From Siri and SSD to augmented reality and Ice Cream Sandwich, here are 10 technology game-changers
Near-field communications (NFC)
The wave-and-pay convenience of NFC-enabled smartphones will become a reality in 2012, as NFC-ready devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S II and Galaxy Nexus go mainstream. Retailers will need to upgrade their point-of-sale terminals, switching to NFC-enabled hardware that enables consumers to ditch their credit cards. But NFC's potential extends far beyond the cash register. The capability to use your phone to pay parking fees and bus and taxi fares, to conduct financial transactions, and even to get information from NFC-enabled kiosks and "smart" posters is an enormous business opportunity for clever entrepreneurs. The NFC revolution is just beginning, and it will be huge.