10 tech trends to look out for in 2010

Sky 3D
3D TV will finally arrive next year

In the future, your mouse will cook you breakfast, computers will float in the sky and the world will be a generally more peaceful place.

Until then, here are a few interesting advancements that we reckon will shape technology during 2010.

1. LED makes a big impact on the LCD market

Ask anyone who has seen an LED display - such as the Sharp LE700 AQUOS LED LCD series - and they will swear by them: higher contrast of 2M:1, crisper visuals, lower power usage. LED displays still use LCD technology but use a different kind of backlight for a noticeably brighter screen. Sizes range from 32-inch to 52-inch and (at least with the Sharp) only cost a small premium more than older LCDs.

Sharp led tvs

2. Making an app will get easier

Everyone knows Apple has a goldmine with the iPhone - over 100,000 apps and counting. Making these apps is not rocket science, but it's also not as easy as pouring a glass of milk. Next year, several companies will capitalize on the market by offering tools that make it easy to create apps. One company - DoApps already provides a way to make a news applet.

3. Internet appliances become common

The TwitterPeek may be a disaster (too slow, too weird) but internet appliances that run their own custom apps - think the Chumby on steroids - will become ubiquitous. Several companies, including Logitech and Sonos, already have apps for devices like the Squeezebox Radio and the WikiReader (while not strictly an internet-connected device) taps into the power of the Web.

Logitech squeezebopx

4. Your iPhone connects to everything

We already mentioned that the iPhone rules the universe. (Android and BlackBerry users, we love you too). Now it will extend its reach even further - devices such as the Sonos already come with an iPhone app for controlling music while the Line 6 app enables you to control your guitar. We'll see a lot more of these.

5. Monitor your life, even when you sleep

Monitoring is usually the purview of nefarious corporate goons who track web usage and emails. The Nike Plus (included free with the iPhone 3GS) proved that it was OK to share intimate details (such as where you ran and for how long) while there's Google Latitude and other location based apps. Next year, more gadgets will expose your life to the world. For example, the Zeo lets you share sleep patterns.

Google latitude

John Brandon

John Brandon has covered gadgets and cars for the past 12 years having published over 12,000 articles and tested nearly 8,000 products. He's nothing if not prolific. Before starting his writing career, he led an Information Design practice at a large consumer electronics retailer in the US. His hobbies include deep sea exploration, complaining about the weather, and engineering a vast multiverse conspiracy.