Gartner foretells future of technology

As 2002 draws to a close IT experts are indulging in that annual tradition of forecasting the future of technology. Gartner Inc. is no exception and it has released its predictions of the Key Technology Advances from 2003 to 2012.

So what can we expect from the next few years? Well it should come as no surprise that Gartner doesn't put the desktop at the heart of our personal IT infrastructure, instead seeing a future built around portable, wireless devices that allow us to access always-on broadband content wherever we may be. "The wired world [will] give way to a predominantly wireless one through 2007 to 2010," anticipates the report.

Companies are already starting to toy with intelligent devices in different form factors, such as the tablet PC, Smartphone and Smart Display we seeing coming from the Microsoft stable. But Gartner sees this trend as getting much stronger and much smarter in the future, with "embedded computing power in everyday objects and places".

If you though web advertising was annoying now, things are set to get even worse as the marketers of the future leverage such clever, all pervasive technology devices. Gartner sees our environment developing Bladerunner-style, with omnipresent computer screens used in retail outlets and even product packaging.

Thanks to a wireless network that will connect to wearable devices, Gartner predicts a rise in electronic, automated transactions from hotel check-ins to route planning, and micropayments from e-wallets based on mobile phone accounts. Perhaps by the time the UK decides whether or not to adopt the euro, it will have evolved into the e-uro?

Because of the changing way in which technology will be used, form factors will change in recognition of different input methods. Gartner seems to think Bill Gates has backed a winner with his digital ink-based applications on the tablet PC, although speech recognition will compliment this as electronic devices are increasingly introduced into mainstream life.

Alternative power sources will be required to keep such mobile devices running, with Gartner mentioning fuelcells as one option.

It's not just our personal lives that will be transformed by future technologies, as Gartner sees working practices changing in recognition of the increased focus on knowledge workers employed globally via high speed internet connections. "The notion of the office as a fixed location [will] give way to a situation where 'office' is just the act of paying attention to work through always-on access," the report explains.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ursula Seymour

PC World
Show Comments



Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?