Ultra-small PCs that fit on a single chip. Batteries that recharge without cables. TVs that respond to your every gesture. These and other developing technologies will fundamentally change the way you think about and use your computer. PC Advisor looks at the technology of tomorrow.
Location, location, location
GPS is taking off, as mobile-phone makers, carriers and service providers have realised that many of us generally have no idea where we are at any given point.
A location-based service (LBS) takes raw GPS data that pinpoints your location and enhances this information with additional services, from suggesting nearby restaurants to specifying the whereabouts of your friends.
What is it?
LBS was originally envisioned as simply using mobile-phone signal triangulation to locate users' whereabouts. As the chips become more sophisticated, GPS is becoming the basis for new services.
Many startups have formed around location-based services.
Want a date? Never mind who's compatible; who's nearby? MeetMoi (meetmoi.com) can find them. Need to get a dozen people all in one place? Both Whrrl (whrrl.com) and Buddy Beacon (ulocate.com) tell you where your friends are.
Of course, not everyone is thrilled about LBS. Worries about surreptitious tracking or stalking are commonplace. There's also the possibility of a flood of spam messages being delivered to your phone.
When is it coming?
LBS is growing fast. The only thing holding it back is the adoption of GPS-enabled phones (not helped by carriers' steep fees to activate the function). But with iPhones selling like hot cakes, that's not much of a hurdle to overcome. Expect to see massive adoption of these technologies in 2009 and 2010.
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- A groundbreaking new circuit
- 32-core computing
- 64bit computing with more RAM
- Windows 7 – inevitably
- SuperSpeed USB
- Goodbye graphics cards
- Recharge without wires
- Gesture recognition
- Curtains for DRM
- The Google PC
- Your fingers do even more walking
- Mobile-phone ticketing
- Location, location, location