December 8, 2012

A New Year’s Technology Sneak Peek 2013


HARDWARE

Todd Swank expects to see lots of new tablets next year too, along with a slew of touch-enabled laptops, convertibles, and ultrabooks. “There are going to be some really, really neat products coming out,” predicts Swank, who is vice president of marketing at Northern Computer Technologies, a system builder in Burnsville, Minn. Economically priced touchscreen monitors will appear in bigger numbers as well, he adds, bringing fingertip navigation to desktops, digital signage solutions, and point-of-sale systems.
Looking for an emerging market to conquer? Think small, Swank advises. Demand for embedded form factors is growing as businesses in multiple industries make greater use of kiosks, wall-mounted signage displays, and other systems powered by compact computers like Intel’s new 4-inch x 4-inch Next Unit of Computing product.
Business solutions equipped with hands-free input devices like Microsoft’s Kinect gaming system are another emerging market poised for takeoff, Swank believes. Retail and healthcare are just two of many verticals likely to find systems that can be controlled with a swipe of the hand appealing. “Motion-sensing technology will be a big storyline in 2013 that I don’t think a lot of people are focused on yet,” he says. That makes now the perfect time for channel pros to get in on the action early.


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