space, as more SMBs adopt open source technologies for non-critical applications, it is likely others, particularly tech-savvy small business owners, will realize the cost benefit potential of open source technology.

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