Mobility and green technology will rule the next decade

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 31 December 2009, 04:43 Hrs
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Bangalore: Technology in the second decade of this millennium will build on the foundation laid in the first 10 years for mobility, cloud computing and green technology that saw the birth of the iconic iPhone, third generation telephony, notebooks, netbooks and the iPod with a camera.

Here's a peek into what's in store:

Third Generation Telephony: Finally, India goes 3G. If the auction happens before February as planned, it ends a forgettable episode in Indian telecom, 11 years after 3G's birth. If you ignore the 3G services of state-run firms -- both amazing failures -- then 3G should be on our phones by end-2010. The iPhone, too, will rise with 3G. With under five percent global share, the iPhone accounts for half the world's mobile data traffic.

Mobile Data Boom: Only five percent of India's 500 million mobiles are data-enabled smart-phones. That's changing. Of the 10-15 million phones selling each month, a tenth are smart-phones, supporting data and a memory card. Starting 2010, the decade will see an explosion of mobile data applications.

The Netbook Will Rule: Four-fifth of personal computers in India are desktops, versus two-third globally. That's changing, too. Annual laptop sales are now nearly a third of total personal computer sales. Laptops and now netbooks have the edge in power-starved India. Now, with 15,000-netbooks and power-packed laptops at 30,000, there's little reason to buy desktop computers. While desktops will still log high sales, thanks to large business and government buyers, laptops and netbooks should match their numbers in 2011, saving, by the way, 100 MW of electricity. Up ahead in 2010: the smart-book, a smart-phone-netbook crossover, that will run a full day on a battery charge.

Cloud Computing: Services delivered over the internet already serve the public at large with Webmail, photo sharing and web services. The cloud is evolving into a simple, pay-per-use way to get services on tap, just like electricity, for businesses. A billion mobile and desktop devices will tap into the cloud. The cloud is also the greenest way to go. Organisations don't need to set up server banks running lots of software. Just pay for what you use. The provider services many users from one set of equipment, halving energy and equipment cost per user.

Green Building: Environment-friendly features are finally getting into office buildings. House-owners are using power-saving techniques, such as high-albedo reflective paint, which drops rooftop temperature 20 degrees, CFL lamps, and natural light. A ramp-up of solar heating, motion sensors, and LED lights will be seen in 2010. Newer housing projects will be built with green features such as double-glazed glass for natural light, VRF air-conditioning, water harvesting and recycling. The need for saving power will be driven by high cost of backup power, a necessary evil in power-starved India.

Green Software: The biggest impact on green tech and energy efficiency will come not from electronics and hardware but from smarter software -- software that controls electrical grid, uses sensors data to smartly control building lighting and cooling, improves efficiency of car engines, or runs power management for computer networks. It's software that will really rule 2010's clean tech.

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