With 2012 now coming to a close, Broadcom has predicted the top 10 technology trends in 2013.
This year saw the rise in smartphones and tablets, with Q3 alone seeing smart-connected devices (PCs, tablets and smartphones) selling over 300 million units. As for 2013, a total of 1.2 billion smartphones and tablets are expected to be sold.
Other notable trends included smartphone/tablet hybrids, 'phablets', as well as the emergence of 5-inch handsets.
Broadcom’s home, hand and infrastructure groups discussed what it believes will be the top 10 technology trends next year, which are as follows:
- Simultaneous Video Display Across Devices - "Playing video seamlessly across multiple devices like your smartphone, tablet or laptop will become more commonplace in 2013 as new standards for Wi-Fi enabled devices eliminate interoperability and compatibility issues. This technology, called Miracast™, will soon make its way onto smartphones, TVs, set-top boxes and gaming consoles to simplify sharing and streaming of content. You will soon be able to show the video of your daughter’s Christmas pageant taken from your smartphone on the big screen in the living room without dealing with multiple cables and complicated menus."
- NFC: More than Just Payments - "Near-field communications (NFC) has historically been linked to mobile payments, but that could change next year as the technology extends into consumer electronics, with increasingly more manufacturers integrating the chip. It’s already in Nintendo’s Wii U, and ABI Research predicts that 3.5 billion NFC-enabled devices will be in circulation over the next five years. If that’s the case, we may see more tap-to-share applications such as easily syncing phones with a car, transferring video playback from a smartphone to a tablet, or downloading new programming for a remote-control toy."
- No Longer for the Luxury Set: Smarter Cars at Lower Cost - "With the adoption of cost-effective standards like Ethernet and WiFi in the car, the cost of adding premium infotainment and advanced safety features has dropped dramatically. No longer confined to luxury-class vehicles, these technologies will make their way into affordable cars beginning in 2013 with Ethernet cost-effectively powering sophisticated add-ons like driver assist and 360 degree surround-view cameras."
- Android for Set Top Boxes - "Can Android democratize set top boxes like it has for mobile phones? The platform has advocates and advantages, and in 2013 expect to see the open source technology make its way into the TV and connected home."
- LTE Builds Out and Up - "Adoption of LTE is still in the initial stages but consumers will see widespread coverage in 2013. In North America, Verizon should finish its LTE rollout by June 2013, and the Global Mobile Suppliers Association forecasts that 209 networks will be commercially launched in 75 countries by the end of 2013. GSA also reports that over 500 LTE devices including tablets, femtocells, smartphones, and routers have been introduced this year, a 164% increase compared to the number launched in 2011. LTE coverage is clearly seen as a competitive differentiator by carriers, and as network rollouts accelerate worldwide, manufacturers are responding with products for these markets."
- Small Cells Get Rolling - "According to Infonetics Research, the $5B market opportunity (total for 2012-2013) for small cell backhaul equipment will begin in earnest in 2013. Small cells increase both coverage and capacity for 3G networks while offloading traffic from the macro network. The infrastructure of chipset manufacturers, mobile operators, small cell vendors and backhaul equipment is now in place to start the market growth."
- Go Big - "Look for the first Ultra HD (4Kx2K) TVs to start showing up and for the MPEG-5 codecs and broadband chipsets to start appearing. It won’t be until 2015 we can enjoy this resolution everywhere, but the early adoption of this technology is projected to kick off in 2013."
- Emergence of a Software-Defined Networking Ecosystem - "Software-defined networking is far from a nascent concept, but 2012 saw an uptick in SDN’s viability as companies like Cisco, Juniper and VMware made SDN acquisitions to enhance their portfolios. Google has been vocal about their use of OpenFlow to manage their backend traffic on a software-defined network, although a hybrid strategy has been touted as a more holistic approach to implementing SDNs. In 2013 expect an entire ecosystem to coalesce as software developers, network vendors and pure-play SDN shops collaborate to speed SDN’s adoption."
- 5G WiFi Everywhere - "Offering improved range, better battery performance, higher capacity and speeds up to three times faster than existing 802.11a/b/g/n networks, 5G WiFi is the latest Wi-Fi standard to accommodate consumers’ thirst for content and the proliferation of devices accessing the network. Since Broadcom announced the industry’s first 5G WiFi chip last year, a number of companies have launched products with the 802.11ac technology, including networking products such as routers and client devices like notebooks and PCs. Expect to see more products hit the shelves using next-generation connectivity next year including smartphones, tablets, digital TVs, and more."
- Context Awareness - "GPS technology has made navigating the globe seamless, eliminating the need for road maps and detailed directions from friends. But GPS has limitations. As soon as you walk indoors, that GPS connection is broken. Whereas 2012 was the year of buzz around indoor navigation, 2013 will elevate to the next level: “context awareness.” Context awareness goes beyond navigation by culling data from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and sensors in your phone to provide you with intelligent information on your location and surroundings. So perhaps you’re in Best Buy in the TV section and you receive a coupon real-time for a 5% discount on Smart TVs. Or your phone alerts you that you need to leave now for a meeting because there was an accident on the freeway and it’s going to take twice as long as usual. Oh, and bring an umbrella because it’s raining where you’re headed. Smartphones keep getting smarter."