What technologies are now having a broad-ranging impact on businesses and consumers? That’s the question that Gartner Inc. raised in their 2012 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies report. A few of the fastest-moving technologies include big data, 3D printing, Internet TV, media tablets and cloud computing. The Hype Cycle details a particular path that technologies take, from need/inception to over-enthusiasm, to disillusionment and eventually, realism.

The report is updated every year to add new technologies and see where the ones already on the path have gone in the past year. This helps strategic planners, executives, innovators, investors and others identify where they may want to focus their attention in the coming year, and when it may be time to sincerely investigate, and possible adopt, new technologies into their business strategies.

Hype Cycle provides an assessment of over 1,900 technologies grouped into 92 different areas. New Hype Cycles this year include big data, the Internet of Things, in-memory computing and strategic business capabilities.

This year is especially significant because many of the technologies that have been hyped and discussed for years are now very close to becoming a reality. Some of the technologies that are just about ready for prime time include printing in 3D at home and storing customer voices in the cloud, along with total electronic transaction environments through “near field” communications.

Those of us who like to be kept abreast of technology trends should enjoy reading the report and viewing the graphics. Gartner will be hosting a live no-cost Webinar on this subject on September 19th.