From smartphones to GPS navigation systems, technology is everywhere in 2012. Credit professionals' growing need for mobility and access to real-time information, helping fuel increasing demand for mobile devices and spur the ubiquitous growth of apps, online services and social networks.
But while everyday shoppers are rallying behind high-tech phenomena such as 3D TV, streaming multimedia and location-based savings and services, trends in business gadgets and technologies are charting a somewhat divergent course. In the coming year, the focus will instead lie on more intuitive and powerful portable productivity solutions, tools which facilitate greater virtualization and accessories that make everyday tasks and mobile communications simpler. As a bonus, many also incorporate features popular with the general public, such as casual videoconferencing, breezy wireless connectivity and fully customizable content.
Following are five trends that promise to define 2012's best business gadgets, each likely to filter their way into any enterprise in the coming months.
1. 4G Connectivity
Wireless-cellular carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile are all embracing the high-speed 4G Internet bandwagon. Expect each to trot out a variety of handsets which utilize turbo-charged networks that allow small-business owners to enjoy Web surfing and downloads at speeds three to four times faster than current 3G standards.
Choices will be numerous, ranging from the QWERTY keyboard-enabled HTC EVO Shift, capable of acting as a mobile hotspot for up to eight WiFi devices, to the Samsung Infuse, which adds an attractive, oversized 4.5-inch display.
Regardless of whether you need a brawny, dual-core processor-powered model like the Motorola Atrix (capable of docking with a full-size screen to double as a laptop), expect marked speed boosts across the board. This will not only aid modern executives accessing more online information and multimedia than ever, but also provide a ready platform for impromptu videoconferencing from a number of handsets.
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