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多图文:2015年五大科技趋势

2015-02-05    来源:fortune    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

多图文:2015年五大科技趋势

2015年究竟会成为技术革新年,还是技术进化年?今年,苹果手表将闪亮登场;一些初创公司估值泡沫终将破裂;苹果支付将成为移动支付业进入主流的最后机会;黑客还将大行其道,估计他们又会祸害另一家《财富》500强企业。好消息是,温馨的智能家居有望进入千家万户。

Creating a sci-fi future always takes longer than expected, if it happens at all.
创造一个犹如科幻小说的未来,即便能成功,也总是要花费比预期更长的时间。

Consider the example of the connected home, in which everyday devices like security cameras, garage doors, and refrigerators are connected to the Internet and controlled from a smartphone. Companies have pushed the idea for several years, but have gained only limited traction.
想象一下联网家庭的样子:安全摄像头、车库门和冰箱等日常设备都与因特网连接,并能用智能手机操控。科技公司已经宣扬这一理念好些年了,但该领域的进展却十分有限。

The technology industry’s ambitious road map will be on fully display this week at the International Consumer Electronics Show, the annual gadget industry rally in Las Vegas. Executives from electronics makers, car manufacturers, and entertainment companies will make splashy sales pitches for their latest products and, maybe, some people will eventually buy them.
在一年一度的拉斯维加斯CES国际消费电子展上,科技界充分展现了他们对未来雄心勃勃的规划。电子产品制造商、汽车厂商和娱乐公司的高管们都在卖力地宣扬他们的最新产品,或许有一些人最终会购买这些新玩意吧。

Some years in tech turn out to be truly revolutionary. In 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone and reshaped the technology industry. Other years are more a game of catch-up, when companies focus on the difficult but important job of making entire categories of products live up to their original promise. (See: 3-D home television.)
事实证明,在有些年份,科技界的确发生了真正革命性的变化。比如2007年,苹果公司推出iPhone,重新塑造了整个技术行业。而另一些年份则更像是一场追赶的游戏,各大公司都专注于困难却重要的工作,以期望它们的整个产品线能够践行当初许下的诺言。(想一想3D电视)

What kind of year will 2015 be? Here’s what to expect.
2015年会是哪一种呢?以下是值得期待的几大趋势。

Countdown to Apple Watch
苹果手表即将面世

Apple's debut of its smartwatch within the next few months is the biggest hope yet to popularize the Internet-connected time pieces. Manufacturers have long described the mini-computers worn on the wrist—or anywhere else on the body—as the future. But so far the public has been unconvinced. Apple's Watch, at $349, may be the last chance to redeem the technology. Apple, of course, has had plenty of success taking existing but clunky electronics—i.e. smartphones and tablets —and making them easy to use. Why not smartwatches? The stakes are high for Apple CEO Tim Cook, who until now, has been riding high on a portfolio of product lines developed by his predecessor, Steve Jobs. Smartwatches will be entirely Cook's baby, for better or for worse.
苹果智能手表将在接下来几个月内面世——在联网计时工具尚未普及之前,这款产品无疑最令人期待。制造商们一直在介绍这种戴在手腕或身体其他部位的微型计算机,声称它们就是电子设备业的未来。然而到目前为止,公众并不买账。349美元起售的苹果手表也许是救赎这项技术的最后机会。当然,就改良市面上表现不佳的电子产品,让它们变得更加方便使用而言,苹果已经取得过许多成功——比如智能手机和平板电脑,那么为何不试试智能手表呢?这款产品对苹果公司首席执行官蒂姆•库克具有特殊意义。因为到目前为止,他一直都在倚赖史蒂夫•乔布斯打造的各种产品。无论是好是坏,苹果手表将成为库克亲生的孩子。

Start-up valuation bubble springs some leaks
初创公司估值泡沫将破裂

Every few weeks, a money-losing start-up gets a sky-high valuation from investors. Pinterest, the online bulletin board, gets a $5 billion valuation. Digital payments company Square is priced at a hefty $6 billion. Meanwhile, Snapchat, the photo messaging service, gets an even bigger $10 billion valuation. This year, look for some air to go out of the bubble. "There will be some really high-profile blow ups," says Venky Ganesan, a venture capitalist with Menlo Ventures. Timing when the tech industry will deflate is a favorite Silicon Valley parlor game. Despite dire predictions over the past few years, startups keep rising in value. Ganesan, whose firm has invested in high-fliers like ride hailing service Uber ($41 billionvaluation), says momentum is pushing investors to bid up valuations in shaky businesses like a game of musical chairs. In the end, some investors will lose a lot of money, he says, if they haven't already. Fab, an e-commerce startup that had a valuation over $1 billion before imploding in 2014, may be a sign of things to come. (Menlo was an investor.) Still, Ganesan says that companies that have a real business will continue to command high prices. As for the others, well, "No one is calling reporters when bad news is happening," he says.
每隔几周,都会有一家亏本的初创公司得到投资者的天价估值。图片社交网站Pinterest被估价50亿美元,数字支付公司Square被估价60亿美元,照片信息服务Snapchat甚至得到高达100亿美元的估价。今年该是泡沫破裂之时了。门罗风投公司的风险投资家温基•加纳森表示:“今年将会有许多引人注目的初创公司跌下神坛。”预测技术业泡沫将何时破裂,是硅谷专家们最爱玩的游戏。尽管过去几年有过许多悲观预言,但初创公司的估值依旧节节攀升。加纳森所在的公司投资了打车服务商Uber(估值410亿美元)等雄心勃勃的公司。他说,现在的势头促使投资者进一步推高那些还没有站稳脚跟的公司的估值,这就像在玩抢椅子游戏,到最后肯定会有投资者损失一大笔钱,有的现在已经亏本了。电子商务初创公司Fab曾经得到过10亿美元的估值,却在2014年崩溃,这也许昭示着未来的景象。(门罗也是Fab的投资者。)不过,加纳森也表示,拥有真正优秀业务的初创公司依旧能得到很高的估值,至于其他公司,好吧,“当事态不妙时,没有人会通知记者的。”

Show me the (mobile) money
移动钱包前路漫漫

Companies trying to revolutionize how people pay at store cash registers inevitably describe using cash and credit cards as a huge inconvenience. Reality check: if occasionally having to pull out your wallet is among your biggest problems, then you're lucky. Still, look for mobile payments to make some gains this year. The general idea is replace credit cards and cash with smartphones, the Swiss Army knife of devices. Wave your phone in front of a store terminal and, presto, your purchase is billed to your bank or credit card account. Apple Pay, introduced last year to great fanfare, is just one of the many services jostling for users. Previous efforts by PayPal, Visa's PayWave, and MasterCard'sPayPass largely failed to catch on. Jan Dawson, an analyst with Jackdaw Research, expects the technology to gain more traction this year—particularly overseas—after a strong showing among early adopters in 2014. But he warned that widespread adoption is still sometime off in future. "It’s a slow burn technology," he says. "It's not going to take the world by storm next year."
一些公司正在试图改变人们在商店收银台前的付款方式,他们会不可避免地夸大现金和信用卡的不便之处。事实上,如果时常掏出钱包就是你生活中最大的麻烦,那你可真是幸运。不过我们仍然可以期待移动支付在今年有所进展。这项技术的核心思想就是用设备中的瑞士军刀——智能手机——来取代信用卡和现金。在商店终端前摇一摇手机,你的借记卡或信用卡账户就会支付消费金额。去年大张旗鼓问世的苹果支付,只是争夺用户的众多同类服务中的一种。贝宝、Visa的PayWave和万事达卡的PayPass之前的尝试,在很大程度上都未能吸引用户。研究公司Jackdaw Research的分析师简•道森认为,该技术在2014年的早期采用者中表现惊艳,应该可以在今年实现更大发展——尤其是在美国以外。但他也表示,移动支付仍需一定时间才会被广泛使用。道森说:“这是一项慢热的技术,它不会在明年就颠覆世界。”

Hackers claim another victim
黑客将继续发动攻击

Hackers will infiltrate the computer system of yet another Fortune 500 company this year. You can practically count on it. Why? In recent years, hackers have seemed to do it with impunity. All those billions of dollars spent on cyber security turned out to be wasted money. The stakes are huge, of course. Just look at Sony Pictures, which suffered a massive breach that involved those responsible posting the movie studio's sensitive internal documents online. Before Sony, there was Target, Home Depot, JPMorgan Chase, eBay, and Michaels Stores. Security consultants say that many companies fall victim without ever realizing it. For consumers, the best defense is to pay close attention to credit card statements, maintain strong passwords and pray that companies do a far better job protecting their personal information.
黑客今年将会入侵另一家《财富》500强公司的计算机系统。你可以坐等它的发生。为什么?近年来,黑客似乎可以肆意妄为,而且不会受到任何惩罚。所有花在网络安全上的钱仿佛都打了水漂。当然,这是利益攸关的事情。看看索尼影业公司的遭遇吧,这家电影公司遭遇大规模攻击,许多敏感的内部文件被发布到了网上。而在索尼之前的受害者还包括塔吉特百货、家得宝、摩根大通、eBay和Michaels Stores。安全顾问表示,许多公司甚至都没有意识到自己已经被攻破了。对消费者来说,最好的防卫措施就是密切关注你的信用卡对账单,设立强密码,并祈祷那些公司能更好地保护他们的个人信息。

Home sweet (smart) home
甜蜜的智能家居

This is the year when smart homes, in which everything from ovens to door locks to thermostats are connected online, reach beyond the fringe to more of the mainstream. The sales pitch is that people with connected homes can control their appliances and other electronics using a single remote: their smartphone. The reality, however, falls far short. For example, homeowners end up having to use different apps to turn appliances on and off instead of being able to do so from a central hub. Incompatibility is a big problem. Tech companies like Apple, Samsung, and Google and appliance makers are already trying to solve the problem by recruiting outside developers to use their smart home software and enlisting smart appliance makers as partners. In the end, more people will have reason to spend the extra money on connected home electronics, which until now have seemed like more of an expensive and unnecessary hassle.
今年,从微波炉到门锁,再到恒温器。全部联网的智能家居将会从边缘走向主流。智能家居的所谓卖点在于:拥有智能家居的人只需要利用一个远程控制端——智能手机,就可以控制他们的家电和其他电子产品。然而现实和理想还差得很远。比如,用户不得不安装各种各样的应用来开关电器,而不是利用一个枢纽型的应用来完成这个程序。兼容性差是另外一个大问题。苹果、三星、谷歌等科技公司和电器厂商已经开始尝试着解决这一问题。他们招募了外部开发人员来使用智能家居软件,并列出可以作为合作伙伴的智能家居生产商。相信到最后,越来越多的人会有理由花上额外的一笔钱来购买联网家电。尽管到目前为止,这看起来更像是昂贵和没有必要的麻烦。(财富中文网)



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