The print version of October’s Business 2.0 contains a fancy foldout section on the hottest technologies of 2004 (page 107). The magazine selects a “technology of the year” and seven runners-up (including one “comeback”: Bluetooth). This year’s big winner? Internet telephony.
To quote The Hottest Technologies of 2004: “This year’s winner is snuffing out business models like so many sputtering candles, rewiring the entire telecom industry.” Internet telephony (or voice over IP—VoIP) has been around for five years (here’s what we said about it in 1998), so why is it now the hot ticket? Even though 22 percent of Americans have broadband connections, Business 2.0 points out that VoIP can be a win for corporate offices, “which are already replacing expensive, analog PBX boxes with cheap, digital IP-based ones.”
The magazine’s criteria for hottest technologies included ones that started changing the rules and attracting customers in the past 12 months; they weren’t necessarily invented this year, but they “arrived.” (Runners-up include stallite radio, open source databases, concept mapping, RNA interference, credit risk modeling, multicore processors, and, as stated, Bluetooth.) Do you agree with their choices? Is VoIP rocking your world?