may get its mojo back, smartphones will get cheap, and we’re about
to enter the Year of Encryption. A look at what to expect in telecom
and computing for the coming year.
How might 2014 play out in tech?
Silicon Valley may again need to watch out for Microsoft, cheap
smartphones will hit markets, and the Edward Snowden revelations will
launch the Year of Encryption. Those are a few predictions from Mark
Anderson, founder and publisher of the Strategic News Service
newsletter, long a must-read for industry leaders and venture
capitalists, and host of Future in Review, an annual gathering for
tech leaders, investors, and policymakers The
Economist called “the best technology conference in the
does Anderson see in his crystal ball? Here’s the new edition of
his annual list of 10 predictions for the telecom and computing world
for the year to come.
1. Siris Move Into Silos.
Internet assistants display their
importance as a category by spreading out into a large number of new
Siri-like products, many of which work to increase utility by going
deep into vertical markets. The results are improved success in voice
recognition, knowledge-base utility, and customer trust and
2. Visualization Goes Mainstream.
As big data, cloud computing, and vast
increases in storage and processing take hold, the role of data
visualization becomes much more common in our tools. Having created
systems much more advanced than the human brain in these categories,
we now must find improved ways of digesting all of this information.
3. The Cheaper Factor.
Low price becomes a critical
driver in global consumer-electronics product creation, as emerging
economies absorb a dramatically larger fraction of all devices sold.
The result of bringing hundreds of millions out of poverty is a
shift in design motivation from the radically innovative, to
incremental change at low cost, driven by the creation of a new
purchaser segment in consumer electronics.
4 + 5. Sub-$250
pads and Sub-$100 Smartphones dominate their categories.
These ought to be the top two
best-selling product types in their categories for the year , and
these two categories ought to be the top two consumer electronics
categories for the year, when measured by volume.
6. Software Plays on a Flat
Hardware Field, as We Build Out the Global Computer.
This is the real mover behind
everything in IT, from the blank black real estate of your cellphone
and pad, to virtualized storage and servers, emulated processors,
software-defined networks and the most advanced cloud-computing
services. Even as hardware continues to advance, software is where
most of the energy, innovation, and action occur.
8. The New Microsoft That No One
Microsoft gets a new CEO, with a new
power structure that encourages cooperation instead of warring
factions, and which leads to improved success in consumer markets.
The stock continues to climb, on an annualized basis, and Redmond
starts to get some of its “mojo” back, defined by people wanting
to work there.
8. Micromapping arrives.
Various firms open the door on a brand
new category in mapping, advertising, location and ID, and
transactions. This MALT category launches in 2014, with small but
fast-growing revenue that will become mammoth in years ahead.
9. The Quantified Self Goes
The idea of knowing more and
more detail about your personal health and characteristics goes from
being a science story to a jogger’s delight to a mainstream
market. Keeping track of your own health data in real time is no
longer something for geeks and workout fanatics, but is accepted as
a new and mainstream category of behavior, products, and
preventative medicine. Doctors will have to start catching up.
10. Encryption Everywhere.
The direct commercial result of
Edward Snowden’s leaks will be a massive move by large technology
companies, both in enterprise and consumer markets, to evolve new
encryption technologies and products that use them. While
NSA-proofing will be the motivator, the real benefit may be improved
protection of commercial IP from theft by China and other nations.
This is a repost of an article that appeared on the Daily Beast on December 7, 2013