Technology moves fast, perhaps faster now than it ever has. The speed at which cutting edge products become obsolete since the creation of home computers has always been astonishing, but nothing like it is now. Just look at the last three generations of iPhone’s, or the sudden integration of streaming technology for television and movies.
We are already seeing the way the the wind is blowing for many products, which gives us a rational line to follow about coming products. Here are a couple of what I think are perfectly reasonable predictions for technological advances and changes in the next five to ten years.
Touch Screens On EVERYTHING
We are already starting to see this a lot. Even items that don’t technically need a touch screen for their basic function, such as the Kindle, are getting one. But this is one trend that won’t be short lived, simply because it is both useable, and also it has been in the minds of developers for ages. Seriously, think back to every sci-fi show in the last fifty years that you loved. How many of them didn’t express their cutting edge technical prowess by putting touch screens on everything, even if the actual concept had never been applied to reality?
Already, Microsoft is engaging in major research on this technology. Their OmniTouch project is dedicated to finding a way to project a touch screen onto literally anything. The strides they have taken in a controlled setting show us that this kind of idea isn’t that far from marketing.
Return To Virtual Reality
The prevalence of first person shooters shows the desire amongst gamers to be put directly in the game play. Extended RPG’s that allow for full customization of a character that can put the player into their shoes in another bit of evidence to that point. Now consoles like the Kinect are once again being released, entering in a new wave of virtual reality that seemed to have died back in the 90′s.
Along with the creation of the Wii, which allows for a more physical version of gaming, it shows us that the time is finally ripe to start utilizing this technology in ways that game makers wished for in the past, but could never do.
The End Of Cable/Satellite
Last night I was watching some digital cable, which I current have through Comcast. A movie trailer came up in a commercial, and along with it a button that asked me to press ‘OK’ to preview the film on On Demand. It was more interactive than they have been in the past, and shows that they are trying to push for more customer interaction with their standard cable service. But I don’t think this will be the trend in the near future.
The amount of focus and energy they have put into both the creation and promotion of XFinity, which can be streamed online, shows where the real future lies. Netflix has taken a dive, but they are still a major competitor in the entertainment industry. Hulu and Prime are two other examples of this growing trend.
Streamers, consoles and media library networks have made it possible to stream online or computer content directly onto your set. Which is why I think that cable and satellite will soon be a thing of the past, and all content will be streamed, with the net and television merging completely. So instead of digital tuners standard in our set, I think a streaming box is more likely.
Graphic Expansion In Future Superphones
Last week I did a post about “Superphones”, a term coined by Google to describe the next generation of smart phones with much great capabilities. New chips, which are cheaper to make and allow for more memory and graphics, will become standard. Which will give us better and cheaper smartphones that you will probably see everyone carrying within the next decade.
The graphic implications are probably the most exciting. We can already watch movies and television shows, along with video clips, on most smartphones without any issues. But the definition will probably increase. It is the apps and games that I think will see the most change, with more impressive gameplay and versions of popular games available for download.
What are some of your predictions?