Predictions for 2009

Posted on December 15, 2008

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Mike Anderson, CEO of Strategic News Service, made his top 10 predictions for technology (and world affairs) for 2009.  Anderson’s public, trackable predictions have been 96% accurate, so this article is worth the read. Here is the list:

1.) It will be a big year for applications that can play on big screens. We’ve already got our plasma TVs, he said. In 2009, we’ll spend more on ways to use them – video games, movies, etc. “It will all be about what you can do for $100 to add value.”

2.) Similarly, the big news in the mobile world won’t be a slicker, newer cellphone — it will be smart phone applications. “We’re talking billions in downloads,” he said. In addition, because of their low cost and high volume, smart phone apps have the potential to replace mobile advertising – unless it can be ‘dragged through’ on an app.

3.) The blush is off the China rose. “There are already 15,000 riots a year in China,” Anderson said. “The next thing is that people will get shot.” China’s GDP is likely to plummet in 2009, and the West will revise its view of the country, recognizing it as a polluted place, rife with economic turmoil and starving people.

4.) 2009 will be the year when flash-based computing will really take off. “This year we’ll see the first computer with no moving parts,” he said. That means the shelf life of a computer will expand, which will force the software industry to develop products that last over a longer term. “Everybody benefits,” Anderson said.

5.) This will also be the year that wall computing gets traction. Think of the wall computers that CNN’s John King used during the election. They will soon find their way into corporate conference rooms, fundamentally changing the way we collaborate at work.

6.) Carry-along computers will be hot. HP’s mini is already ringing up dramatic sales, and Dell is entering the market as well. These lightweight, inexpensive little laptops, “will soon be the most commonly used computer,” Anderson said.

7.) Led by Europe, LTE (Long Term Evolution) will be the preferred technology for 4G.

8.) Not to be left behind, the less developed world will finally see widespread availability of broadband. “Villages in Africa and elsewhere will get broadband and telephony at the same time,” he said.

9.) After years of failed promises, voice recognition will finally work right. “We’ll go from being angry with the mechanical voice at the end of the line, to using it without annoyance,” he said. “We will finally have continuous speech with no training.”

10.) The Internet Assistant will be born. Think of this as your own personal technological concierge that can integrate all your disparate data and put it to work, probably via your phone. In 2009, you’ll be able to say, “Jeeves, I’m going to San Diego on Friday, your IA will book a flight (using your frequent flier account, and scoring your preferred window seat), book a car to the airport, reserve a rental car of the size you like with your favorite provider, book a hotel, and make dinner reservations at your favorite boite. It may even scan your calendar, determine that you have a free evening, and book tickets to the philharmonic.

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