2010 has been quite a year for consumer technology, with headlines dominated by 3D TVs and tablet computers – most notably the Apple iPad.
The technology rumour mill never tires, and Which? has been through countless lists to bring you what it expects to be the highlights of next year’s technology.
Apple iPad 2
The original Apple iPad was announced in January, so it’s unlikely we’ll have to wait too long next year for its successor to follow.
The iPad 2 is expected to feature a front-facing camera for FaceTime video calls, and rumours indicate that it will have a bezel upon which you can assign touch-sensitive buttons.
YouView is a joint venture between a number of partners including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Freeview, Freesat and BT. In 2011 we expect to see YouView set-top boxes hitting the shop shelves all over the UK.
The boxes will provide a TV viewing service that shall bring broadcast and catch up TV together. This will allow viewers to easily switch between TV showing now, or catch up TV on the internet that they might have missed when first broadcast. The boxes are also likely to feature PVRs to allow them to record.
Of course YouView is just one way of getting web-based video on to you telly. Next year Which? expects internet TVs to become one of the key tech trends. We already have and we expect to see Google TV products arriving in the UK before too long.
Many new TVs can be plugged straight into the worldwide web. Check out our internet TV round up to see which manufacturers offer the best web TV experience.
Android Gingerbread and Honeycomb tablets
But if Gingerbread doesn’t take your fancy, then Honeycomb – or Android 3.0 – might. This version of Android has been designed in such a way that Android tablets may finally give the iPad a run for its money.
New mirrorless Nikon compact system camera
We’ve seen micro four-third cameras from Olympus and Panasonic, we’ve seen NEX cameras from Sony and two NX models from Samsung – and even Ricoh chimed in with its fascinating GXR, but we’ve yet to see either Nikon on Canon flinch – until just recently at least.
Nikon has patented five new lenses each with a 17mm mount, which won’t fit any digital SLRs that we know about. It would suggest, therefore, that the camera giant may be looking to introduce a new camera system of its own soon.
Oled TVs and 3D TV without glasses
Oled TVs are super slim, super energy-efficient and offer great image quality. We’ve been hearing about them for a few years, but to date only a couple of small and very expensive models from Sony and LG have made it to market. 2011 may finally see the release of a 30-inch plus model.
2010 saw the arrival of in our shops, but many don’t believe that the technology is ready until we have 3D in our homes without glasses. We’ve seen demonstration models of such TVs, but it seems that poor viewing angles and low resolution screens are holding them back. Toshiba, however, has been rushing 3D TVs without glasses to market in Japan – so we may be a step closer to this technology becoming mainstream.
Apple iPhone 5
The Apple iPhone 4 launched amid controversy in 2010. First came the issues with the proximity sensor and then the manufacturer had the antennagate problems to contend with. Apple shall be hoping all this fuss will be brushed under the carpet with the introduction of the iPhone 5.
As a technology brand Apple generates more speculation than any other, but one expectation that seems to be almost universal is that the iPhone 5 will support 4G connectivity – giving its users faster web upload and download speeds than are currently available.
Nintendo will be at the CES 2011 technology show. It will be the first time the gaming heavyweight has showcased any new products at the huge technology show in 17 years. Which? shall be reporting from where we fully expect to see the Nintendo 3DS – a 3D portable gaming console.
There’s also speculation that a follow up to the Wii, the Nintendo Wii 2 may rear its head.
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