|Dr. Beverly Crusher From Star Trek TNG|
1) The end of the mechanical magnetic hard drive. I believe that 2011 will be the tipping point for the decline of the hard drive. In 2010 we saw most computer manufacturers offer solid state drives as options, but what's most telling is the fact that both internal and external hard drive prices are dropping like a rock (you can get a 2G drive for less than 80 bucks right now), which means that the drive manufacturers can see the writing on the wall. Just watch what happens in the new year as people discover the beauty of solid state memory.
I missed on this one, but perhaps the prediction was just a bit premature. It's true that solid state drives (SSD's) made a big penetration into the market in 2011, but I think the big growth will actually happen in 2012, thanks to the recent flooding in Thailand which knocked out all of the plants make traditional mechanical drives. Tried to buy a hard drive lately? They're about twice as much as they were, which now makes SSD's a reasonable alternative. The high storage capacities aren't there yet, but it will be all over once that happens, with SSDs in all of our gear forever.
2) The tablet really takes off and becomes the predominant computing device. And speaking of solid state memory, I think the time has come for the whole idea of a tablet as a computer. You know what convinced me? I was watching an episode of vintage Captain Picard Star Trek Next Generation the other night, and tablets played a big, yet subtle role. Everyone had one, they pass them back and forth to each other, and it's such a natural thing to have and use. So many of the most useful gadgets start out as elements of science fiction only to become reality when the technology catches up. Guess what, in the case of the tablet, it finally has. Watch as we leave our laptops behind.
I hit a home run on this one. Everyone who owns or uses a tablet computer (especially an iPad) doesn't know how they got along without one.
3) The connected TV will gain traction. I know, it's not looking too good right now, with Samsung's Google television looking like a bust and Apple TV selling well but not setting any records. But hear me out on this. The state of the cable set-top box is still seated so far in the 1990's that I'm honestly surprised that cable subscribers aren't rioting with pitchforks and Molotov cocktails outside the company headquarters. I'm on my fourth piece-of-crap box from "Un-Scientific Atlanta" that works so badly that they should be ashamed to even have it on the market. And the cable companies still treat any kind of interactivity as if it was some sort of science fiction. Wait a minute - it was - in 1979!! Believe me, people want their TV's to be connected. Just don't wait on the cable companies to figure it out though (that's a sure recipe for disaster). In 2011, someone (probably Apple) finally will.
Okay, this one didn't happen either, and even took a step backwards in 2011. That doesn't mean that TVs won't eventually be connected. All it will take is the rumored Apple Television (the iTV?) to hit the stores and our living rooms will change forever.
4) 3D will have a big impact on the music business. Wait, I can't believe I'm saying that. Up until yesterday I was firmly convinced that 3D was surround sound all over again; basically a parlor trick that would never make it, at least until you didn't need glasses to view it. Yesterday I had my mind opened up, blown, and to put it bluntly, totally changed (how often does that happen?). The whole trick with 3D is that it has to be done technically well (something that doesn't occur that often, it turns out), and the production and post-production methods have to have a totally different approach. Yes, I've seen the future and I'll report more in depth on it as the new year dawns next week.
Boy, I was way off with this. I still believe that 3D will be a boon for music as soon as people are exposed to it. The rumored Apple Television is supposedly 3D as is the next iPad, and that might have a big bearing when all this happens. Trust me on this one - 3D will change how we enjoy music!
So one prediction came true and the other 3 we'll still have to wait and see about. All in all, it just makes looking forward to our electronic future that much better.
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