What's in Store for 2004--and Beyond

The hype is finally turning into reality. Over the next two years, you'll start to use "invisible" PCs small enough to fit inside a desk drawer, powered by chips that chew through massive files like cotton candy. You'll enjoy new wireless technologies that let you log on at blistering speeds from virtually anywhere. Living rooms will turn into digital entertainment dens, where you'll enjoy media streaming seamlessly from every source--broadcast TV, cable, satellite, and the Net. And you'll encounter strict security measures that some claim will make PCs hacker- and virus-proof, though at the cost of personal control.

But that's just the beginning. How about computer displays stitched onto your T-shirt, or immensely powerful processors with circuits smaller than a human chromosome? In five to ten years, these and many other far-out technologies may also come to pass.

Can this torrid pace of technological innovation possibly continue? To find out, we asked experts what the future holds in six key areas: graphics, processors and PCs, storage, communications, security, and entertainment. Their short answer? Count on it.

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