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My 2013 Tech Wish List

12/31/2012 1:37:00 PM

It has been another hugely successful year for consumer technology. Mobile devices are selling in record numbers, cloud services are syncing those devices and bringing us content wherever and whenever we want, and 4G networks are making it all happen in the blink of an eye, handling huge amounts of data at breathtakingly fast speeds.

But this headlong rush to a more digital world is not without its speed bumps. Some advances in technology seem to take us backwards rather than forwards, and there appears to be an increasing divide between the haves and have-nots when it comes to gadgets and access to web-based services.

So as we look forward to 2013, it’s not always about more apps, bigger screens, and faster downloads. Here’s my wish list for a few other things I would like to see in a tech-dominated New Year:

1. A more consistent approach to tech education

Many schools embrace technology while others shy away from it like it’s a blight on civilization. With no clear direction from state or local authorities, it’s left to local school boards and principals to decide whether digital literacy finds its way onto the curriculum. Let’s hope there is a more consistent approach both nationally and locally, and schools get the resources they need to properly prepare our kids for the tech-driven world they live in.

2. Free Wi-Fi – everywhere

Are we just spoiled by San Francisco and Starbucks, or is it reasonable to expect free Wi-Fi wherever we go? With so many connected devices and so many people on the move, accessible Wi-Fi hotspots are becoming a necessity rather than a luxury. And while we are on the subject, I am grateful that I can finally check e-mail and surf the Web when I’m 30,000 feet in the air, but no streaming movies or TV shows? Come on, we can do better than that! Here’s hoping that 2013 continues the push towards a free Wi-Fi world.

3. More tablets please

Even though 2012 was the year that the iPad finally saw some real competition, the tablet market is still underserved, particularly when it comes to affordable cellular devices. It’s never been cheaper to connect a tablet. Let’s see the manufacturers follow suit and produce top-class devices at prices that everyone can afford.

4. Stop texting and driving – seriously!

It’s become the scourge of the digital age – drivers of all ages talking and texting as they swerve along the roads, oblivious to everyone else around them. Although I wouldn’t go so far as to install mandatory blocking technology in all vehicles, we all have to be more disciplined in putting aside our gadgets when we get behind the wheel. That’s applies to you too, mom!

5. More meaningful social networking

Are we finally getting to the point where social networking is no longer just about the number of friends or followers you have? There were some encouraging signs this past year as social networks as varied as YouTube and Pinterest placed the emphasis on quality rather than quantity. Even though Facebook continues to dominate, people are finally realizing that what they do online is just as important as how they behave offline. Let 2013 be the year that social networking continues to enhance its own online reputation!

What’s on your tech wish list for 2013?

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