Understanding the Technology Hype Cycle

There are situations in your work life where  you are in a meeting – your boss will always talk  about cutting edge technologies and throw in few technology jargons like Cloud Computing , Social Media etc and will  stress about how the company need to build competency in areas surrounding that.

But the question is how does your boss get to know abt these upcoming trends and start pushing the organisation in a direction so as to plan and leverage these technology in business ?

That is where companies like Gartner come into picture with their technology and consulting skills. Gartner’s Hype Cycle is basically an analysis and detailed study of how new technologies are emerging – its evolution,how it gains acceptance from early adopters,progress through various ups and down before gaining mass adoption and be accepted widely .

A simple graph explaining how this Hype Cycle works

To understand in detail what happens in every phase , the below figure can actually help.

Source: Gartner

Every year Gartner releases this hype cycle and this is useful for business to do strategic planning  in their respective fields.  You can have look at the various fields across which the hype cycle is prepared every time. These analysis and reports are not free and generally corporates subscribe to these reports and have exclusive access to understand what’s emerging and what is to remain as damp squib . Understanding where a technology actually stands in the hype cycle will help business to pick up technologies quickly and get the early mover advantage.

Hype Cycle for 2012 on Emerging Technologies

For the year 2012 , Gartner have released the hype cycle for new emerging technologies. Understanding these at times can help us get  a preview onto what’s happening and respond to your boss with few other technology jargon and stump them.

Shown below is the hype cycle for emerging technologies for 2012.  Click the image below for full view. You can also get an idea of the technology stand point for previous years here.This is the hype cycle for year 2012

How technologies have evolved over last few years ? 

From the hype cycle data collected over few years , let us have a look at the various trends that has emerged and progressing well  over the last few years.

Media Tablet

Source :Sbnation

Ever since iPad was launched , we have seen a  flurry of tablets that has been launched in last few years. In 2010 , Media Tablets were on the peak of the hype cycle . But in 2011, it went through a downward trend after the hype and pressure of launching super cool tablets did not meet  consumer expectation.But then towards 2012 , we now see a maturation in the market with launches like Kindle Fire and Google Nexus that has taken the market by storm as tablets primarily targeted at consuming media content. In the next few years, this market is bound to stabilize.

Internet TV

Internet TV was again  hyped for  couple of years.But the challenges are plenty. And now in 2012 , it is not seeing much traction. Though Internet TV is having a lot of potential , the code to delivering a very compelling user experience with great content could not be cracked so far. There is an obvious dependence with traditional cable broadcasters for content since it has the all content in the world. Google TV , Apple TV and others  could not grow after a certain point due to this very limitation. That’s why we could see it going through the trough of disillusionment.

Source : Movinapp

But in the coming years, i expect some sort of market consolidation can happen with major corporations coming together to make it happen. Another strategy tgat is happening is that companies like Netflix is producing its’ very  own content .One of the top show ‘Arrested Development’ that was shelved few years back with many fans upset about it is now coming back exclusively on Netflix. Strategies like this is giving some hope to Internet TV in the coming years.

NFC and Mobile Payments

You may have already read about the potential of NFC not only in payments but in our shopping experience as whole. In 2010 , NFC did not even figure but in 2011 , it was in its peak of hype cycle . But in 2012 again with many different mobile payment strategy adopted and different segmentation and implementation coupled with infrastructure limitation is pushing out NFC down.

But consolidation is bound to happen with various mobile payment providers and most of the smart devices these days has NFC capability , the mass technology adoption could happen at a faster pace going forward. Apple , Google and M$ is betting big on NFC payments and that is some positive development for NFC.

Cloud Computing and Private Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing is the most hyped technology at least in IT sector . It is slowly going through the hype cycle.Even Indian Government is now exploring Cloud Computing options.


And with private cloud computing gathering enough momentum with the help of majors players like Apple with iCloud , Google with GDrive and M$ with SkyDrive ,cloud computing will gain mass adoption. But there are concerns being raised about privacy and data security breach that could arise especially for enterprise business users.But with consumer adoption happening quickly , it will convince enterprise to go for Cloud Computing on an enterprise level once the comfort factor is established with business.

Big Data

This is next buzz word that is being  picked up by big corporations like IBM, M$ etc and betting real big.  This is some thing that has evolved from Data Mining with social sharing context built into. The reference to big data is reaching a fever pitch in 2012 .

This small video explains why big data will  be the  next big thing for corporations and take data mining , analytics to a totally different plane.

Autonomous vehicles

Google Auto Car is almost there. It is now being tested extensively and is doing some serious mile crunching. In the next few years , this could be picked up by main stream consumers.With the advent of better GPS and target location apps with real time traffic updates coupled with good infrastructure for transmission of data has made this possible.

Augmented Reality

Though this has got a major boost with Google Glasses in Google I/O last year. This area is something where research is going for past few decades but still nothing substantial that has happened .We hope Google Glass that is to be launched next year will see some positive developments from the market.

And there are many new fields like Mobile Robots that help us with house cleaning and act as personal assistant as well, 3D printing,Speech-Speech translation etc that looks promising.

So all it takes is to follow this Hype Cycle from time to time ,understand the trends as a consumer or entrepreneur or a corporation or as an investor  and be aware about the latest hot and most hyped area in science and  technology . This could help you in identifying where  real value is rather than going by the tide and believing the hype.


8 thoughts on “Understanding the Technology Hype Cycle

    • dinakaranonline says:

      Hey Karthik , thanks for stopping by . Well , i do not use buzz words or jargon normally.Just happened to read abt Gartner while browsing through some thing else .We do not talk or discuss at work.

      Found it interesting and thus blogged abt it though I had doubts whether these data would actually be used by people. It’s nice to know that people use these in their day to day work especially in Sales and Product Marketing campaigns 🙂

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