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October 5th, 2010

Beginning in 1997, the annual Intel Developer Forum (IDF) has been one of the premier platforms for all manner of “emerging technologies.” From the explosion of Wi-Fi to the latest dual-core processors in PCs, leading trends at IDF often end up as mainstream products within a year or two. Still, the job of Crystal Ball Gazer is a tough one.

TechRepublic is a great Web site, full of real experts that dispense a bounty of wisdom. In September 2007, the site ran an article on the IDF conference entitled “Tech Sanity Check,” which noted “four important trends that IT professionals should keep an eye on over the next two years.” Since we all engage in a bit of prognosticating now and then, we look back (in a 2-part blog) on the 2007 predictions to remind us not only how difficult it is, but how creatively unpredictable human beings (and progress) can be.

1. Cleaner and greener

An entire section of IDF’s 2007 Technology Showcase was devoted to planet-friendly technologies, from “energy-sipping CPU chips [to] technology recycling programs.” Improvements in power management are already on board in many of CRE’s LCD Monitor Rentals , and display technology is leading the way in energy saving and green design. Among the other trends mentioned were small, disposable and recyclable fuel cells. We’d carry around small power packs for our phones and digital gear, perhaps even enjoying wireless charging.

Some progress has actually been made in these areas, but fuel cells are still in the future somewhere. Still, there is momentum building. Producers of “green events” and managers of green convention centers use tons less paper now, and recycle with near-religious zeal, while PCs and other devices use less and less power to do more and more things. Battery technology is another bright spot, and Apple has joined the ranks of firms with enviro-friendly policies and manufacturing techniques.

2. The pocket PC

At the 2007 IDF, pundits ventured that laptops would surpass desktops in revenue in 2009. This prediction came true – and a whole year earlier than predicted. TechRepublic concluded that the glory days of “the big, ultra-powerful tower are definitely over, unless you are a gamer or a graphics professional” (like the entertainment industry pros that use CRE’s “ultra-powerful” Mac Pro rentals). If not wholly realized yet, this is a trend that the IDF got right. The market is awash in teeny PCs, along with small wireless pads and tablets. Sylvania is set to debut a “commodity netbook” at a ridiculously low $99, with Windows CE, built-in Wi-Fi, a rechargeable battery, high-contrast color display, browser and productivity apps. In this category, predictions aren’t being made fast enough to keep up with reality.

Predictions #3 and #4 will appear in Part 2 to post Thursday, October 7th.

In the meantime, if your business isn’t keeping up with reality, CRE will help you get up to speed. Whether you need interactive kiosk rentals for a conference, or a full array of audiovisual rentals for your breakout session or company meeting, we’ve got you covered. Fill out the Quick Rental Quote form, and we’ll help you make your “prediction” a reality!

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