We’ve rounded up the devices, events and ideas that journalists, analysts and industry insiders say will be big the tech world in 2012.
Mobile payment systems will go mainstream.Many consumers long ago ditched cash in favor of the ease and convenience of paying with plastic. Now, thanks to apps which allow users to make payments with the tap of a smartphone, shelling out money is poised to get even easier. Google Wallet, which launched in September 2011, is currently only available on a few models of phones and many small retailers are not equipped to use it. But some analysts say that 2012 is the year that mobile payments will proliferate as more devices are outfitted with the crucial Near Field Communication (NFC) chip that makes these transactions possible. Forrester Research said in a June report that it expects mobile commerce to be a $31 billion business by 2016. Given that potential for growth, it’s likely other tech firms will attempt to challenge Google with their own mobile payment apps. In fact, telecom giants Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile have announced a joint venture digital wallet program called Isis, which is slated to debut in 2012. Shannon Stapleton/Reuters