Technology Trend Consortium Predictions for 2012

Well it’s that time of year again (actually it’s a bit late) where the consortium of geeks convene and put their technology predictions for the next year in the hat. So here they are, in no particular order:

2012 Technology Predictions

1. Greater utility (Mashups being used more) – public data APIs are huge and we are massively under utilizing them and they WILL add a huge amount of value and utility to client solutions. Much more data is due to come on line this year. Their power lies in using multiple, symbiotic APIs to create utility that is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s interesting that television has been going through a change that has much in common with the trend in APIs this year: “Channels are much less important now. Content is the new king”

2. Utilitarian Augmented Reality (AR) – coming of age. The bar to entry (supported OS, devices and cost to develop) is now low enough to make it a viable commercial offering. Utility is the key to it’s success though. For examples see the Layar app, Zoopla app, Word Lens app or Wikitude app.

3. TV Apps – the main Internet enabled TV manufacturers are all working to get TV apps out there. Samsung launched it’s internet enabled TV only a month ago and already there are nearly 1000 apps for it. App usage on the TV is very high. There is a lot to consider about the future of TV and TV apps but that’s a separate discussion in it’s own right. For now watch Samsung, LG, Sharp, Google etc and wait to see what happens to the TV UX.

4. Interactive TV – Interface (UX) is the bottle neck in TV interaction and this has to change up soon to catch up with technologies like mobile interaction. We’re talking about taking the advances in gesture and voice recognition and applying them to the TV UX in a comprehensive way. This may not come to fruition in 2012 as there is a long way to go with the interface solutions to make it a consistent, intuative and reliable experience. Apple (Siri) and Microsoft (Kinect) are showing other manufacturers the path if not the solution.

5. Automatic user expectation of seamless in app purchasing / AR purchasing. Whilst this represents value added service, it is a universal user expectation already and experiences lacking this functionality, where the opportunity exists, will suffer losses both in terms of user embrace and clients failing to realise the full potential of their RoI.

6. Dual screen interaction experiences (i.e. using your iPad or smart phone for part of an experience whilst you watch a movie or the news etc on your TV as the other part of the experience) which are deliberately built to be dual screen. We are all already doing this without realising it all the time anyway, however, this will be a very new experience and the most successful experiences will not be built as a supporting screen experience. They will be built to truly be a symbiotic experience. This one will be huge this year.

7. Android apps and phone saturation to grow to and surpass iPhone (iOS) – this is a common theme from many in the industry at the moment. The demographics of Andriod phone users and the technical variations of the hardware mean it is not a recipe for this to happen at least in terms of application sales. Also the discrepancy of sales figures bear this out very well ($100M in android apps against $3B in iOS apps last year). It seems likely that iOS will still be more dominant. (It is functional, intuitive, beautiful, aspirational and consistent). This will be especially strong if Apple launch cheaper versions of the iPhone to compete with Android phones in traditional Android markets (as is being rumored).

8. Apps on and APIs from everything. Seems obvious, but really, everything with an interface and many services with data. The Doomsday book now has an API for example.

9. The Internet of things coming on line more commercially. To be fair, this is one we hope will happen more this year rather than predict. It would go seamlessly with prediction 8 and make life very much more sexy.

Thanks to all consortium contributors,Sean Mcsharry, Mike Jones, Richard Leggett, et al.

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