Predicting the future is always risky because the future has a tendency to make even smart people look foolish. Fortunately looking foolish never stopped us here at Digitizd from plunging into places the wise fear to tread!
2012 had some interesting but not earth-shaking changes in the tech world. Marissa Mayer jumped ship from Google to take over the top spot at Yahoo, RIM hit the skids, Microsoft released the most unpopular operating system since Windows ME and Apple released the wildly popular iPhone 5. Overall a relatively quiet and fairly predictable year in tech.
Expect 2013 to be another year of incremental evolution as opposed to a generational leap forward. While there will certainly be exciting new technology rolled out in 2013, particularly in fields such as 3D printing, we’re most likely to find 2013 to be a year of consolidation in technology rather than advancement.
With that here are our 7 fearless predictions for 2013. The first few can be summed by simply saying Google will take over the world.
Android Will Continue To Dominate The Mobile Market
For better or worse Google has pretty much taken over the internet and Android will own more than 40 percent of the smartphone market by the end of 2013, leaving iOS even further in the dust at just under 18 percent.
Google Fiber Will Reach Out
2013 will see more rollouts of Google Fiber and hopefully the first ones outside the Kansas/Missouri region. Google fiber, which offers blazing fast connection speeds integrated with entertainment and communication technology has the potential to be the most disruptive force in internet technology in the home since dialup was replaced by DSL and cable.
While 2013 won’t be the breakout year, it will be the year that it becomes clear that Google fiber will eventually roll over the consumer market like a tsunami.
Cloud Services Will Expand
As a former software engineer the term “cloud” sets my teeth on edge. What business is calling “cloud services” today is really just the evolution of the web site, which morphed into web services, then cloud services and here we are.
Never underestimate the power of convenience and being able to blame someone else when things stop working and that is the biggest selling point for business looking to outsource IT services.
Several Major Cloud Outages Will Mar 2013
As demand for off-loading basic IT functions grows, so does the demand on our aging internet infrastructure. When the government handed over the internet to private companies it was with the expectation that those companies would pay for infrastructure upgrades. Instead what those companies, mainly telecos, tried to do was reap tremendous profits, invest very little in infrastructure, prioritize their own internet traffic and charge customers at both ends of the pipe.
As demand on the cloud grows, so do the opportunities for massive failures and service disruptions. With investment in infrastructure far behind demand, expect that rubber band to snap with gut-wrenching results for many companies.
Streaming Will Go Mobile
Sirius XM will see competition rise from an unlikely source, streaming services to smartphones and tablets. Smart phones are already able to replace specialty gadgets like GPS units and music players, next up will be your in-car satellite receiver as companies like Amazon allow you to stream playlists on demand from your phone hooked to your car’s entertainment system.
The only thing standing in the way of that reality are phone data plan caps. Look for some of those barriers to start to fall in 2013.
2013 Will Be Another Bad Year For Cable Subscriptions
Cable companies have, thus far, been able to avoid the looming threats to their dominance and focus on reaping massive profits from over-priced bundles. But consumers, sometimes already paying for redundant services, will find ways to thwart the cable company and drop their duplicate services. With Apple TV and Netflix joining a legion of online entertainment options, the cable’s days are numbered.
Cable companies today are in the same position newspapers were in the early 2000s; in a place where they will have to adapt or watch their core business continue to erode.
3D Printing Will Go Mainstream
3D printing will go consumer when someone bundles a low-cost 3D printer with consumer-friendly 3D printing software. What replicators did for the Star Trek crew, 3D printers will do for many hobbyists and shade tree inventors. Rapid prototyping and model production will take hours where it used to take days.
Whether does amazing things in the new year or merely evolves down a predictable path, a very happy new year to you and yours from all the gang here at Digitizd.