While a rich hunting ground for investors looking for blue sky potential, the sort of hype that generated the dotcom bubble over a decade ago means investors should approach up-and-coming technology stocks with a cool, calculating eye. That said, the nation's hunger for shiny gadgets remains unsated, while hardware improvements and new software are often the key to increased business efficiency.
One of Shares' top choices is healthcare electronics group Toumaz, a spin-out from Imperial College which is developing a unique remote monitoring technology to track patients' conditions. Proper blue-sky potential is found in Sarantel - the Wellingborough company has already suffered one false dawn with its next generation wireless antennae, but looks to be back on track as appetite for all mobile gadgets remains strong.
The gadget crowd may want to consider DDD, whose software converts regular 2D television into 3D, potentially a winner now films such as Avatar have put 3D on the agenda. The result may not be as spectacular as originally-shot 3D film, but, explains chief executive officer Chris Yewdall: 'The issue for us is bringing down the cost.' DDD chips are present in newly-shipped Acer computers and Samsung TVs, meaning any film, TV programme or video game can be enjoyed in 3D.
Autonomy (AU.) spin-off Blinkx (BLNX:AIM) has yet to really fire investors' enthusiasm and at 13p its shares are languishing near their all-time lows, and well below May 2007's 45p issue price. Yet the firm's potential to turn video searches and other online activities into cash remains undimmed. Blinkx uses image-understanding software, licensed from its former parent, to link video with relevant advertising. The company is funded to 2012 break-even, according to Piper Jaffrey, and is proving increasingly able to monetise its offerings.