…became “the center of your world.” So says technology writer/editor Joshua Topolsky — founding editor-in-chief of The Verge and former editor-in-chief of Engadget — in an year-end technology review for The Washington Post. It’s worth a quick read (emphasis added below):
It wasn’t just about big battles like Apple vs. Samsung, Microsoft vs. Google, AT&T vs. the world, or Hewlett-Packard vs. itself. It wasn’t just about the growth of apps and the ever-increasing pervasiveness of the Web in our daily lives, though there were plenty of amazing developments both these realms. It wasn’t just about hardware or software. And it wasn’t just about towing the line or trying to hold onto it.
2011 was a year of incredible innovation, progress, and excitement in the world of technology. It was a year when — despite all the political and economic chaos around us these days — optimism ruled. And how many other industries can you say that about right now?
While some long-entrenched businesses like HP, Dell and Research In Motion found themselves challenged to do more and to do it better, other established players continued to wow consumers with their inventions. Apple and Google both had strong showings in 2011 with their flagship devices — the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S for the former and the Galaxy Nexus for the latter. Microsoft struggled to gain ground, but has started showing signs of life in its partnership with Nokia and early designs for Windows 8.
2011 will be remembered as the year that an explosion of new thinking happened in regards to how we interact with our devices. Whether it was the massive success of Microsoft’s Kinect gaming system or the interactive assistant Siri appearing on Apple’s iPhone 4s — it’s clear the way we interface with our devices is changing in a big way.
More after the jump…
In 2011, remote or portable music became a reality, with Apple pushing AirPlay and widespread Bluetooth adoption, making whole-house or take-along music playback fun and easy.
2011 also brought us online projects that blew away our expectations, like the inspired, Web-based take on ”The Great Gatsby.” (Yes, someone made an Nintendo Entertainment System game in which you play as Nick Carraway and dodge Gatsby’s butler.) Or the terrific ‘Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery’ (a role-playing game for the iPhone and iPad the likes of which you’ve never seen). Or the charming “The Artist is Present” by Pippin Barr, in which you visit Marina Abramovic’s titular performance-art piece in 8-bit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. (If it’s open that is — really, the virtual museum can only be entered during business hours.)
In other respects, 2011 was a year of utter weirdness. Some of my favorite products and apps this year were just plain bizarre, but in a good way. Take the Nest thermostat, for instance. It “learns” your ideal temperature at different times of the day, senses when you’re in and out the house, and adjusts itself accordingly. Designed by one of the guys who built the iPod and iPhone, it’s a beautiful, intuitive device that reimagines the dials we’ve been turning for more than a hundred years.
This was also the year we saw things like the Sphero — a glowing, iPhone-controlled ball that doesn’t seem to have any immediate purpose, but is insanely cool to play around with. (Imagine that — a piece of technology that’s just stupidly fun.)
2011 was also a year of great loss. It was the passing of Steve Jobs — a man distinguished not just for founding one of the most important American companies, but continuing to change the way we think about and use technology — that drew the world together in collective mourning, but there were a number of other tech greats who left us in 2011, including the man who invented the C programming language, the scientist who coined the term “artificial intelligence,” as well as those who helped build IBM, Fairchild Semiconductor, and Sony in the early years.
But this was also the year that we found out that Twitter and Facebook could play a part in real life revolution — in farflung places like Egypt and Tunisa, as well as locales closer to home (hello, 99 percent).
Most of all, this was a year where people suddenly found themselves awash in new ways to communicate, work, play, and relax. A year when it became nearly the norm for the device in your pocket to be the center of your world. For a small sliver of metal, glass, and silicon you slip into a bag or jacket to do more than ever before, bring you closer to the rest of the world, and change the way you think about what technology means and what it can do.
And this is just the start. We’re not even at the tip of the iceberg yet. As our networks grow, our devices get faster and smarter, and we will begin to understand technology better, our lives will be immeasurably and unpredictably changed. I can’t wait for 2012.
Check out the original article here.
(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)