Now that I’ve graded my 2009 predictions, it is time once again look into the future of what I consider to be a very interesting year. Many of these prediction will generate full posts on their own going forward.
1) A major telecommunications company will recognize the competitive threat posed by Google Voice and begin offering “voice is free” as a method to gain customers and transition into more profitable data services.
2) At least one of the ineffective, post-9/11 airport security theater provisions is rolled back.
3) The current crop of social games will go the way of the original wave of Zombies and Vampires as players tire of the repetitive gameplay and friends start a backlash — again, exactly as we saw with Zombies and Vampires. The winning social game companies will be those which pivot dramatically.
4) Apple releases a tablet and moves computing onto a 4th screen, adding a new form factor to their existing complement of full screen (desktop/laptop), handheld (iPhone), and living room (Mac Mini/MacTV). It will be incredibly fun to use for the range of activities currently least served by current screens — movies, reading, browsing/social media on the run, and video/text chat. It will bring at least one new UX tech to the party to help make it the “ZOMG, WANT!!” product of 2010 — for example, front facing 3D camera for gestural control without touching the screen.
5) The 2010 midterm elections will see a degree of negative campaigning and hate mongering the likes of which the United States has never seen. It will be so bad that political and media leaders from both parties will finally remember that the point of politics is not to win but to effectively govern.
6) Amazon responds to the gaggle of competing copycat ebook readers by turning Kindle into a full fledged book platform: author choice on DRM, p2p sharing, and loaning; community elements for book recommendations, annotations, and ranking; and, user-generated book metadata for series and sequels, to allow author and series subscription for automatic delivery of new books.
7) Backlash against the world’s biggest banks and their windfall profits will contribute to the emergence of new regional, community, and online banking options.
8) The threat of Three Strike’s coming to the United States via ACTA will generate a grassroots debate about the merits of Obama administration’s IP maximalist strategy.
9) Heath care reform makes it through the committee reconciliation process and passes despite complaints from all sides.
10) I will be back at work full-time on something seriously cool.