In the year ahead, we will see many current technologies that have major new improvements. Here are a few I think you will find both interesting and useful.

Wireless USB will eliminate the cord that connects so many of our computing devices such as printers and external hard drives giving us greater flexibility in both the home and office. Additionally; this will enable us to do cool things like send pictures wirelessly from our cameras to our computers in just a few seconds.

Integrating cellular connectivity into GPS devises that provide contextually relevant local searches based on real-time information will allow us to find what we want when we want it. In addition, a real-time traffic information network will allow us to better avoid both construction and congestion.

With Sprint, Cingular, Verizon, and T-Mobile all rolling out faster Web access for both our phones and laptops, and WiFi connectivity expanding, it will be easy to stay connected wherever you go. In addition, all of the increased competition should bring down the price later in the new year.

With both the Macintosh’s new operating system OS X Leopard, and Microsoft’s new Windows Vista, users will see more than just a minor upgrade. In addition to a major new look and feel, Microsoft is focused on giving users far greater security and stability, as well as system-wide searching and new media applications. The new Macintosh operating system will provide upgraded system-wide search and interface improvements as well as a cool new backup system called Time Machine. Being able to run both operating systems on the fast new Intel-based Macs will add a new competitive advantage for Apple.

Skype grew rapidly in 2006 as people used their PC to place free or low fee calls from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. New companies such as JahJah allow you to use either a PC or smart phone to do the same, and a new wave of WiFi phones can work with Skype or Windows Live Messenger. T-Mobile is launching UMA which will allow seamless switching between cellular and WiFi. It won’t be long until we will be able to seamlessly connect between all three using a smart phone.