Saturday, June 25, 2011

What is next?

A good friend on mine and I discussed today what is already old what will be the new trend, to define what is old was easy but what will come was not.

The last few years social did dominate the Internet. Thousands of social platforms and apps came on the market. The famous ones are Facebook, twitter, linkedin, groupon and foursquare. All these social networks have in common that you suddenly connect with people you can't remember anymore or you don't know it is all about to be connected. As a result we have so many connections that the social gets too blur.

But social is now so common that it is not new anymore. Trying to do something new in social is still possible, but difficult to have a new break through. On the other hand, it is fascinating that many investors still invest in social start ups. Localization is almost old too but at least still open for more to come.

However there is a trend of new social networks which reduces the connections just to a few people who are truly your friends. I see this the next level in terms of social. Companies who are building networks, where we easily can have small groups of people and with no big effort allow to communicate and prioritize them combined with location recognition will get the next hype.

Shazam is to watch.
Shazam is a commercial mobile phone based music identification service, with its headquarters in London, England. The company was founded in 1999 by Chris Barton (now at Google), Philip Inghelbrecht, Dhiraj Mukherjee and Avery Wang.
Shazam uses a mobile phone's built-in microphone to gather a brief sample of music being played. An acoustic fingerprint is created based on the sample, and is compared against a central database for a match. If a match is found, information such as the artist, song title, and album are relayed back to the user. Relevant links to services such as iTunes, YouTube, or Zune are incorporated into some implementations of Shazam.

Shazam has a perfect recognition software, is is really pretty fast and accurate. But the really cool part is, that shazam can bring TV ads and e-commerce together. If Shazam would be able to be build in the major smart phones then it could get big verry big.

During a show you see an ad you really like, you can now either try to read in the ad the internet address (if you see it) or try to scan from 15 feet with your phone the QR code (if they show one) - good luck with this, or try to make a picture of the ad and use google goggles to get more info about the product shown on TV. Nothing of this works really well. But Shazam can listen to the ad and then display on your phone the relevant online ad with a buy now button. Shazam did already some experience with same SciFi shows. I tried it and it worked well.

In the gadget department are smart phones already old. Tablets are still on the growing market but nothing really innovative. All manufactures are trying to copy the iPad. Android and iOS are so look a like that even there is not much innovation.

NFC (near frequency communication) is surely the next big thing for electronic devices. It is not a new technology but still not build into many devices. In a few years we might see NFC not only in smart phones but in many other things like toaster or running shoes. NFC will get cheaper and wider communication radius.

Augmented reality is still on my top list. We are still not at the top of the cycle. A big breakthrough will come when the processors of the smart phones and tablets will double in speed and performance.

Another big favorite of mine is gesture as input device. The Microsoft kinect is a great beginning. I can see many great innovations in this area. I believe that we are able to buy 65inch TVs in a few years under $1000 with build in kinect similar
technology. We will then replace in our master bathroom the vanity mirrors with flat screens. They work like mirrors (because of build in cameras) or as windows with scenics coming from the cloud. If we then walk in front of the screen ,the scenic will move like if we move in front of window and look outside.

In 2013, most of the consumers will buy tablets instead of notebooks. Netbooks will be dead till then. But the really fascinating part is that we, the consumers, will have always multiple intelligent devices, even if each device can do everything we need.

I remember that my friend I and discussed that in 2010 we might have only one device to make a call, shoot picture, tape a video or to surf the internet. We have been partly right. Our iPhone can already do this, but we have been wrong at the same time. We believed everybody does want to have only one device. The reality is different. The reality is that most of the electronic devices will be able to do almost everything, but we still want to have multiple devices. The reason is the form factor. I even believe (as my friend), that there is still space a device in size between a smart phone an a table. Something around 6inches screen size.

The biggest trend will be the total integration of all of them. Apple started some of this by allowing to watch a movie which is streamed to the iPhone or to play a game on the iPad which was purchased on the iPhone. And now they are going further with their iCloud for music and documents.

However the inter connection is yet not even started. The next really big trend for us is the seamlessly switching between devices without any effort and data lost.

Imagine you take a FaceTime call on your iPhone, you then go in your office to your desktop with NFC the iMac could recognize that FaceTime is running on your iPhone and ask you if you want to switch to the iMac. You could then at the same time surf again on the iPhone or even take another call.

Or you are on the phone having an important conference call, at the same time you need to take your car to pick up your son from VPK.
In the future you would be able to have your conference call on your office phone, as soon you wave your iPhone over the office phone, the call will be directed to your iPhone. When you are in your car, the call gets directed to the build in phone in your car and the sound will be played over the build in stereo.

After you picked ip your son, you need to print a presentation. You drive to Fedex Kinko's. There you hold your phone to the printer and your selected document will print.

Computers are much easier to use than 15 years ago, but then we had one device. Today we have at least 2 if not even more. I am regularly using any given day 5 different "computers" (iPad, iPhone, AppleTV, iMac, Windows 7 notebook).

Apple, Google, dropbox and Amazon are helping us to move our data (music and documents) into the cloud which helps to get better our devices synced, but to be honest not yet did I find a system which worked very well and is at the same time easy to set up.

the cloud is a buzz today but nothing really new, however faster Internet connections, the cloud and wifi everywhere will bring us to the next level. I truly believe, that in a few years most of our smart devices don't have large memory for storing data. The apps will be thin clients that a smart phone only need to have a few gigs to run OS and the Thin clients. Surely memory gets cheaper and smaller, that I doubt the memory will be reduced on the devices, but I believe most of our data will be stored somewhere but not the device.

I am not the biggest fan of Google but Google will lead this. They have already a notebook which uses chrome as OS and everything you do is in the internet using their service. The notebook sucks, it sucks pretty bad but only because we don't have all the time internet and without Internet the notebook is useless. It is like having a 3 series BMW but no gas to run it.

Even if the notebook sucks, the philosophy behind is the future. As developers we need to think more in applications which are storing the data not local and to allow seamless integration to any other device if needed. If Google would extend the notebook to allow to work on a doc offline and as soon internet is available the data would go into the cloud would be great. And as I heard they are working on this. Apple's iCloud seems to promise this for some data types.

Another trend will be projectors. They are around since ever, but with augmented reality and better technology, they will get new places not just for presentations or as TV replacement.

When I talk about projectors then I actually mean screen less displaying. The windshield in cars will be your screen. Windows will be screens and every wall can be a screen. Maybe you choose your room color by clicking a button on your iPhone and your room is suddenly red. If you don't like it anymore then you can change your room color without painting the walls.

The future is closer as we think and when my son is 18, he will lough about my blog entry from today.

- Posted using BlogPress, please follow me on twitter @schlotz69

Location:Spinning Wheel Ln,Brooksville,United States

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