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Wireless power, NFC payments and internet TV: emerging technologies consumers are getting hyped about

Welcome to the future, where computers can speak the answers to your natural language questions, your printer can create 3D models and your smartphone battery charges itself without needing to be plugged in.

Okay. We’re not quite there yet, but that isn't stopping consumers from getting very excited about the emerging technologies that are on the brink of becoming “the next big thing.”

According to an August 10 report on the Hype Cycle of Emerging Technologies in 2011 released by market researcher Gartner, the aforementioned technologies are just a few examples of the emerging technologies that are expected to catch the attention of businesses and consumers in the near future.

Technologies such as activity streams, wireless power, Internet TV, NFC payments and private cloud computing are reaching “the peak of inflated expectations" said Gartner and are currently “the focus of attention because of particularly high levels of hype, or those that may not be broadly acknowledged but that Gartner believes have the potential for significant impact."

The company's annual research into the Hype Cycle for Emerging Technology shines a light on consumer expectations and reactions to new technologies. The report also maps out the common pattern of “overenthusiasm, disillusionment and eventual realism that accompanies each new technology and innovation.”

In a 2011 report titled The Future of Retail, ideas and inspiration website PSFK suggests that digitally empowered staff, smartphone-equipped consumers and gesture-based browsing are technology trends that will have a resounding impact on the retail industry in the near future.

Ready to travel a bit further into the future? In 10 years or more 3D bioprinting, human augmentation, mobile robots and quantum computing will be ready for mainstream consumption.