Working as an Emerging Technology Strategist for “the world’s largest IT company” (at least in terms of number of employees and physical presences around the world–not to mention the diversity of industries it plays in), I am often asked by people I’ve just met at parties or at informal gatherings “so what cool things are happening in the field of emerging technology?” To which I sigh, and say “if I told you, I’d have to kill you.” No, not really. I’m not that cheesy.
What do you mean when you say “emerging technology”?
Although that’s an easy question to ask, like so many questions, it’s not so easy to answer. How so? Well, think about it for a moment: do you mean what new hardware will be coming out that you should be paying attention to? Is it what cool new software will be debuting next year? Or is it a subset of that–what cool web sites or web apps might you need to look at? Is it something more high level–like data analytics as applied to genomic research as applied to clinician patient information? Or perhaps how economic theoretical models could be impacted by forces emerging in, well, emerging markets around the globe? Or could it be green technology related–like leveraging nanotech to make batteries out of paper?
All well and good, but, afterall, it’s my job to stay on top of emerging technology. With that in mind, here are five things to keep an eye on in 2010:
- App marketplaces continue to explode; Android’s Marketplace exceeds AppStore in terms of # of apps available…one thing to keep an eye on in the Android Marketplace: apps designed to protect one’s device from malicious apps (it’s an open marketplace, afterall)
- Because of the explosion in app marketplaces, micropayments becomes big business (already happening with X-Box Live, iTunes, AppStore, Android Marketplace, Amazon, Lala, etc)…
- Cloud Computing does NOT take over the world. At least not this year.
- Multi-function mid-sized internet devices (aka tablets) experience rapid market growth…and in 2011 (not 2010) starts to replace iPods/MP3 players as the most prevalent “must have” gadget for the masses. See? That’s a prediction for 2010 AND 2011. Yeah, I am seriously nutty that way.
- Green IT gets a lot of press, but again doesn’t have the huge impact predicted by most. It takes *time* to add in infrastructure, folks. Look for it to become a much larger story in ’12 and beyond…
So there you go. Check back in at the end of 2010 and we’ll see how I did…