So what's the 'next BIG thing' in tech?

The iPhone is the biggest tech launch of 2007. But what's next?

After the launch of the PlayStation 3, HD DVD, Blu-ray and most recently the iPhone, what other technology can we get excited about?

In the UK, we still have the iPhone launch in November to froth over. And then there's... um, there's... er... Well, there'll be newer, better high-def tellies appearing; combo Blu-ray/HD DVD players; quad-core PCs; and legions of imported iPod touch knock-offs.

Technology lust

In terms of the product cycle, the technology industry is squarely in 'upgrade mode'. This is the the time when products get cheaper, smaller, faster, or a combination of all three. This is the time for version 1's to become version 2's, fixing all of the bugs and glitches that early adopters complained about.

And while it's tempting to say "that's it, there's nothing truly innovative going on", we've pulled together five technologies that have the potential to change how products are built and how we live our lives today.

Touch and gesture recognition

Take gesture recognition, for example. The touch screens in Apple's iPhone and Microsoft's Surface; the gesture recognition in Sony's EyeToy camera; the motion sensor in Nintendo's Wiimote... All could herald the future of computer interfaces. The potential here is incredible.

Instead of banging away at a traditional QWERTY keyboard we'll be waving our hands in the air like we just don't care. The only downside? As Wii Sports players know all too well, even a short bit of Wiimote-waggling leaves you knackered.

You can watch Microsoft's eye-opening Surface demos on the Microsoft Surface site; the similar Multi-touch Interactive Experiments video on YouTube; and don't miss an amazing video of the heliodisplay M2, a touch-screen/holographic display that floats in mid-air.

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