|As of the start to the year, what are some of the
important technologies and trends that will impact peoples lives?
Our lives are driven by the amount of low cost energy that can be generated, and distributed to people. The availability of low cost, easily available energy is the key building foundation all societies are built on. Without low cost fuel and electrical energy everything in society and civilization will stop. Click here to learn more about the range of alternative energy sources that the world will need.
It seems pretty clear the personal software demands are going to be driven by entertainment products. Video games in all the flavors are now becoming the dominate form of entertainment. Spending on games now is surpassing movies. While the costs to produce a competitive game are reported to in the range of $10 million.
For work applications it seems that the areas of investing are spread out all over. Enterprises continue to deploy business applications but are increasingly cautious on the costs and value they will be experiencing. Personal productivity software seems to pretty saturated. The area of software solutions that help work teams increase their team effectiveness and productivity will be a key area in the coming months.
The portable devices we use every day need more and more power. Batteries are not keeping up the expectations and demands for greater functionality in a portable device that is always on. One technology that may have a great year ahead is fuel cells for portable devices. Hitachi, NEC and Toshiba are all reported to be working on a new generation of power devices based on fuel cell technology for portable gadgets of all sorts. There are estimated to be some 35 different organizations around the world working on methanol based fuel cells.
Portable fuel cells would use methanol as the energy source for Hydrogen (H2) to power the cells. One of the challenges is how to create an efficient membrane for the processing of methanol in the cell as it converts the fuel into electricity. Current technology was developed some 40 years ago and is said to work with with methanol concentrations of up to 10%, in water. A new technology is promising to work with much higher concentrations (as much as 50%) which means there would be much more electrical energy available were unit of fuel. See this article from PC World for more information
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