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March 11th, 2010

Nothing is constant but change, as the old saying goes. The Web is changing daily, and our gadgetry too, but the more time you spend on the Internet and your smartphone, the less likely you are to notice gradual changes in their forms or functions. Researchers who keep track of new technologies, however, make it their business to chart the changes and try to project at least a little bit into the future, if only to light the way a step at a time.

There are a handful of areas in which change is being observed right now, and at least begin to paint a picture of where “Web ‘n’ tech” are going in 2010.

Social gaming  – play time for grown-ups

Social gaming will be big this year. Zynga’s FarmVille game on Facebook already has more active users than Twitter, at least according to Facebook execs. Electronic Arts, a gargantuan game firm, acquired the Playfish social game Web site in a multimillion-dollar deal. Forward-looking companies leverage social media for PR and publicity, and are also interested in the “virtual currencies” that these game sites use, which may be “monetizable” (converted to real money) under certain circumstances, in the opinion of some economists.

PCTVs and “iFlicks” services

Among the big buzz-makers in Web movies are Apple – maker of our Mac Pro rentals plus laptops, iMacs, iPods and the new iPad – along with Tivo, Hulu and Netflix. Hulu had a particularly strong 2009, with great growth and even better press, while even the tech-paranoid studios banded together to take a shot with Epix, a Hulu-style site for movie fare. Apple is leading the way with both TV and film deals in the works, as the “convergence” continues apace.

The “now” and the “wow”

Facebook, Twitter and their hordes of imitators made moves toward more productive real-time interactivity in the latter part of 2009. Smartphones, laptops, netbooks and WiFi-enabled whatchamacallits will converge more and more, enabling real-time collaboration in ways unimaginable even a few years ago. Things will absolutely explode once Google explains exactly what Wave is and makes it push-button simple (read our blog about Google’s Wave).

Mobile pay is on the way

Mobile PaymentsThis may be the breakthrough year for mobile payments, which are already common in Asia. PayPal, Amazon and other major players are jumping on the bandwagon (quickly) and both the PayPalX model and an Amazon mobile payment platform have already been distributed to third-party developers. One of Twitter’s founders has a new startup company, Square, with an application allowing merchants to take payments via iPhones. Other platforms will follow, and when the technology takes off, it will proliferate quickly and reach everywhere. It’s been brewing for a while, and it’s set to explode.

CRE is right there at the leading edge, staying abreast of all the latest technologies. When you need computers, projectors, screens, interactive kiosks and other high-tech gear for projects or conferences, our expert Account Executives can get you squared away in no time. Call or send an e-mail, or fill out our Quick Rental Quote form, right now, and you’ll get help you need, swiftly and efficiently.

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