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What’s making tech waves in 2012

by Katelyn Chisholm

The Consumer Electronics Show was held last week, giving consumers a sneak peek into the trending technology that will grace shelves in 2012. Attendees say they weren’t particularly surprised by the products on the show floor, though the popular vote is that the conference was still bustling with exciting updates of your favourite gadgets, smartphones and operating systems.

Gadgets

Laptops/Tablets

Ultrabooks
It seems that in 2012, “ultrabooks” will be the new laptops. The slim, light weight notebooks are set to be replacing common laptop designs over the next few years. While the Macbook Air is a strong example, competitors are releasing newer models and have managed to keep the weight down while still finding space for a DVD player.

iPad 3
Apple is adding the iPad 3 to their ever-growing list of tech updates and gadgets. The new iPad will have higher resolution and a lighter weight along with added features and an updated operating system. The new lighter weight battery will last longer, but will be a pricier replacement if the need should arise.

Windows 8
Microsoft’s Windows 8 is designed to be an operating system that is compatible with both regular PCs as well as touch-screen technology. Boasting faster speeds, more user-friendly interfaces and easy navigation, Windows 8 is touted as Windows’ best version yet. Granted, the speed of the online interface will rely on the availability of a good broadband connection. Regardless, Windows 8 offers another year of decent competition for Apple’s popular Mac operating systems.

Smartphones

iPhone 5
The iPhone 5 will finally grace consumers worldwide in 2012. After the disappointed reception to the iPhone 4S release, Apple lovers are waiting diligently for the latest iPhone update. Apple reps are tight-lipped about the specs of the iPhone 5, but rumours about a 4-inch screen and waterproof hardware have been swirling technology circles as of late.

Samsung Galaxy S3
The Samsung Galaxy S3 is rumoured to join in the waterproof trend, also offering higher resolution and updated features. The smart phone also comes with a higher-powered camera and runs Android 4.0 which is heavily debated to be as good as –some even say better than- the iPhone’s mobile technology.

Gaming

Consoles

Wii U
The updated Nintendo Wii console, which uses a similar remote control technology, is now something of a Wii-iPad mix. The new remote boasts a built-in touch screen, giving users a new dimension in gaming. The new remote allows users to play strategy games on the TV screen and access inventory from the remote, easily transfer images from remote to TV screen, or play with the remote Wii without the TV screen at all. This new addition gives the Wii the versatility it lacked in comparison to the release of the Xbox Kinect.

PSP Vita
This latest handheld console released by Sony’s Playstation offers new features in a culture that argues the relevance of dedicated handheld systems may be fading. The PSP Vita tackles those concerns by adding features to enhance your gaming experience in a way a smart phone won’t. It boasts a 5 inch screen and a touch-sensitive touch pad on the reverse, adding another dimension of signals from your fingertips to the movements on screen.

Games

Some of the most highly anticipated games surfacing in 2012 are extensions or sequels to existing series. Game designers and producers have worked tirelessly edition after edition adding quality, contexts and conceptual layers to these games, and the more they build over time the more we want to play.

Halo 4
Halo 4 is among hundreds of games being released in 2012 but is touted to be among the top 5 most anticipated releases. The franchise’s latest addition is the first in a new trilogy of Halo games, paving the way for more highly anticipated releases over the next few years.

There were hundreds of gadgets showcased at CES; check out Wired’s list of favourites. With The Next Web conference in April and E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) following closely in June, we’re bound to see more releases pop up over 2012 and more in-depth reviews of current releases.

Which piece of technology are you looking forward to most? Let us know in the comments below.

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