Soon everything will be smarter than us

Fancy a light bulb with its own internet address? How about a television that tells you when you're being burgled?

"Augmented reality" expert Chris O'Connell shares his thoughts on three emerging technology trends set to reshape daily life this year.

Free texts - Third-party free text message applications are on the rise - and there's nothing big telcos can do about it.

"As people realise you can send your mates texts through things like Facebook ... that's just going to take off." Android phone applications, including MightyText, let consumers bypass the old charges, and mean the days of Telecom and Vodafone earning coin for every text are dying. "The genie's out of the bottle," O'Connell says.

Internet TV - An increasing number of televisions are now internet capable. Big-screen benefits when watching videos or Skype-ing will become irresistible to consumers. "You'll start getting lots of TVs with in-built access to YouTube," O'Connell says. An ageing population will require health boards to adopt technology to cut costs. O'Connell says doctors could monitor patients with webcams attached to TVs.

Home help - Smart washing machines could complain about the state of your clothes. More likely, they'll follow Samsung's lead of an app that tells you when your washing is done, wherever you are.

"Washing machines may have the ability to go on to your home network to check if there's a software update available," says O'Connell.

New internet protocols will lead to multiple home appliances having their own web addresses.

"It will be quite possible for every light bulb in your house to have a wireless capability and an internet address. You could then control your lighting from your smartphone while sitting on your couch, or from work."

- Herald on Sunday

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