It may just be a coincidence, but in one afternoon we saw three stories that presented lists of mostly gadget-based technologies that the writers said were sure to have a big impact. The pieces were very futuristic (MIT Technology Review), moderately futuristic (PC Magazine) and current (Laptop magazine).
Some of the technologies are outside the realm of Gadget Envy, though they all are fascinating. The laptop add-ons described by the editors of Laptop run the gamut from sight (providing directionality in screens to maintain privacy when working in public), advanced sound and ways to keep machines cool. The PC Magazine piece looks at such things as screens with tactile surfaces and a printer that uses invisible ink and self-erasing paper. The MIT Technology Review story is the most non-IT-based, though it does touch on longer-lasting batteries and advanced wireless schemes that will make cellular networks more effective.
Beyond the wow factor of the technologies -- we were especially impressed by the Verisimilitude 1 screen from Fin doh! Siecle and the 24-inch high-definition LCD flat-panel display from Gateway -- the lesson of the stories is that things are in a constant state of flux.
The creation of cutting-edge networks means that innovation will accelerate. That's a great thing, and it will become ever more the case as elements such as 100 Gigabit per second networking and the Internet Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) are deployed. Indeed, things are happening so quickly that Brighthand runs a list of innovative new smart phones on a monthly basis.
The bottom line is that we don't think it's coincidence that so many technology publications are thinking about the future.