In the old days you turned on the Telly and watched Tomorrow’s World for exciting new developments in technology. New gadgets, exciting products that would bring jobs and boost the economy, and revolutionary medicines and treatments for people in hospital. Sadly a lot of things on TW never got anywhere, and it was a shame the BBC pulled the plug on this show in the 1990s. Pioneering British inventors like Sir Clive Sinclair, and Trevor Bayliss were often featured.
Heres my predictions for changes in the technology world this year:
Buying things online from a mobile device will start to take off, with extra versions of ecommerce sites available made for phones. I can see that you could go to a night club or live music events and buy songs from your mobile device and the venue could promote and take a percentage from buying songs. Lots of people would be happy to spend on small impulse type purchased inspired by things they see on a billboard or whatever.
Location based mobile applications start to get much bigger. Clocking in and out of work would be good by GPS. How about a real life version of the ‘Tron’ lightcycle game (you may know this game as Snake on mobile phones from the 90s) where you can walk or drive around a location against a friend, hitting that invisible line made by your friend means you are dead. I think location based services have a lot of value for businesses to use a clock in type set up for seeing if employers have got in on time, and compliance with fire services. Because of this there are greater security problems with people being careless with keeping their day to day events online, just like there have been burglaries done after victim said they are away on Facebook.
Microsoft will gradually get businesses taking up Windows 7, but for most IT managers its a case of wait and see how someone else gets on, plus there are too many legacy apps that may not work correctly with XP emulation.
Tablet computers will quietly disappear again as they are just novelty devices for web browsing and little else, people will go back to using laptops, the means to use finger gestures to do actions is clever, but with no keyboard, and in the case of iPads with no USB or SD card slots for cheap flash storage, you can only ‘consume’ information and not create it. Can you imagine people doing serious work that involve typing more than a few sentences? Tablets would need to be set on a stand to angle them at comfotable angle. Its really only half a laptop with no means to pivot the screen into a usable way that doesnt bring on neck or back ache. I think interest in iPads from Apple fans but will start to wane as well.
Google and other search providers will promote statistics. I think people will want to more figures of what’s being searched for and current market trends. Go on Amazon and try and buy a book that out of print or a CD thats been deleted and you have options to buy a second hand one from a third party seller. Information could be used to tell book publishers and record labels there is demand for certain things no longer available, and thus could justify a new print run. In 2010 Google (I think) bought about 20-30 start up companies, they will continue to grow massively, they are already looking out for a bigger office for their Israel operations.
Google’s Chromium laptops get canned. There are not cheap enough, and there is too much competition, people are content with their current laptops, and not enough people are using cloud applications yet. Its a good ideas but the public aren’t ready to give up using localised apps at the moment. Dumb laptops for cloud only apps could make it in a few years though.
Mozilla, please market Firefox to grown ups like IT managers and persuade them to drop legacy browsers (Internet Explorer) the current way Firefox is promoted is like a bunch of hippies in a VW bus selling organic soup or something.
Internet service providers should cut off people with severe malware or virus attacks, so should public hotspots, a feature to alert botnet activity or other activity I would expect could be built into enterprise grade wireless routers.
Digital watches with colour screens. Don’t know if they exist yet, but why not? Plug it into the PC and change the numbers fonts style, change the background, put a personal picture as a background screen, just like those LCD picture frames. I think kids would love them.
Button MP3 players. Heard this on the radio the other day but also seen them online. A button type badge with a self contained MP3 player you pin on your jacket which you attach your headphones. You have a badge with the name of the band you can make a statement about and listen to the album of songs which are fixed on this simple music player. If these could be offered cheaply, they could be a nice way to buy and listen to music and lend them to friends without any legal problems, I think they would also become collectable as small run volumes of certain albums are produced. Easy to lend them to friends also with no legal issues. I think its a fab idea, something that would of been great in 1960s if mp3s where around then.
I’ve got a few thoughts on some of these:
– ecommerce from a mobile is already a big thing. Shazam on the iphone will identify a song that is playing, as long as it can hear it clearly. Straight from there, you can buy the song from iTunes and have it on your phone immediately.
– location based games etc – I know you don’t have a very high opinion of Gowala and FourSquare, but these are already location based games, you compete for mayorships and points and badges. I like the idea of a Tron game. The only issue you run into with running the GPS full time is you run out of battery very quickly.
Tablet computers – I think you are completely off the mark with this. A tablet isn’t designed to be a replacement for a laptop, and is purely a consumer device. How often do you use your computer only to read news posts, or to collect your emails? The advantage of a tablet is that you can get access to this information very quickly (zero boot time) and in a small and convenient package. I don’t have a tablet, but I would be very interested in an Android3 tablet.