- Pervasive Computing (WebSphere) (developerWorks) -- Computing devices everywhere, from PDA's and wrist watches to car dashboards and kitchen appliances. Many of these devices may not have much power or memory, but they will be networked, often wirelessly, to provide access to any information you need. A simple example is a dashboard device giving driving directions that can adjust your route real-time to avoid traffic backups.
- Autonomic Computing (developerWorks) -- Computers and networks that manage themselves, fix or reroute around problems--to quote the "Self-Everything" commercial, a computer that can "practically heal itself." No more admins getting woken in the middle of the night because the system's down. A simple example is a network storage device that notices one of its disks is deterroriating, moves that data to other disks, shuts down the faulty disk before it looses any data or availability, and notifies a network administrator to replace the disk.
- Grid Computing (developerWorks) -- Distributed computing where tasks dynamically load balance across resources to optimize resource utilization and maximize task performance. Resources become "virtualized" so that the grid looks like a single gigantic computer whose different parts can be harnessed as needed to perform the tasks at hand. A simple example is a program that performs a large task as many small tasks, dispersing the tasks on various computers that have idle time available, then merging the results.
So, if you're looking to learn more about where computing is going, these topics are a good place to start.