Unlike other industries, the innovations seen in the tech industry don’t only change the products we buy. In many cases, the biggest innovations can deeply affect our culture and change our daily routine. Social media, for example, has drastically reshaped how we interact with our friends, and even how we build friendships. It has become one of the central products many American use daily and has spawned other tech innovations built around these social networking platforms.
Being a part of this constantly evolving field can be exciting and challenging. Earning an engineering degree in college can be a launching pad to being involved in the development of these innovations, which reshapes human interactions and enables greater daily interaction between close friends and family, regardless of where they are located in the world.
Some of the products set for release in 2012 promise to continue to enhance how we operate. Some may even reshape how we look at the world — literally. With that in mind, here are three tech innovations that will be hitting store shelves before the end of the year:
Without any question, the most hotly anticipated and revolutionary tech product of the year is Google Glasses. The result of Google’s Project Glass, Google Glasses intend to give users a Robocop-like view of the world by calling up Google’s resources through a screen projected onto the lens of a pair of glasses.
Each pair of specially designed glasses will be equipped with multiple technologies that have yet to be implemented into a pair of glasses. Both eye tracking and voice recognition software will be employed to give users hands-free tools for operating the glasses. Visual tools will be displayed on the lenses of the glasses, placing information and other data directly beside — or overlaid on top of — whatever the user’s eyes are looking at.
The glasses could also be utilized to display maps and directions for users, whether they are driving or walking. Such an innovation would greatly reduce the amount of time individuals spend lost on the streets searching for their destination.
Google Glasses are expected to be available for public sale by the end of the year.
We already employ the ancestors of predictive technology by using mathematical formulas and other calculations to predict the occurrence of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and changes in weather and climates. But new predictive technology intends to blur the line between predictions and mind-reading. The ultimate goal is that, as predictive tech continues to evolve, it will make computers smarter by enabling them to determine, with considerable accuracy, what their users want in a given situation.
One application of predictive technology, which is being researched by Ford, hopes to integrate predictive technology into a navigation system that predicts where a driver wants to go at a certain time of day. Utility companies could also better predict how utilities are projected to be used of the course of months or years and how various resources used by small businesses are expected to be consumed over a period of time.
The use of social analytics by marketing and other business departments is already in full swing. The public cloud is saturated with tools and applications allowing even the tech challenged to produce more data from their social media profiles, giving them a clearer picture of how effectively they are using social media.
But in 2012, businesses and consumers can expect to see an increase in the number of social analytics tools that aggregate other analytics aggregators. This means that more social media tools will be able to aggregate the most common social media tools, such as Facebook Insights and Google Analytics, and present them to the user at a one-stop location.
Ultimately, these aggregators are designed to give marketers a better idea of how they can improve their social media campaigns.