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February 27, 2013

Top Technology Trends

The future of gadgets promises a wealth of high-tech innovations—many of which can be had right now.

It has been said that technology is often more about evolution than revolution. While big-time burgeoning advancements exist—ultra-definition televisions, for example, that cost as much as a small car and offer four times the resolution of current models—2013 might be the year when what we already have is made to perform even better.

Samsung hits the right note with the introduction of an Evolution kit for its TVs, which upgrades software and processors without the need to replace a television entirely. Likewise, add-on soundbars from companies like Boston Acoustics improve TV audio quality.

Wireless technology is here to stay, with cord-free headphones and wireless speakers, like the Woodbourne model from Polk Audio, improving sound quality for a multiplicity of devices.

Similarly, wireless capability that takes advantage of existing WiFi networks—or uses improved Bluetooth to make a closer wireless connection—is rapidly becoming a key feature in numerous gadgets. Panasonic’s new wearable A100 HD camcorder features WiFi connectivity, which makes it possible to stream video continuously (good news for those who want their every move followed). There is even an electronic fork (hapilabs.com) that monitors how quickly you eat, recording the data via a Bluetooth connection. (It is available this summer.)

On an even grander scale, the Trakdot luggage tracker uses GPS satellites to follow the location of luggage and alert you, via a smartphone app, whether a bag is about to appear on the correct carousel or has arrived in another airport.

As we wait for the revolution, check out the most interesting gadgets debuting this year.