What are the big technology trends for 2006? I have my own opinions on this topic, which I will post in a few days, but in the meantime here is a list of what the editors of the Mercury News think. I have summarized their thinking in a nutshell, but suggest you read the article for more insight.
First, they think Video is the theme of 2006. With the video iPod and the movement of broadband in the home to even faster pipes, video has made even more inroads. Also, note that the US population is hooked on video (aka TV) and with the concept of the Web, TV, TiVo, Cable, On Demand, etc... All coming together we are looking at a rapid shift to happen soon.
Second, they are thinking (rightly so) that the concept of phone service and phone usage is going to change dramatically. I agree with this, given the new players entering the market, such as the big cable companies and even big media giants such as Yahoo! and MSN, oh and don't forget eBay and their 4B acquisition of Skype.
Third, they focus on the medical breakthroughs with Biotech developments and even Stem cell research. I really have no real understanding of this space, so I can't comment.
Fourth, they touch on wireless. This means phones, wi-fi, wi-max, hotspots, and even Global Wimax. Now, of all the above listed innovations, this is the one I really feel is going to make the biggest impact to how we operate in business and even as a culture. I really hope some major innovations happen in this space in 2006. My biggest concern is the fact there is a lot of infrastructure required to make this go.
Finally, globalization is a focus. This is a given and should be on every years list. Note that they differentiate talking about start-ups focusing on international. I know first hand this is the case already as there are much lower barriers to entry in some of the international markets, while also having the ability to reach non-tainted consumers.
This list is pretty comprehensive and broad. I agree with most of their predictions, and don't see any that are out of whack. They really did not take any leaps with this list, which I will do with my list next week.
In the meantime, take a read of their more detailed description of the marketplace. It is worth the time to read.