I have decided to come up with my own top 10 tech thoughts for 2012 – despite the fact that there is a hell of a lot of stuff out there right now including those well respected chaps at Gartner:
- Media tablets and beyond
- Mobile-centric applications and interfaces
- Contextual and social user experience
- Internet of things
- Next-generation analytics
- Big data
- In-memory computing
- Extreme low-energy servers
- Cloud computing
And then there’s the view of a number of industry gurus on the BBC website – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16288247 – interesting…
But hell, I’ve got my own ideas – and why not!!
1. A convergent device
It’s not a new idea in fact I’ve been banging on about it since the late ’90’s – although this article dates it from the 1970’s. The idea that a single multi-function/multi-purpose device would meet most if not all of your tech needs. Well for starters this thing is truly mobile – natch. Which also means that it has to fit into your pocket- so it’s not the iPad – can’t imagine lugging that around all day – would the battery last anyway?
It’s therefore got to have a reasonable battery so that rules out the iPhone – well at least currently it does.
It also needs to act as remote control, camera, phone, games console, shop, diary, address book, computer – pretty much there aren’t we? If only we could move onto innovation rather than patent litigation the world would be a better place – already!
Well it’s ok for you townies sitting in front of your desktops or in your £G bubbles but the rest of us in the real world and by that I mean places such as the Chiltern line between London and Birmingham, or the rural shires broadband (and indeed mobile coverage – see later) notspots are a lot bigger than first thought.
Now this is bad for a number of reasons – not just because it means my personal home internet connection is mind-numbingly slow but because it holds back both business, competition for customers and personal consumption. Try and hold onto your internet connection on the train for any length of time – if there is one at all (not on Eurostar!) great if you’re trying to do business – NOT! Personal consumption is being held back as we can’t be arsed to wait for that download to finish – equally competition is being stifled – BT aren’t investing enough to encourage competitors to put their kit in rural exchanges and you’d be barknig to sign up for BT Vision unless you live next to the exchange itself, so SKY satellite keeps it’s near-monopoly – forget Virgin cable – unless you live in a new town it doesn’t exist.
We need better broadband – simples!
3. Mobile coverage
It used to be the Voda had the best network but these days it seems they’re all pretty much of a muchness i.e. crap! The only reason I’m with Voda is that they have deployed Femtocells so I can use my sluggish broadband connection to provide a back-channel for them – they actually tried to charge me for the Femtocell – interesting that one – let’s provide you with a crap service and charge you to make it nearly as good as others are getting at the same price…!!!???
In countries I’ve been to such as Turkey (and indeed the Maldives) where the wired infrastructure doesn’t exist they made the jump to mobile early and are way, way ahead of us.
I’m also getting bored at the number of missed calls and therefore aggro I’m getting from the wife who is trying to get hold of me as I travel along the farthest extremities of the nation (aka the A34 from Oxford to Bicester!).
If one of you MNO guys sorts this you’d be quids in!
4. Cloud computing won’t take off as hoped.
See above! It’s all well and good having all your data stored remotely but what if you can’t get access to it? Or what about security concerns? There’s also the arguement that says hold on – I’ve paid for that content once, downloaded it to my system using my broadband/mobile data allowance, uploaded to your remote servers – at my cost and now you expect to pay for it again- every time I want to listen/view it? You’re mad pal! And you’re mad if you’ve fallen for the iCloud marketing hoohah!
5. Siri will take over the world
Ok not strictly true but its success and that of those emulators – see Apple I didn’t say copiers(!) – will bring voice control to the forefront – and not before bloody time too! C’mon Nuance get your arses in gear! It’s all based on your technology so get to it. Generate some competition or Apple with continue with their drip feeding approach – they’d had Siri for 2 years before they let it loose!
Voice control will make our lives so so much easier- well when we’re in a position to use it that is – can’t see us all simultaneously dictating into our work pc’s but in the car? Awesome I can’t wait. Although I don’t want a Mercedes style approach (images of Clarkson screaming at his SL500 come to mind) I want it integrated simply and elegantly – please!!
6. Personalisation (aka Mass Customisation)
OK not new but still very few have managed to move this forward in the past decade. The most recent success I’ve come across is flipboard for the iOS devices. Now if the bloody Yanks would just realise that there are other countries outside of their backyard it would be even better. I’d like the damn thing to realise I live in the UK – I don’t give a flying you know what for half (if not more) of the stuff that it defaults to – why doesn’t it default to my location?
That aside it’s beautiful and interesting in the way it presents things – so the rest of the developer world are you listening. If you really want to drive up my consumption give me stuff I’m interested in – hmmm maybe this one should be targeted at Google. Oh and you have to adopt the 80/20 rule – give me the stuff I’m most likely to be interested in as the default and let me customise the results – I really don’t want to have to start from scratch – that’s what holds device usage back.
7. Battery life
Guys – just improve this please! We all know that these devices consume more power to deliver more complex apps and services so just get on with it.
Please please please keep making things more beautiful – the UI should be intuitive, elegant, yep beautiful, it should be easy on the eye and a pleasure to use.
Everybody, keep on creating content – make life on the internet more interesting – if you write it Google or whoever will make some nice filters for us to be able to consume what we want – to our hearts content.
Less litigation more innovation and product and service development. Remember the words of wisdom – “No competition – no market” – are you listening big business? Don’t destroy the golden goose….
Now if some a few of theses come to pass I will be one happy bunny!!