Let us begin with a review of the 2006 Tech Trends I had mentioned at the start of 2006. Here are the eleven that I discussed:
1. The Four Screens in our life are being transformed.
2. The Internet is becoming computings centre.
3. Mobiles are becoming the next platform.
4. The digital home is the next big technology battleground.
5. Search is at the heart of the rise of online advertising.
6. Networks are becoming higher speed and ubiquitous.
7. Peer production and syndication are at the heart of the new Web.
8. Multimedia on the Web is coming into its own.
9. Voice calls are becoming free.
10. Software-as-a-service is happening.
11. Emerging markets are where the action is.
I’ll start by doing a quick review of each of these (what I wrote last January for each of these trends), and then look ahead to 2007.
1. The Four Screens in our life are being transformed. Television is becoming on-demand and high-definition. Computing is becoming centralised, with the computer screen becoming a multimedia window not just to whats on the local network but the Internet. The big screen (in movie theatres) is becoming digital and the primary way entertainment is being consumed in countries like India with the proliferation of multiplexes. The mobile screen is becoming colourful, media-rich, and a gateway to the Web. It is these four screens around which our life and work revolves. The changes in whats behind these screens is perhaps the most important trend that we are seeing around us.
Update: This is pretty much on track. The Venice Project promises to radically transform television viewing on the computer, even as the likes of YouTube have made accessing video (copyrighted and user-generated) much easier. In India, CAS and DTH are making TV viewing much more interactive. Mobiles are becoming more like multimedia computers. Multiplexes are transforming movie viewing in theatres across India.
2. The Internet is becoming computings centre. The Internet has gone through the hype circle and it is now clear that our current and future life revolves around it. It is not that the desktops are becoming less powerful. It is just that the Internets true potential is now coming to the fore at the centre of our digital and connected lives. From mail to search, from writing to reading, from IMing to (social) networking, the Internet is now at the centre of our lives. In part, it is because the physical networks have become faster and more reliable. At the same time, there has been, over the past couple years, a proliferation of useful services which are starting to make a big difference. Rich maps, blogs and podcasts are just a few examples. As APIs start becoming available to databases and platforms, we are going to see a lot more innovation which will embed the Internet even more into our daily life.
Update: This is also happening. India is now seeing the real rise of the Internet. Internationally, video and social networking have defined the year in the Internet. Web 2.0 sites and mashups are helping make the Internet an integral part of our daily lives. More and more of our data is now moving to the cloud so that we can access it from multiple devices.
Tomorrow: 2006 Review (continued)