With each new year, prognosticators the world over engage in the age-old sport of predicting the next big trends. While some have a better record than others, it’s always fun to see what might happen and how it will impact both business and consumers.
So, just for the fun of it, here’s a small round-up of excerpted predictions for 2010.
Five Tech Trends from The New York Times Bits Blog:
1. A Third Wave of Mobile
In 2009 we saw the explosion of both app stores and applications for the iPhone and newer entrants such as the Droid. In 2010, expect to see a range of new external appliances for mobile smart phones that extend their utility. Exhibit A: Square, a device that plugs into an iPhone audio port and turns it into a credit card machine — just swipe a card through the Square and you’re processing payments on the go.
2. Location is Everything
Apps like Foursquare are becoming big hits on smartphones because they instantly relay to your followers where you’re at when you check-in. If you’re having coffee just a few blocks from where I am right now, I could drop by and say hi. Now that Twitter has added geo-location to its service, expect to see a whole new range of apps that pertain to where people are at right now.
3. Death of the Home Phone
Hard-wire lines are doomed. In 2010, expect to see an acceleration of people dropping home numbers (some of which have been in use for decades) in favor of the exclusive use of personal mobile phones.
4. Web TV
Expect Apple, via its Apple TV appliance, and others to begin to solve the problem of linking the Web to your home television set. Services like Comcast On Demand Online will allow customers to watch thousands of TV episodes and some movies via their Web browsers. And Web apps will continue to come online to help you search for, find and program all of what we now know as TV programming to make it easy and convenient to coordinate your entertainment viewing.
5. Your Memory IS the Web
Hot new services such as Evernote will make it increasingly easier for us to remember all the data and interactions we have throughout each and every day. Moreover, the data we seek to remember will be more easily organized and, if we choose, shared in collaborative environments. (Personal note: I use and love Evernote and a new start-up called rrripple.com — check out both.)
Ten Meaningful Trends from AdAge:
1. 3-D TVs
Thanks to James Cameron’s “Avatar”, TV manufacturers will rush to provide 3-D enabled home televisions.
Amazon had a blow-out month in December, selling record numbers of Kindle e-book readers and e-books. As publishers of newspapers and magazines look for new ways to monetize and present their content, expect the shift to e-readers and e-content to continue.
Computer manufacturers saw one positive trend in 2009 and that was the sale of netbooks — computers the size of a standard legal pad that are WiFi enabled and act like a smartphone, but with the Web browsing capabilities of a regular computer. These low-cost, light-weight computers will continue to rise in popularity. All bets are that Apple will introduce its own in February and Google will get into the game with a branded version all their own (in addition to introducing a Google-branded smartphone.)
Now that smartphones and netbooks are gaining market share as the portal of choice for our entertainment needs, and with home TVs soon to be connected to the Web, content providers from the major networks to newspapers and magazines are jockying to figure out how to deliver their content to these devices in a way that is more profitable than what Web 1 / Web 2 made possible.
Look to Apple to be a game changer in 2010 — again. All bets are on a new way to take the e-content mentioned above and make it available in an iTunes-like environment for purchase, subscription and / or rental, delivered to your iPhone, Apple TV or new Apple tablet (iTablet?).
6. Web-enabled Cars
Ford’s Synch technology, together with newer entrants, will continue to advance the state of the art, bringing new applications into the driving experience — just as Congress begins wrestling with new “distracted driving” legislation.
7. Real-time Web
In 2009, the “real-time Web” finally came into being. In 2010, look for meaningful advances around how real-time data is used, particularly by marketers to better target messages and offers based on what people are doing at any given moment in time.
8. Google’s SmartPhone
In 2010, it’s going to be all about Google’s new smartphone and the apps Google builds to go with it, including the recently-debuted Google Goggles.
9. Easy Being Green
Look for device makers across the spectrum to roll out greener devices and technologies.
If sales of consumer electronics begin to tick up, it should be a predictor that the larger economy is in fact in the throws of a recovery.
1. Look for the beginning of the end of U.S. dominance over the Web.
2. Google will move from “search engine” to “software giant.”
3. In 2010, there will be a major privacy battle between consumers, data collectors (like Facebook), marketers and Congress.
4. Look for significant new developments in user interface design.
5. Apple’s “iTablet” will be disappointing.
6. Look for the rise of open gaming platforms.
7. Traditional search results will deteriorate.
8. Bing will establish a strong — but distant — second place in search market share.
9. Internet-based advertising (of all kinds) will see strong growth in 2010.
10. There will be a surge in internet / tech IPO’s in 2010.
11. There will be a significant research advance in integrating technology and biology (a la “Avatar” or “Matrix”).
If even a few of these predictions come true, it should be a very exciting year — and decade — to come!