Pretty Please?: A 2012 Technology Wish List

With fewer than 40 hours left in 2011, it seems like a good time to think about what 2012 holds in store. There are plenty of predictions about what we can expect in technology, based on what exists now, and the current trends. I am going to take a slightly different approach, though.

What follows is a technology wish list for 2012 that are not a predictions per se. The wishes exist on their own merits without regard for current technology. At the same time, the wishes are not so fantastic that they are beyond the realm of possibility.

With that in mind, here we go:

It would be nice to be mobile without having to worry about keeping your device(s) charged.
Better Battery Life

The world has gone mobile. From both a consumer and business perspective, more people are relying on notebooks, smartphones, and tablets to connect from virtually anywhere. The problem is that “virtually anywhere” is usually lacking in power outlets, so these devices need to have the juice to get through the day…at least.

There have been significant strides in this area. My iPad 2 seems to last forever, and my current notebook can plow through most of a work day on a single charge. Smartphones seem to be heading in the wrong direction, though -- both the iPhone 4S and the recently launched Galaxy Nexus seem to drain quicker than their predecessors -- and there is still room for improvement.

The first wish for 2012 is battery performance from mobile devices that allow you to roam the world with confidence, without scrambling to recharge in the middle of the day.

This Powermat portable charger has 7 different swappable connectors.
Less Adapter Confusion

While we’re on the topic of power, why does every single device have to re-invent the connector used to power or recharge it? If you are traveling with a laptop, tablet, smartphone, and/or e-reader, it is not inconceivable that you need to carry four separate chargers. If you happen to forget one, you are probably screwed because there is little standardization and the odds of you finding a random charger that fits your proprietary connection are slim to none.

The point of each is to simply move the electricity from the wall, or through your PC. There is no need for each vendor -- actually each device because some vendors aren’t even consistent across devices -- to require some unique connector to make that happen. I wish technology would pick a charging connector and stick with it.

Fewer (Or Zero) Outages

Funny thing about wireless and Internet service providers – they have no qualms making excuses and justifying system outages for the services you’re paying for, but they seem to have little sense of humor or appreciation for any “temporary outage” of your payments. It seems reasonable if you are paying for a service to expect that service to be delivered as agreed upon.

Yet, major providers like RIM and Verizon have experienced service outages lasting for days with little more than an “oops, we’re sorry”. Credits applied for disruption of service are typically paltry, and offer little consolation for not having a functional device for days at a time.

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