With the coming of each new year, trends and fads of the past year ("That was so 2008") get tossed in the trash bin, and upcoming technology, music, health practices and more become the popular mode.
Whether it's the latest version of your favorite cell phone or the updated slang spewed by your circle of friends, there's no end to what's hot in 2009. The News-Sentinel scoured the Internet and various publications to see what experts are anticipating to make the scene.
This is the big one. There's no escaping the role technology plays in our daily lives, and this year it's going to be even more pervasive. Devices that make organization and communication easier, such as Blackberries and iPhones will be just as sought-after as products that make entertainment more exciting, such as Blu-Ray and Flat screen TVs.
Wi-Fi and Wi-Max: The programming and support behind these two ever-growing wireless technologies will increase as the year progresses. As iPhones, LG phones and Blackberries are used more, greater network strength and speed will be introduced via Wi-Fi and Wi-Max as a means to accommodate those devices. In fact, VentureBeat.com, an online magazine focused on technology, reports 4/5 of the world's population will carry wireless devices of some kind in five to 10 years.
Notebook computers: Forget those boring black and silver (sorry, Raiders fans) laptops that have been the norm for a millennia. FastCompany.com has reported that companies like Dell and Hewlett-Packard are introducing affordable laptops that come with artistically designed shells. Expect the HP models to have touch screen technology built in. At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Hewlett-Packard unveiled a mouse and laptop sporting a design by fashion Designer Vivienne Tam. The gadgets included a matching case for the computer and a pair of shoes.
Environmentally friendly devices: Apple was first with the computer made of completely recyclable machinery. Now other companies are going beyond thinking green to building green. Keep an eye out for laptops and desktops like the Asus model with a bamboo casing.
Facial recognition: Starting with Dell computers, software that scans and recognizes your face - as opposed to having to remember that password - and then logs you into your system will become more common, according to FastCompany.com.
Thin TVs: The old catch phrase "thin is in" has never been truer than it is of 2009's sharper (picture-quality, not razor-thin) and thinner flat-panel HDTVs. Sharp is unveiling a new model of TV that is only 9/10 of an inch thick - and touts a 65-inch screen. Sony will offer a 40-inch set that is less than half-an-inch thick. And Philips is working on a 32-inch TV that is just over a quarter-of-an-inch thick. But with the minimal size comes maximum price. The Sony set retails for about $4,000.
Blu-Ray: And if you're going to go for the maximum in HDTV, you might want to check out Blu-Ray DVD systems. Not only will there be more manufacturers producing Blu-Ray DVD players, but a majority of camcorders being built are going to have the capability to record in the popular format this year, according to MediaMentalism.com, a Web site that reports on entertainment technology.
Forget New Year's resolutions that eventually get dumped anyway. In 2009, the focus will be on getting and staying healthy. It could be in the form of getting fit - the boot camp way - or eating better foods - all natural wine with your fish, for example.
Event or sports-specific workouts: The American Council of Exercise predicts people will merge their exercise and charity work by participating in more charity runs and walks. The trend will continue with clubs offering training for surfboarding and football. People want to build strength, endurance and stamina all while practicing real-life activities and sports.
Organic wine: Organic foods - from potato chips to beef - are more popular than ever, and the variety is growing. While organic wines are already available, some expect organic wine will grow in popularity as wineries continue to practice organic and biodynamic farming.
Consumers will demand the "right to know": All packaged foods have to be labeled with calorie-listings and nutrition information. But in 2009, expect to see food information appear on the menus of some of your favorite restaurants as customers become more health conscious.
Nutraceuticals: This year, people will continue to look to the Earth for health answers. Whether it's taking preventative steps or curing the common cold, more people will increase their doses of food or plant-based products that offer health benefits. Some of these include vitamins, mineral supplements, some herbal remedies and antioxidants.
Boot-camp-style fitness: Even though she beats her contestants up on "The Biggest Loser," everyone wants to workout with hardcore trainer Jillian Michaels. They want their butts kicked into shape using various techniques from running to weight lifting and early morning drills.
What you'll wear
Men and women both do it: Stand in front of a closet full of clothes and try to figure out what to wear for the day. But what do you do if you're not hip to the fashions of the day? No bother. The fashions of yesterday and accessories should be the top of your list of what to wear.
Thrift stores: Whether its a regular trip to Lodi's Goodwill or a day trip to San Francisco's thrift stores, people are going to look to used-clothing stores for style. In a tight economy, second-hand shopping gives people the opportunity to purchase both eclectic and name brand clothes for literally cents.
Vests: Buttoned up with a skirt or open with a pair of ripped jeans, vests are making a comeback in 2009. Elle magazine says some of the best shapes are narrow and close-fitting, making them great candidates for layering.
Long hair: While the short A-line hair cut ruled 2008, 2009, is going to be all about long hair. This is good news for most women, as long hair can be worn straight and sleek, retro with 1940s waves or in tight spirals, Glamour magazine reports. Those who already have A-line cuts will change it up with something extremely short or girly.
Solar bag: The Logan bag from Noon Solar is the ultimate "man" bag. The bag generates power to charge everything from iPods to cell phones. The bag is $412 and has a solar panel on the inside and a leather and hemp frontside.
Nike Zoom Kobe 4 shoes: These basketball shoes being released on Jan. 17 are expected to be the "it" basketball shoes of 2009. They are a low-cut sneaker created by Kobe Bryant and Nike. For $119, these shoes claim to be the lightest basketball sneakers ever.