Technology in 2009

A look at the big news from recent industry shows, like DEMOfall and TechCrunch 5.0, reveals emerging trends that will drive technology innovation next year. Those trends include cloud computing, open mobile platforms and semantic search.

The last several weeks have seen a large number of conferences, trade shows and seminars dedicated to emerging technologies and new products, with the two biggest and most prominent being DEMOfall and TechCrunch50.

Often after a wave of new products and companies debut, the initial reaction is to try to predict which of these new entrants will end up being successful. However, this usually is a very difficult task, as these shows tend to produce a lot more misses than hits.

That said, it is possible to glean hints about the future of technology from all of these new products and companies. That's because they are often riding the crest of the wave of new technology trends, not only in what their products do and the problems they try to solve, but also in the technologies that they themselves use to power their own products.

Given that, for this eWEEK special report, I'll look at many of the new product and company announcements of recent months and use this information to predict some of the key emerging technology trends that we should expect to see for 2009.

Some of these trends are already gaining traction, whereas others are just starting to emerge. However, I expect all of them to be key to driving the technology sector in the coming years.

In addition, with the current troubled financial times, some of these emerging technologies could be an important spark for energizing the economy through new and innovative companies and revitalized existing businesses.