Most Hyped Technologies to Watch

Media tablets like the iPads are true disrupters for multiple industries

Growth opportunities remain with smart phones as they become even smarter

Cloud computing continues to expand, growth will be seen in 'private computing'

Gartner's Hype Cycle Special Reportis an annual maturity assessment of more than 1,800 technologies and trends. The 2010 report consists of 75 individual reports, each of which gives a snapshot of a key area of IT or business.

Hype Cycles help organizations better understand the landscape of technology maturity and markets, and to decide which technology innovations to adopt, postpone or even ignore.

This year - the Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle(click this link to see the cycle in detail), highlights a number of notable trends and transformative technologies, including the increasing hype surrounding media tablets, augmented reality and private cloud computing.

iPads - The Disrupter: The long-promised potential of tablet devices is being delivered in the current round of media tablets, most notably Apple's iPad .

Consumers love the way the devices look and how they deliver instant access.

These tablets like none before them, are a true disrupter: replacing paper and paving the path towards mass digital publishing. These products will continue to disrupt other industries in as yet unforeseen ways.

The New Reality - An Augmented World: Augmented reality provides an overlay of digital information on the user’s view of the real world. Traditionally delivered in a heads-up display, augmented reality is now emerging as a set of applications for the current generation of smart phones which use location, direction and other sensors to provide context-specific information to the user. Image recognition through the phone’s camera adds another rich set of capabilities, such as obtaining reviews on retail items that the camera is pointing at, or superimposing clothes or accessories on a video stream of the user.

Living in a Cloud: Cloud computing continues to be popular and is expanding. Cloud computing is a general term for delivering anything like information, resources, even software over the Internet. Our report finds there are big opportunities in so-called “private” cloud computing. Companies who have not yet embraced the practice are thinking about turning to cloud computing, but with a private rather than public model to ease some of the security worries.

Senior executives, CIOs, strategists, business developers and technology planners will want to consider these technologies when developing emerging business and technology portfolios.

Fenn talks in depth about the Hype Cycle on Friday's CNBC's Squawk on the Street .You can watch the interview here.

Jackie Fenn is a vice president and Gartner Fellow in emerging trends at Gartner. She advises leading enterprises on how emerging technology and societal trends will transform their business, with a particular emphasis on the three- to 10-year time horizon.