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A Look Back at Technology Predictions from Last Year

I’m happy to say that it looks like I went five for seven

Last year I wrote up seven tech predictions for the 2010 year.  I’m happy to say that it looks like I went five for seven (71.4% for those keeping track at home).  Somewhat content to rest on my laurels, I thought we’d go over last years predictions (before we ramp up to this years).

1) Google’s Chrome Netbook OS – well that’s a resounding fail.  I’ll be the first to admit how wrong I was here.  Some of you even tried to warn me early in the year that I was wrong, but considering that it is December and there have only been 6500 or so Chrome netbooks released, I’ll take a mulligan here.  Future of this pick?: Thin and light operating systems are the wave of the future, but with Microsoft recently stating that their next OS will support systems on a chip, it will be hard to dislodge them.

2) Tablet PCs will dethrone the Kindle and the Nook – This one is kind of 50-50.  Amazon states that “millions” of Kindle’s have been sold, which is estimated to be around 4M.  Apple has sold at least 8M iPads, and likely 10M by the end of the holiday season.  But here’s the kicker – the most used ebook reading application on the iPad is Amazon’s Kindle app.  This is partly due to the “whispernet” which allows users to pick up the same place on any internet connected device.  I personally find the e-ink platform the best for reading, but it looks like the multi-use tablets will push e-ink displays to the margins.  Future of this pick?: it looks like Barnes and Noble agrees with me, the the Nook Color is an Android tablet (just software crippled).  R&D dollars are being poured into color and other E-Ink screens, but until the refresh rates can rival LCD or OLED, the trend will be towards multi-purpose devices.

3) There will be no great Smartphone leaps in 2010 – Ooops.  With the EVO 4g, the iPhone 4, the Samsung Galaxy S line, the Droid X, and the Nexus S, there is an impressive smartphone for every network.  Nothing even close to these phones was available last year, and with increased bandwidth on every network, nothing was this fast.  I think it’s safe to say that smartphones will continue to take leaps forward every year. Future of this pick?: After looking at the CES offerings, I think we will continue to have great smartphones in the future, including multi-core and enhanced graphics options.

4) USB 3.0 will not revolutionize anything (at least in 2010) – I think it’s safe to say that I was right here.  Last year there was a lot of hoopla and momentum behind USB 3.0, and this year there is none.  I think we will see a trickle effect of USB 3.0 devices starting to replace 2.0 as the primary sold standard, but will take some time for them to really be imprinted on the market. Future of this pick?: Eventually USB 3.0 will become the standard for peripherals, but until it starts to ship standard, it will not be adopted.

5) Location information (and location based services) will be extremely important in 2010 – The adoption of foursquare (and it’s imprint into your Facebook feed) has shown to be important for a variety of means.  Foursquare has been fending off offers all year for buyouts – and is being copied by Facebook Places and Google Latitude.   As yet, location based services have not fully grown into their own, but they have been key, and will continue to affect how users interact.  There seems to be a moratorium on sales or targeted marketing of all this location information – but I doubt that it will last. Future of this pick?: Delivering targeted advertisements is the next step.  Many mobile apps are ad-supported, so look to have the ads be targeted to your location.

6) In 2010, open source will have an impact on the consumer - with the amazing popularity of Android devices (estimated 300k activated daily) it is safe to say  that open source software is heavily impacting consumers.  Future of this pick?: Open source solutions power a large degree of back office and infrastructure operations, yet are rarely noticed by the user.  I believe open source offerings will continue to be in the public’s eye as time progresses.

7) 3D HDTV/3D in the house will not take off – I think I scored a hit here.  There are still only a few 3D broadcast offerings available, you still need $150 glasses per person, and it is still not real HD.  3D in the theaters is cool, and it’s a great parlor trick, but 3D in the home is not yet viable (nor desired).  Future of this technology?: I think that 3D will struggle until true broadband to the house is realized (100 Mbps+) because real HD 3D will require a large amount of bandwidth (and physical media is fading out).  Lastly, I believe 3D will also be a no-go until we arrive at “holographic” type projections as seen in Sci-Fi movies.

Related posts:

  1. Seven Technology Predictions for 2010
  2. The Future of Screen Technology
  3. The Future of Technology: A CTO View

Read the original blog entry...

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Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder and partner at Cognitio Corp and publsher of CTOvision.com

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