Over the past 12 months, tech companies have added touch
just about everything
. This trend will surely continue in 2013, but what is the next
big thing in technology? What can consumers and business
professionals look forward to in the next 12 months?
Samsung, LG and other manufacturers continue to experiment
with prototypes for flexible screens. While many have assumed
that this will inspire a new era of wearable computers, it could
also lead to more durable tablets and smartphones.
The Galaxy S IV -- Samsung's upcoming smartphone -- is rumored
to feature one of the company's first flexible displays. The
may be a little extreme (they show a phone that can be bent in
half), but the potential is huge -- and tech companies are taking
Consumers might think that they have seen the last of motion
control. After all, it has been two years since Microsoft
) released Kinect, the company's first motion-sensing input
device for gaming. Nintendo (OTC:
) made billions selling the motion controller concept of the Wii
console. However, it all but abandoned that technology when
developing the Wii U, which is backwards compatible with the
Wii's old remotes but primarily uses a new touch screen
Even so, Microsoft is expected to drag its own motion
technology back into spotlight. The company recently demonstrated
of its new wrist controller, which can be applied to gaming in a
number of unique ways.
Microsoft is also rumored to be working on a next-generation
version of Kinect for its third game console, the presumably
titled Xbox 720. Both the console and Kinect 2.0 are expected to
ship next fall.
While Microsoft is experimenting with motion control, Sony is
attempting to revolutionize the future of interactive
entertainment by building a new virtual reality headset. The
Japanese tech giant recently demonstrated a head-mounted VR
display concept at the
Tokyo Game Show
Id Software's John Carmack firmly believes that the future of
is in virtual reality
. When Oculus launched a
campaign to help fund a new VR headset, the company asked for
$250,000. Consumers and game developers were so impressed that
they pledged $2.4 million -- nearly 10 times the amount
Virtual reality may not be ready for prime time in 2013. It is
coming, however, and there are bound to be some exciting
developments over the next 12 months.
If virtual reality can provide its users with the world they
they lived in, augmented reality might give them the world they
) is leading the way for augmented reality with
. Thus far,
have signed up to test the glasses and create apps for them.
Google has not said when its augmented reality glasses will be
released. Given the amount of hype surrounding their progress in
2012, however, it is safe to assume that the company will have
more to reveal in 2013.
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