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Revisiting the Top Tech Trends of 2012
Revisiting the Top Tech Trends of 2012

By Barry Levine
December 28, 2012 11:23AM

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Which tech trends influenced your life and your work in 2012? Did you add a tablet to your arsenal of tech gadgets to bridge the gap between your PC and your smartphone, or maybe just for fun? Were you able to start working from home thanks to cloud computing? Or did life get easier because of BYOD -- now being able to bring your devices to work?

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Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Long-time tech-industry analyst Laura DiDio of Information Technology Intelligence Consulting agrees with King about BYOD being one of the most important tech trends of 2012. She points to tablet computers -- which are even easier than laptops to transport -- for their role in this emerging trend. In fact, the ability to bring your own device to work became so prevalent in 2012, she says, it's getting harder to separate where consumer technology ends and business technology begins.

King points out that, while BYOD moved from an emerging trend to an established practice in 2012, it also helped reveal problems in end-point management and security. IT departments struggled throughout the year with providing easy yet secure access to corporate networks and enterprise applications. In response, mobile device management (MDM) became especially important, with big players like AT&T jumping in to offer security solutions.

Next-Gen Personal Tech

When Ross Rubin, principal analyst with Reticle Research, looks back at notable tech trends of 2012, he points to the year's smaller tablet PCs, more powerful smartphones with larger screens, and new kinds of hybrid notebook/tablet configurations driven by Windows 8.

In less visible arenas, Rubin points to more fitness monitoring devices, many "now in their second generation," and Net connectivity showing up in more and more product categories.

Imagine light bulbs -- not the fixtures, the bulbs themselves -- that can talk to the Net via Wi-Fi and be controlled by smartphones. Applications are still under development, but could include better power management of light bulbs, controlled color variations, and light bulbs connected to security systems.

DiDio also sees a trend in 2012 of energy management systems being implement in home networks. "It's been a small trend until recently," she said, adding that telephone carriers are now seeing the opportunity and getting involved.

Application Developer Trends

Al Hilwa, director of application development software research at IDC, sees three major trends emerging in 2012 for developers. One trend involves the evolution of application platforms. Hilwa talks about "the battle of ecosystems of content and services."

What does that mean? The success of various computing platforms, whether we're talking PCs, tablets or smartphones, isn't just about the apps or the hardware itself. Platform success is also highly dependent these days on the content that the device can deliver -- from music and games to videos and books. (continued...)

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Tell Us What You Think


Jana Davidson:

Posted: 2012-12-30 @ 5:18pm PT
Love my iPad!!


Posted: 2012-12-30 @ 5:16pm PT
I started working from home 2 years ago and love it. I couldn't do it without cloud computing, so it definitely gets my vote for best technology -- but also tied with my smartphone. Being able to see and respond to my customers' email anytime, anywhere is so helpful.

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