What’s going to be the next cool thing? Of course, I can’t predict the future. But I can see some technologies that are just on the edge of getting to the masses which I think will be game changers in 2010. All are just a price-point change away from radically changing the way we interact with the world.
Here’s what to look for in the coming year:
- Location-based mobile everything. Smart phones have taken over the mobile phone world. GPS-enabled smart phones. With the incredible popularity of iPhone 3G3 and the recent emergence of Droid OS phones, I think we’re about to see an explosion in the sophistication and participation of location-based games. Two that are on the market already, Gowalla and Foursquare, have gained traction among early adapters from Twitter and Facebook. While fun, I think in a year we’ll look back at them like we did at Pacman after Nintendo hit the market. Also, once more mobile Twitter clients become geolocation enabled I think we’ll really see some games (and utilities) pop onto phones that are wildly popular.
- Augmented reality takes off. This technology is getting increasingly cheaper. And as this comes out of the lab and high-end marketing applications to generally available among web/graphic designers… look out. Here’s a video that gives you an idea of how cool augmented reality is:
- Scams are back. Technology has a Wild West feel to it again. And any time you have a wild west feel, you have scammers waiting to cheat you out of money. The interconnectedness that we all love also makes us vulnerable to scammers. As we link more and more of our lives to Facebook and Twitter, we are lured into trusting that those gateways are safe and secure. But they aren’t! Let’s say you connect your Twitter account to your Amazon.com account or Mint.com accounts. Bam, you are a sitting duck. Scammers have proven they can trick you into giving them your Twitter password and from their they can/will gain access to all sorts of personal information. The unhealthy trust we all have that Twitter/Facebook are ensuring that people who access their API will truly adhere to the terms of service has set us all up for scams. This will be big in 2010.
- IRL. The first three things on this list point to the need for In Real Life to be a tech trend to watch. Experience is back. Meet-ups, events, and tech free zones are a trend to watch out for in 2010. Of course, those things don’t really provide the intimate relationships our souls crave, but they are legitimate experiences people seeing the world through augmented reality and redefined friendship will seek out in 2010. In the church world I think we’ll see the closing of many online church campuses, satelite-feeds, and other non-IRL “ministry” things as people seek human interaction more than the convenience of church from their laptop or mobile phone.
- Interactive storytelling. In 2009, YouTube enabled a feature which allows you to post links to other YouTube videos from within the player. I think we’re just at the beginning of some fun storytelling and “choose your own adventure” types of viral videos. Here’s one that I really like to give you an idea: (enjoy your adventure)