The much-hyped tech trends that won't take place in 2011 - Gadgets and Tech - Life and Style - The Independent

The much-hyped tech trends that won't take place in 2011

If you listen to the hype you probably have heard that 2011 is set to be the year when location-based advertising will take over our phones, consumers will rush to buy electric cars (which may or may not be capable of driving themselves), and shoppers will swap their wallets for Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled smartphones.

Trend forecaster ABI Research has set about debunking these much-hyped technology trends for 2011, painting a much more realistic view of technology in the year to come.

Released on December 17, ABI Research's report on "What's NOT Going to Happen in 2011" pinpoints many of the technology developments that are unlikely to take place in 2011.

2011 has been tipped to be both the year of mobile marketing and Location-based Advertising (LBA) by trend watchers around the globe but ABI says this technology is not "a one-year wonder."

It "will still represent a small portion of the bigger pie when compared to online and traditional advertising for quite some time. The volume of spending will only be a fraction of the total, even in five years."

Likewise, LBA won't enter into the mainstream market in 2011. "The LBA gun is loaded, with GPS proliferating, app stores established, location information aggregated and trigger-happy advertising agencies already trialing LBA with huge success," however, user's concerns over their privacy and the "uncertainty surrounding awareness" means the market will take more time to mature says ABI Research.

Mobile manufacturers like RIM, Samsung, Nokia and Google are pushing to make NFC technology ubiquitous in mobile phones sold in the US starting in 2011.

The NFC is already widely used in Asian countries and enables consumers to pay for inexpensive goods and services without having to carry around their wallets.

"With NFC many expect that US consumers will ditch their wallets and use their phones to pay at the local grocery store, at a ball game, or a gas station," reports ABI.

And while "[e]arly test trials of this have shown very promising reactions from users," banks and vendors are still trying to agree on a unified approach to NFC, making it difficult for the technology to gain widespread popularity with consumers and vendors in the near future.  

In 2010 Google's self-driving car experiments caused a commotion, sparking rumors that 2011 might be the year when we finally see self-driving vehicle technology on the roads and in the hands of the everyday consumer.

Unfortunately for many, we won't see self-driving cars in 2011. Nor will we see electric cars taking over the roads.

Cost, lack of infrastructure and "Range Anxiety" (the fear of not finding an electric charging station before running out of power) are currently the largest setbacks for electric car motoring.

The following much-hyped trends are also unlikely to take place in 2011 says ABI Research: "Cloud Gaming," PC vendors challenging Apple's iPad tablet leadership, Google TV will not live past 2011, embedded mobile broadband modems overtaking demand for external modems, a single standard for home networking, iPhones will "kill" BlackBerry in the enterprise, Apple will be eclipsed by Android and Nokia will "collapse in a heap."

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