Each year I try to predict what the next year is going to be about….for no other reason than being a futurist is kind of fun.
You can look at my past year’s predictions and decide for yourself if I am any good at it.
2007: The Year of the Network (Can we say Twitter and Facebook)
2008: The Year of the “Live Web (Ustream.tv and other services take off)
2009: Bringing Social Learning to the Masses (Education goes deeper in understanding social connections)
2010: The Year of the Mobile Web (iPad, Android, iPhone do I need to say more?)
2011: The Year of the QR Code (These little buggers start showing up everywhere)
This coming year though I have a feeling we’re not going to see a lot of new technologies but rather the integration of technologies and a continued move to the mobile platform. Much like 2009 we will go deeper into finding ways the technology that already exists can and will effect our lives and education.
This is an easy one to predict as everything is headed this way. I saw two rural village children last week here in Thailand (children who literally live in the middle of the forest on the Burma boarder) with smartphones. Make sure your blog and school website look good on mobile devices. There are all sorts of plugins out there to make sure they do so no excuses. It might be time to start tracking, if you aren’t already, the mobile views to your blog, website, or school sites. Here at The Thinking Stick 15% of the traffic over the past year came from some sort of mobile device.
We have a lot of technologies that will continue to be integrated. Of course devices are leading the way. Android integrates with Google. Kindle Fire with Amazon. Nook Reader with Barnes & Noble. The devices integrate deeply with the content of those sites.
The next step in 2012 will be to integrate across platforms. The Kindle Reader is a good example as it’s on every device it can possibly be on.
We’ll also continue to see integration across websites. Facebook and Google+ Integrating? Maybe. We’ll see sites emerge that allow use to bring more things together in one place. More access, more information, more creation. The tools are out there now it’s time to integrate them, pull them together all in one useful way.
We’ll see this within the home as well. In 2012 TVs and the Internet will finally merge and become the norm for new Television sets. You’re phone or iPad will become a remote for the television and you’ll be able to browse all sorts of media on that 54inch screen in your living room. None of this is new technology, it’s all out there and it’s already in use….we’re just going to see it start to become mainstream in 2012. By next year this time it will be hard to find a TV without a built in WiFi connection.
The Chrome Browser will lead the integration way on the web
If I was predicting the future…wait…..I am. Then I’d predict that the Chrome Browser becomes the ultimate integration device. It runs online and offline apps, and can have deep integration into OS systems. I already spend a good 95% of my time in the Chrome browser and it’s apps….and I think we’re just beginning to see where this new browser based world is taking us. A couple of weeks ago Google announced that Chrome can now run web engines for video game makers so we’ll soon be seeing video games in the browser as well. The more Google can have you play and work inside the browser the more the Google ChromeBook becomes an interesting mobile device. Keep your eye on Chrome and if you haven’t converted your web browsing life there yet….it might be worth a try. Take the Chrome Browser in a years time and stick it on that WiFi enabled television and 2013 is looking pretty connected.
So that’s it for 2012….we’ll see things get faster, sleeker, and integrate more deeply. We’ll continue to expect to be connected everywhere we go and expect our mobile speeds to be as fast as our home speeds. More “things” will become WiFi enabled; Cars, Appliances, toys, homes. All setting the stage for a not to distant future of a completely connected life.