Opinion: 10 game-changing technologies

Jun 11, 2009

By John Brandon with ComputerWorld They start as a mild tremor at first: rumors of an Apple Phone and rumblings about Web 2.0, whispers about touch interfaces and flash storage. Then, in what seems like an instant, there is a tectonic shift that shakes up an entire product category -- or even the industry as a whole. When the iPhone was released in 2007, everyone knew it would be an important milestone as a touch device. Few predicted that it would be a game-changer in terms of defining the entire category of touch-based phones -- or that it would sell 50 million units and garner just over 1% of the worldwide smartphone market in a relatively short time. There are other products out there that have the potential to be as (or more) significant as the iPhone. Here are 10 emerging technologies that are already causing a tremor and could ultimately become just as important. Fuzzy searches As long as you know the right search term, it's easy to find hundreds or even thousands of links on almost any given topic. However, search engines are not as powerful when it comes to so-called fuzzy searches -- finding information when you only have a vague concept of what you want. For example, you might know that there was an important English poet in the 1950s, but you can't remember his name or what he wrote. Yahoo Correlator allows you to type in vague terms such as "English poet 1950s" and correlate information. You can click on a tab for to find data such as names, places and events, and eventually hone it down and find out that there was a poet named Lou Barker.

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