Nike+ FuelBandTechnology moves so quickly it's hard to keep up. These top 7 trends were among the most noticeable of 2012.
- Fitness Tech The Nike+ FuelBand, Fitbit, and Jawbone UP are more than just pedometers, they're a popular way to track workouts, sleep, diet, and most importantly, provide motivation to stay healthy. They're fun conversation starters and come with apps rich in data and trends.
- Connected Cars If you haven't stepped foot in a new car in the past few years, you'll be amazed. Hands-free voice calling, blind spot monitoring, rear view cameras, iPod controls, and heads-up displays are becoming commonplace. The plethora of controls are beginning to make the driver seat look like a jet cockpit.
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- The Smartphone Plateau? Smartphones have reached a point of relative perfection. It's becoming harder and harder to pick favorites among the best smartphones. They all have brilliant screens, intuitive designs, minimal profiles, and robust app stores. A few of our recent favorites: HTC 8X (Windows Phone 8), Samsung Galaxy S3 (Android), Apple iPhone 5 (iOS).
- Small Screens Apple's long-awaited entry into the 7-inch tablet shows the importance of mini displays. While 10-inch tablets are great for reading and lounging on the couch, people realized that no matter how thin they are they're still cumbersome in one hand. Seven-inch tablets like the Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD, and iPad mini are ideal on the fly.
Related: Connected Home Tech
- Big Screens 46- and 55-inch TVs are no longer a novelty. "Smart TVs" have expanded to enrich the traditional TV experience with unique inputs like motion pointers and voice control. Most have built-in app stores to connect people to Facebook and other favorites.
- Demise of the Point and Shoot Each year it's harder and harder to justify carrying that old clunker in your pocket. Your smartphone takes decent pictures that are easy to share and always with you. As flickr's data shows, the iPhone 4S is the most popular of all "cameras" and point and shoots will continue to lose market share.
Related: Top Apps of 2012
- NFC Payments You thought cash would never go out of style, but what about your credit card? As we long for one less thing to carry and think about, the wallet will be first to go (of course you still need your keys and phone). Options like Google Wallet, ISIS, and the essential Starbucks app are changing the way we do business.
What new tech made the biggest impact on your year? Let me know in the comments!
-by Erik Eibert
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