During my holidays these last weeks, I thought a lot about where the consumer technology is and where is it going. How will the next big thing look like? I summarised these thoughts in 10 trends that I think the tech industry is following. Some of them have been around for a while but they will continue being core part of what we will see in the future. Many of them (if not all) are inter-connected and find synergies with each other.
Since I got excited the post resulted too big again, therefore I divided it into two posts of five trends each. If you have questions about the terminology of customers (techies, visionaries, pragmatists, conservatives and sceptics), you can find a more detailed definition in the post called “Technology Adoption Life Cycle: Popularity in different markets”.
Mobile, mobile, mobile
Mobiles and Laptops have been around for a while and Smartphones are now the first device we think about when we talk about mobility. This year Tablets became huge and have filled the space not only between Smartphones and Laptops, but also between conservatives and techies. Mobility is satisfying our need to be connected everywhere and all the time. This trend is one of those that has been happening for a while now, but will only increase in importance and all the technology to be developed will definitely have to include mobility in its concept somehow to work out.
Social networks: Sharing as primary metric
If you are reading this blog, most likely you “get” the social networks, but think about it as if today were 10 years ago and how it has changed the way we interact in many ways. Social Networks have exponentiated the need of share what is happening in our lives, what we like (or do not like) and what we believe and think. This trend has found incredible synergies with the mobile-trend and now it is a very intimate (and controversially public) part of our lives. Social Networks´ Sharing woke up a whole world of new social life and image with new motivations, rules and expectations that has became one of the most important vehicles of information for personal, entertainment, commercial and even political ends.
Data driven daily decisions
Some years ago, to choose what I would wear any given day, I would only look through the window and make my decisions. Today I open the weather webpage, check the max and min temperature, review the wind speed, the rain probability and amount; then check everything again in the hour-by-hour forecast before making my final choice… which by the way takes me in total only 5mins. Many of us do similar stuff with traffic before choosing a route to work, make a purchase, plan a trip or make a reservation in a new restaurant. This trend has also found synergies to the previous two (mobility and social network) with which we can see what other customers like us have experienced or do, giving to the customer an opinion power that it had never before.
Consolidation and integration
Today we have a phone to make calls, a computer to work and surf the Internet and a TV to watch videos. Every day we use more the phone like a computer, the computer like a TV or a phone and the TV like the other two. All of them are converging in the way we use them and soon it will be difficult to tell the difference between them. We will always need a small display for our pocket, a medium one for the desk and a big one for the living room, but the brain of those displays will end being the same. Maybe it will be a super-powerful mobile in our pocket which we will be able to connect to the appropriate display wherever we are to consume content in the cloud avoiding the need of huge storage capabilities. Talking about integration, it is happening with all the services we use with different providers. Today we read our email in one webpage, have our to-do list in a different one, check the weather in a different place and look for maps somewhere else (etc.). All of them will end being connected to each other and giving you integral and relevant information considering all you behaviours and needs.
Technology in the entertainment
Technology has improved work like anything else before, today each employee can do a lot more per hour than it was feasible years ago. However, entertainment is a big focus and driver of consumer technology; from toys for kids to all kind of toys for grownups, technology is used in new ways to make our life more fun. Music, videos and games are only some examples of the wide options we have to never be bored at home or on the move, giving us the chance to share the experience with our favourite social network and through all kind of devices available. Once more, there are tons of synergies with the previous trends.
More about trends in the next post “Tech Trends (2nd part)“