Wait. I can go on and on but I’ll stop myself here because it is not 2012 that I wish to discuss; it is what 2013 has in store for us that intrigues me more. Here is my list of 10 predictions for 2013; a year which I believe may be a techie’s paradise!
1. The cloud will become a more populated place: More people will begin using the cloud and seamlessly storing and integrating more and more of their data online. Apple owners have iCloud while android users mostly use dropbox for storing photos and videos in the digital space. Moreover, cloud computing softwares now do the uploading in an extremely implicit and automatic manner thus not disturbing the user at all. With the advancement in internet technology and huge increase in broadband speeds, cloud computing will become a lot more viable and see a huge number joining in. Also, the potential functionality of the cloud will be realised and it will not merely be limited to just an online storage space.
2. Further Evolution of Augmented Reality: I have strong opinion that augmented reality will become mainstream in 2013. Last year, we saw Google’s demo of Project Glass, an augmented reality eye- wear which collates data from the world and presents it in front of your eyes! Expect many more demo’s from Google as Project Glass may be made available for commercial use in late 2013. On the smartphone front, softwares like Sygic and Autodance are small examples of the potential of augmented reality.
3. Google and Samsung: A lot of confusion!: 2012 witnessed a tremendous reliance of Google on Samsung for making popular its android operating system. However, this trend cannot continue for long as this is a market threat for Google (Samsung may discard Android anytime). I think Google make use of its Motorola Mobility purchase to the fullest which was carried out previous year and bring out a new line of handsets. It may also expand its nexus flagship series and bring out improved models. The same goes for Samsung. It is relying heavily on Google currently, which is a compulsion after the failure of its BADA OS. I see Samsung investing a lot in R&D; and making an attempt to come up with something of its own. (Probably the Tizen OS they have been working on)
4. RIM (Blackberry) – Will be bought out: Now this may seem a bit harsh but it is bound to happen. I believe RIM will make a slight turnaround with BB10 OS, but it will not be enough to sustain the loss in market share and dwindling margins faced by it. Surviving solely on BBM (which has dozens of alternatives now), blackberry will find it difficult to survive. From an app store which is useless to plans which burn a hole in your pocket – Blackberry boys, you seriously had this coming!
5. Lot of R&D; into hybrids/convertibles: IT companies are becoming increasingly interested in the new hybrid segment of computing devices that is coming up, that is a laptop/netbook which can be converted into a tablet. Such a 2-in-1 advantage when offered to consumers is sure to attract majority of the populace who require both but don’t want to shell out funds on another standalone device or find it difficult to store data on
multiple devices. Affordable hybrids sporting the Windows 8 touch interface would be the trend of 2013 I believe. I think Microsoft would also be overjoyed with such a partnership with hardware manufacturers given their grim situation because of heavy reliance on desktops/laptop OS sales.
6. Hard Disks on the path towards extinction: The slow storage media with moveable parts will slowly move towards extinction in 2013 being replaced by the much faster (and presently quite expensive), lighter and better Solid State Drives (SSD’s). These drives have phenomenal read/write speeds which greatly enhance file transfer speeds and the overall speed of the computer which can exchange information with the OS and the storage disk faster.
7. Apple – Expecting the unexpected: Now this is a prediction I may regret making as Apple is unpredictable. Anyway, I foresee an improved version of iOS or a marginally improved iPhone coming up towards the end of 2013 which would offer a GUI revamp, modification and customisation. This is a big thing which is missing in Apple devices and provision of this upgrade will surely tilt the already tilted scales further in favour of Apple.
8. Flexible and bendable screens: Imagine your favourite 4” mobile device in your hands. Now imagine folding it around your wrist in the form of a watch. This will be reality soon with prototypes already in the works.
9. SMS almost dead: I think I can have a large consensus on this one. With a number of alternatives – BBM, iMessage, WhatsApp, Viber, Skype to name a few, the number of SMS’s sent is on a sharp decline. By the end of 2013, I think it’ll only be the mobile advertisement companies that continue to send these archaic messages.
10. Next-gen Consoles – Xbox 720 and PS4 (fictitious names): Considering the size of the video game industry and myself being a big gamer, I couldn’t exclude gaming in the list of predictions. It has been around 7 years since the launch of the Xbox 360 and PS3 and new next gen consoles are right around the corner. The net has been filled with rumours regarding a new round- up of consoles. The time period announced by Microsoft before announcement of a new console is also over. I think 2013 is the year we will see something new in the gaming arena. What will be new? That I can’t say.