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2010: Rudman Consulting predicts…

First off, did I get my predictions right for 2009?! Read them here.
I predicted the rise in interest around cloud computing and this has certainly happened, with good options around for personal computing. Read my other company, Envirodigital’s summary of cloud computing at end of 2009. We’re not quite there yet with applications and security for enterprise computing (for business), but that offer becoming stable and attractive as an option is a predication for 2010.

I also predicted the rise of 3D in the living room, with games being the focus of this. In fact, gaming has developed in a different way, with the realism of graphics and the sensory experience of controlling games through bodily movement being the development of 2009. Didn’t Wii almost have it all?… Sony have just announced that their Bravia range will be 3D this year.

I predicted that Hollywood would take an age to get to grips with agreeing a common standard for 3D films, but in fact this occurred over 2009, with the latest 3D movie Avatar looking like it will the world’s highest ever $ grossing movie. James Cameron, Avatar’s director made a considered move to develop the movie for 3D. He leads Hollywood in a strategy that sees the film industry trying to fight back and avert online piracy by making versions of films which are such high definition, or 3D, that a low res copy is not worth having – the experience has to be the real thing (which of course we’ll pay them directly for!).

And so to 2010. I predict:
“Sixth Sense” technologies further developing, reducing the need to be tied to screens and traditional navigating devices like mice and keyboards. Brother Industries, known for making printers have developed a new portable technology that projects images directly onto your retina. It takes the form of a glasses mounted projector. Called the Retinal Imaging Display, Brother claims that it can be used without damage (!!!) as the light is very weak.

2009 was the year in which augmented reality became actual reality. Layar debut-ed their Reality Browser which uses the mobile handset’s cmaera and compass and then overlays that view with text and graphical information. But at TEDIndia, in November 2009 Pranav Mistry demo-ed several tools that help the physical world interact with the world of data – including a deep look at his SixthSense device and a new, paradigm-shifting paper “laptop.” The photo at the top of this post shows some of the ideas. In an onstage Q&A, Mistry said he would open-source the software behind SixthSense, to open its possibilities to all: watch here.

The idea of the user being at the heart of the action will also be explored by TV screen producers. Fraunhofer have developed the Immersive Dome: it uses six projectors to generate images on the interior of a dome-shaped screen. Plans are already in place for it to be used in theme parks, multimedia installations and home cinema.

Also in R&D are transparent screens: Wired reports on the potential of these via a video from CES 2010 here.

Search will become easier and more intuitive and more relevant. iPhone apps like Around Me and no doubt a flood of google phone apps will show users what’s/who’s around them using GPS available on smart phones and utilising the geolocation additions for Facebook and Twitter.
As Google own the world’s most used search engine, and own the world’s largest online video library, are trying to make the world’s largest online library of digitised books, developed a bespoke blog search and have just launched googlemusicsearch, then looking for digital content of all media will become a far easier task.

People will also be using mobile more for searching. The bombardment into the world of the smartphone and the ubiquity of mobile devices in developing nations, as well as the lower carbon footprint of the mobile vs. the laptop. See Envirodigital’s article on 2010 predictions that involve environmentally friendly digital technologies.

The questions of how to make people pay for digital content still remains a great debate. Apple’s decision to permit in-app payments is transforming the type of applications being developed. This is the freemium business model – the app is free, the customer pays for micro bits of content they want. In Apple’s case, this is managed through the iTunes store. Blackberry has already announced its intention to enable in-app payments and Orange App Shop looks likely to. In fact with all the competition in the app market, I predict an overall price-drop in apps.