1 Trigger to Peak
The Hype Cycle depicts the progression of technologies from inception and overenthusiasm, through a period of disillusionment to an eventual phase of maturity (see Figure 1). It highlights patterns of overreactions, typically originated by unrealistic expectations and reinforced by media effects. We examine the technologies emerging in 2002 and justify their position on the 2002 Hype Cycle, focusing on those in the early stages of the cycle. "2002 Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle: Trough to Plateau" analyses the later stages. This Hype Cycle cuts across industries to generalize a technology's position. Technology planners should note that specific industries and geographic regions may be further ahead or behind in the cycle (for example, speech recognition for physicians is more mature than speech recognition in general).
On the Rise
Personal fuel cells are positioned to become an interesting alternative to batteries in the next five to 10 years. They are recharged with a hydrogen/oxygen mix, instead of needing to be connected to an electrical outlet, and a cell will last longer than a battery of the same size -- at least in theory. The industry is working to get them compact and inexpensive enough for mobile devices. By 2010, fuel cells will have gained 30 percent of market share for a wide array of mobile consumer electronic devices (0.6 probability).