Big data, social TV, gamification and ‘Internet of things’ is the new black

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Activity streams, wireless power, internet TV, NFC payments and private cloud computing are some of the technologies that are being hyped at the moment, says IT research company Gartner.

But some of the new technologies at the start of the hype curve include trends like social analytics, gamification, big data, social TV, natural language question answering and the “Internet of Things“.

Gartner’s now-famous 2011 Hype Cycle Special Report provides an assessment of the maturity, business benefit and future direction of more than 1 900 technologies, grouped into 76 distinct Hype Cycles.

The Hype Cycle graphic, pictured below, has been used since 1995 to highlight the common pattern of over enthusiasm, disillusionment and eventual realism that accompanies each new technology and innovation. The Hype Cycle Special Report is updated annually to track technologies along this cycle and provide guidance on when and where organisations should adopt them for maximum impact and value.

Jackie Fenn of Gartner says that themes for this year’s hype cycle report include ongoing interest and activity in social media, cloud computing and mobile.

“On the social media side, social analytics, activity streams and a new entry for group buying are close to the peak, showing that the era of sky-high valuations for web 2.0 startups is not yet over. Private cloud computing has taken over from more-general cloud computing at the top of the peak, while cloud/web platforms have fallen toward the Trough of Disillusionment since 2010.

“Mobile technologies continue to be part of most of our clients’ short- and long-range plans and are present on this Hype Cycle in the form of media tablets, NFC payments, quick response (QR)/colour codes, mobile application stores and location-aware applications.”

Transformational technologies that will hit the mainstream in less than five years include highly visible areas, such as media tablets and cloud computing, as well as some that are more IT-specific, such as in-memory database management systems, big data, and extreme information processing and management.

In the long term, beyond the five-year horizon, 3D printing, context-enriched services, the “Internet of Things“, internet TV and natural language question answering will be major technology forces.

Looking more than 10 years out, 3D bioprinting, human augmentation, mobile robots and quantum computing will also drive transformational change in the potential of IT.

The technologies that feature strongly in the report include:

The connected world – finding ways to digitally communicate with each other by using objects in the physical world such as wireless identification technologies.

Analytical advances – turning raw data into a series of statistics which help in growing the capability of a company; this includes image recognition and social analytics.

Interface Trends – user interface has been slow to evolve over the past decade; gesture recognition is now a viable interface option and in conjunction with augmented reality, will drive an evolution in the user experience.

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