Friday, August 12, 2011

New Gartner Hype Cycle Out; Some Interesting Changes From Last Year (

Gartner provides, for my money, the most comprehensive and systematic coverage of technology trends among the commercial research providers.  One of their best free products is the annual Gartner Hype Cycle.

The Hype Cycle is a useful way of thinking about how typical technologies evolve and mature.  The 2011 version is displayed below (with a more complete report and video here):

I covered the Hype Cycle last year on SAM and comparing 2010's cycle with this year's is an interesting exercise.  In the first place, there are a number of technologies that are not on both cycles.  Gartner covers 1900 technologies so it is clearly impossible to put them all on a single Hype Cycle graphic.

Secondly, most of the technologies have not moved very much in the last year.  This makes some sense given that many of the technologies aren't expected to mature for "5 to 10 years" or "more than 10 years".

A couple of notable exceptions include augmented reality and the media tablet which have both crested the first big wave of expectations.  If Gartner is right, we should start seeing an increasing number of reports about the limitations of media tablets and the problems with augmented reality over the next 12 months.

I also always pay attention to what is coming in at the beginning of the Hype Cycle and what is about to leave the Hype Cycle.  There are some interesting new additions this year:  3D Bioprinting and quantum computing.  Location aware applications, speech recognition and (surprisingly) predictive analytics are all set to leave the stage -- they have become mainstream in Gartner's eyes.