A Look Back (and Forward) at the Latest Tech Gadgets

                     

In the past year or so, the world of gadgets, devices and consumer technology products has expanded and astonished shoppers around the world. Time and time again we learn that technology keeps advancing faster and doing more exciting things than ever.  Here’s a quick look at the coolest, most revolutionary products to hit the market in recent memory:

Smartphones that are even smarter. We all know it: smartphones have been on the market for a while now.  But there’s no doubt their presence is growing, and they’re getting more advanced every day.  Touch screens are becoming the norm, and there are over 70,000 “apps” available in the Android Market and 200,000 available in Apple’s App Store which can do pretty much anything you could want or imagine (within reason).  Now that 23% of all mobile subscribers have a smartphone, people are using these devices more and more for Internet searching and browsing.  And even though Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android are getting most of the buzz, RIM’s BlackBerry is still the U.S. market leader.  The growth of the market size and fierce competition leave us with no doubt that smartphones will be hot gadgets for a long time.


Tablet computers and e-readers.
 Although these are different devices, I’m grouping them together because of their similar appearance, the fact that they stormed the market around the same time, and because some (notably the iPad) compete in both markets.  Despite early doubt from consumers about why anyone would need an iPad, which is essentially a cross between the already popular iPhone and MacBook, it has sold incredibly well and has proven to be a popular device.  E-readers, on the other hand, led by the Amazon Kindle, are revolutionizing arguably the most resistant technology ever in the modern world—the book.  For those that still reject the idea of an e-reader, did you know that they allow you to highlight passages, take notes, look up words, use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and search the Web?  The future of tablet computers and e-readers might be the most unclear out of all the products on this list; however right now there’s no denying that consumers are interested.


Movies in 3D.
 Could there have been a more visually stimulating movie to jumpstart the 3D movie revolution than Avatar?  After its release, people realized they don’t want to simply watch movies anymore.  They want to be engulfed in the film’s alternate reality and feel like they’re there within the world of the characters.  With the success of AvatarAlice in Wonderland, and Toy Story 3, it’s looking like the 3D movie experience is more than just a fad in the entertainment realm.  It seems like only a matter of time until streaming 3D films to our living rooms will be a common occurrence.

The continued growth of social media and social networking sites. The amount of growth we’ve seen in recent years with social networks is unbelievable and completely changing the Internet as we know it.  A recent study released by Nielsen showed that 22.7% of time spent on the Internet is spent on social networks—more than games, e-mail, videos, or any other sector by far.  Not too long ago, the number of users on Facebook alone exceeded 500 million.  Now think about how many people are using Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn, Digg, StumbleUpon, Flickr, Tumblr, Friendster, among numerous others.  Let’s not forget either that Google has made it clear they’re planning on launching a social networking site which some are claiming to be a “Facebook killer.”  Nearly everyone and every business are on some social network these days, and some people are on several.  Out of all the new technology on this list, social media without a doubt is making the biggest impact on our society today, and will likely continue to expand and grow its global presence.  After all, the openness and connectivity that it offers is essentially what the Internet is all about.

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