Technologies to get hyped about (before becoming disillusioned with in the future)

Excited about cloud computing, tablets, augmented reality and 3D TV? You're not alone.

In 2010 and beyond there is much excitement about technologies that enhance user experience and interaction. Technology has been driven out from behind static grey boxes and into the real world where humans can "virtually touch" tangible user interfaces. Gadgets and gizmos travel with us at every moment of the day, augmenting our reality and personalizing our experiences.  

According to an October 7 report on the Hype Cycle of Emerging Technologies in 2010 released by market researcher Gartner, cloud computing, tablets, augmented reality and 3D TV are just some of the technologies reaching the peak of "inflated expectations" for emerging technologies.

The company's annual research into the Hype Cycle for Emerging Technology shines a light on consumer expectations and reactions to new technologies.

"The Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies features technologies that are the focus of attention in the IT industry because of particularly high levels of hype, or those that may not be broadly acknowledged but which we believe have the potential for significant impact," said Jackie Fenn, vice president and Gartner Fellow.

"High-impact technologies at the Peak of Inflated Expectations during 2010 include private cloud computing, augmented reality, media tablets (such as the iPad), wireless power, 3D flat-panel TVs and displays, and activity streams, while cloud computing and cloud/Web platforms have tipped over the peak and will soon experience disillusionment among enterprise users," Ms. Fenn said.

Technologies that have exceeded the Peak of Inflated Expectations and are already on a downwards spiral towards the "Trough of Disillusionment" include microblogging, e-book readers and virtual assistants.

Interestingly enough, many of the most-hyped technologies are still up to 10 years away from mainstream adoption as of August 2010.

Consumers may have to wait years to use some of these hyped technologies (with many of them becoming obsolete long before reaching the mainstream) but Gartner's Hype Cycle paints an interesting picture of the ways in which technology will be integrated into our lives in the future.

Mobile robots, human augmentation, computer-brain interfaces, and 3D printing are just some of the many emerging technologies we can look forward to (and get very hyped about) in the near future.

http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/hype-cycles/index.jsp

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