#1 Cloud Services - Happy New Year 2012: Top 10 Gadget TrendsCloud based services will continue to become more popular (chromebooks notwithstanding) because it is practical, is becoming cheaper and is just plain cool. Obviously, some things don't lend themselves to cloud storage (businesses), but for consumer tech, more and more content will be stored in the cloud.
#2 Location-Based Apps - Happy New Year 2012: Top 10 Gadget TrendsMomentarily forgetting about the creep factor, location based apps have proven to be popular, and location based services are right behind.
#3 Gamification - Happy New Year 2012: Top 10 Gadget TrendsMaking a game out of certain tasks or simply approaching a task from a gaming perspective is now called gamification. Games are so popular now, many people are very familiar with common themes and ideas. These same ideas are now popping up on Web sites and in apps and more in 2012.
#4 Mobile Search - Happy New Year 2012: Top 10 Gadget TrendsSearching for something online before you leave the house is being replaced by search on the go. Also, the prominence of QR codes will spread. The popularity of the quick response barcode is just scratching the surface. Electronics stores are already weary of people going into the store, scanning boxes and finding a cheaper price online. The 2012 holiday shopping season will of particular interest in that regard.
#5 4G - Happy New Year 2012: Top 10 Gadget TrendsAll three major U.S. carriers are rolling out their 4G networks, and 2012 will see millions more people getting access to super fast upload and download speeds.
#6 Touchscreens - Happy New Year 2012: Top 10 Gadget TrendsThe ease and functionality of touchscreens is irresistible because people are drawn to the unique interactive experience of controlling so much power with only a finger. More devices will have touchscreens, and the popular devices will have even smarter and more beautiful ones than before.
#7 Social Networks - Happy New Year 2012: Top 10 Gadget TrendsPeople will ask their friends on Facebook about where to eat, what to buy and where to go on vacation, and that makes it one powerful space. But, other networks are growing fast too like Twitter and Tumblr. Whatever is happening with gadgets in 2012, you will find out about it in these online spaces.
#8 Mobile Video/Cameras Improving - Happy New Year 2012: Top 10 Gadget TrendsAs mentioned in the intro, digital cameras of the point and shoot variety are in for a rough year. Mobile phone cameras took a big step in 2011 and the trend should continue in 2012. Image sensors and lenses are getting more powerful and sophisticated on modern smartphones. 2012 could be the year video cameras begin to wane as the video capture ability of phones is increasing rapidly.
#9 App Integration - Happy New Year 2012: Top 10 Gadget TrendsAndriod, iOS and Windows Phone all moved to integrate apps into their systems in 2011 and it will continue in 2012. Additionally, more apps will be used for things like brewing coffee from computerized coffee machines.
#10 Mobile Payments - Happy New Year 2012: Top 10 Gadget TrendsGoogle Wallet and similar apps promise to make our phones into debit cards. By passing your phone over a pay kiosk, the information will be sent to you for receipts and there won't be as much of a need for cash.
We all know technology is advancing faster and faster, and every year, microchips get smaller and computers get more powerful. But for consumer electronics, there are more specific trends we see than just faster and cheaper.
While we aren't at the stage where everything has a microchip in it, we are no doubt a little closer than we were a year ago. As our mobile phones become more and more like pocket computers, our desire to use them to interact with more things only increases. That's why mobility is the number one gadget trend for 2012.
We're no longer content to haul our laptops around with us because tablet computers are lighter and smaller. Depending on what you do with it, a smartphone alone will work for some, and they go without laptops entirely.
Another big trend is one that is completely unintentional, and that is the effect smartphones are having on sales of digital cameras. More people are forgoing the camera entirely and relying only on their phones for pictures. No one really intended for that to happen because traditionally, phones didn't compete with cameras, but the fact they do now is a huge trend. Start the slideshow to see the top 10 gadget trends for 2012.