More exciting tech on the horizon

If you’ve spent your Saturday enjoying the third dimension of games on your Nintendo 3DS, or caught up with the Sunday papers on your tablet using a WiFi connection, then you could be forgiven for wondering what technology could possibly do to wow you next.

Wireless electricity could save you from searching for the right charger

Well, you shouldn’t doubt the power of new gadgets to make your jaw hit the floor for a single second.

Teleportation and virtual reality may still be a little out of reach, but here’s a few examples of what’s got our minds racing in the world of tech recently…

Wireless electricity
We’re used to our tablets and mobile phones picking up data without wires, but when it comes to charging them up we still have to scramble around for the right cable. Wireless electricity will take the pain out of putting juice back in our gadgets.

How could it work? A copper coil in a wall could create an electromagnetic field which resonates with coils in gadgets, creating enough energy to power the device. There’s no danger to humans because we’re unaffected by magnetic fields.

So instead of walking into a café just to use its WiFi, you could be sat enjoying a coffee while your laptop and mobile soak up some juice wirelessly.

Know-it-all advertising
If you’ve noticed that you’re seeing more adverts for hotels in a certain city ever since you booked a flight there, then you’re experiencing the early stages of targeted advertisements.

A report from the Centre for Future Studies has found adverts we see on the internet and the high street could soon be tailored to our tastes and even our mood at the time.

Emotion Recognition Software (ERS) could detect your mood as you walk past electronic posters. If you’re in a good mood, maybe you’ll be invited to watch a comedy film, while those enduring darker days could be tempted by some comfort food.

Social networking sites could encourage us to share information about what we like and dislike with companies in exchange for a better shopping experience.

How much information would you release to help find what you want?

Gaze-tracking technology
For anyone who has ever grown tired of operating their computer using a mouse or touchpad, Lenovo has developed the first gaze-tracking laptop.

It uses infrared sensors to track where a user is looking on the screen, so there’s no need to move a cursor around. When you want to click, you can just hit a button on the keyboard.

Gaze-tracking technology could be particularly helpful for people with disabilities who are unable to move a mouse. It could also help save energy, as laptops and computers would know when someone is looking at the screen and turn off automatically when nobody is looking.

3D audio
So you’ve now had the chance to watch everything in 3D from Avatar to the US Masters golf tournament – what could possibly enhance the experience? 3D audio should do the trick…

Professor Edgar Choueiri from Princeton University is working on a 3D audio experience that could have you believe a bee is buzzing around your head, or a barber’s clippers are chopping away at your fringe.

He has been working on a filter for stereo speakers that adds more to a viewer’s audio experience than surround sound. The filter makes your brain believe the sound is coming from above, below or behind your head.

What technological developments have made your ears prick up recently? Is there a certain gadget you just can’t wait to play with? Comment below…