Most of you might agree that the pace of web-evolution was impressively intense last year. (Yeah, the web is dead, we just haven't found a new name for it yet.)
From a business perspective, 2010 was also pretty good, with many services empowering smaller companies and solo developers. Especially the Apple and Facebook ecosystems continue to nourishing a whole new generation of small dev shops. We like that.
But following Ray Kurzweil’s argumentation in “Age of the spiritual machine”, evolution will accelerate, which results in accelerated cycles of technologies, which in turn implies everything will change. In fact this thought is nothing new, but change is more perceptible nowadays, since it happens faster. That said, just turn your face for a second and you might have already missed the next big thing. It’s important to have an idea of what’s next.
So, curtain up for a random collection of our thoughts about the things to come in the near future.
User Experience: Shared, Synced and Remote
All that shared data, repositories, and cloud devices, create the strong need for powerful syncing. Services like Dropbox do that job beautifully. While the joy of syncing anything to everything was primarily felt by geeks, this will be big in the mass market very soon. Smartphones, tablets, and embedded devices will force the user to sync the hell of their devices. With increasing bandwidth and usage of cloud services, the average user will eventually have little need for local storage at all. In a certain sense, Dropbox could be considered as a solution for just a temporary problem.
Apple did a half-hearted job with the release of the next generation Apple TV. They might have been too busy with their wunderkinds, but obviously it’s just a question of time when they (or someone else?) do the job right.
Currently, Apple engages a huge number of talented developers creating successful iOS applications, games and tools through the hugely successful App Store. They are sitting on a pile of existing software that can quickly be ported to new devices running the same successful platform, giving Apple a massive headstart.
It’s also quite a convenience that most TV users already have a smartphone or/and an iPad. At last, we should kiss the good old tv remote goodbye. The remote interaction of TV screen and input device will be an interesting terrain to watch. There is a huge opportunity to revolutionize the TV experience very soon, because concepts like teletext or chunky remote controls don’t belong into this century. And while we’re at it, we might also get rid of our collection of consoles including everything that comes with it (CDs, cable tangles, etc). There’s a reason Microsoft doesn’t give much about a new physical disk drive for the Xbox anymore after failing with the HD-DVD.
Frameworks: Not without my Tools