In 2011, the technological progress was remarkable. The world of Smartphones and tablets has further evolved. We can’t imagine a world without these changing technologies anymore and we are curious about upcoming trends and innovations. We made a little forecast of the hottest technological trends for 2012. This year we will surely see some new disruptive technology, but some predictions can be made based on what we have seen in 2011.
With examples like Apple’s growing iCloud, Cloud Computing will be one of the hottest continuing trends for 2012. It was introduced in 2011 and a lot more seems to come. The security of cloud computing could also be an area of opportunity. While the market remains in its early stages in 2011 and 2012, it will see large enterprise providers fully engaged in delivering a range of offerings to build cloud environments and deliver cloud services such as the successful Startup Nephoscale. It’s a cloud company, which has its own data center and sells on demand. The global cloud computing market will presumably reach $241 billion in 2020 compared to $40.7 billion in 2010 (source: Forrester Research).
Tablets consolidated their presence on the market in 2011 after a successful entry in 2010. Inquiries for tablet computers are constantly rising and the iPad 2 shows record-breaking sales revenues for the 4th quarter of 2011. The tablet market is expected to grow to $35 billion by 2012 (source: Reuters).
The amount of data in our world has been exceeding human expectations and analyzing large data sets will become a key in leading to new waves of productivity growth, innovation, and consumer surplus. Managing big data sets will require new technologies such as in-memory DBMS (Database Management System) which will make analytics and data warehousing faster. DBMS is a software package with computer programs that control the creation, maintenance, and use of a database. Online Storage Providers like Dropbox, Carbonite or Box are likely to have huge success in 2012. New startups and other small businesses will make use of these Service Providers and therefore we anticipate a bright future for Online Storage.
Contextual & Social User Experience
Context-aware computing uses information about a user’s environment, activities, connections and preferences to improve the quality of interaction with the end-user. The contextual application anticipates our requirements based on information such as our current location, temperature, activity calendar or even current TV show being watched. It can help build skills in augmented reality, model-driven security and ensemble applications. Social information is also becoming a major source of contextual information to enhance delivery of search results or the operation of applications.
Mobile Apps & App Stores
The Mobile App World continues to grow and now more than ever before people believe to be able to make a fortune by programming an App. This hype is likely to continue in 2012. Many organisations feel the urge to make use of mobile apps and start creating their own corporate apps. Global mobile application store revenues are about to reach $15 billion in 2011, and are expected to grow to $58 billion by 2014 (source: Gartner).
App stores by Apple and Android provide marketplaces where millions of applications are available to mobile users. According to Gartner Android reached a market share of 52,5 % in Q3 with iOS (15,0%) and RIM (11,0%) being far behind. Android’s growth in 2011 is remarkable and is very likely to continue in 2012.
The forecast indicates that by 2014 there will be more than 70 billion mobile application downloads from app stores every year. The role of IT may shift from a centralized planner to a market manager providing governance and brokerage services to users.
Augmented Reality can be seen in games, location apps and can also be used to search for coffee shops or other locations. An example of an app using this kind of Augmented Reality is WorkSnug, a startup connecting mobile workers to the nearest and best places to work in cities around the world. In future it will be seen related to various different products. Augmented Reality puts a virtual view on top of your real world. Looking up a restaurant in your neighborhood gets a complete new touch and is becoming a real experience. Use tools such as Yelp to see its location, to search for reviews and other restaurants right on top of your on-screen view of the street. Mobile Augmented Reality will show substantial growth and is definitely one of the key trends, not only for 2012. A report from Visiongain indicated that 25% of all app downloads will include some sort of augmented reality.
According to media reports Apple is negotiating with media companies about iTV, Apple’s television. Apple’s intention here is to join competition with Cupertino’s Google TV. The Apple TV is expected to come in two different screen sizes (32 and 37 inches). Almost certainly iTV will integrate its voice recognition system Siri. Customers will be able to control the television with their iPhones and iPads. iTV users will be able to stream films and music via iTunes. According to his biography Apple TV was the last big project of Apple Mastermind Steve Jobs who regrettably passed away last year. A lot of people are very curious about iTV and we’ll see in 2012 how it’s going to be perceived by its potential customers.
2012 will definitely bring some new innovative technologies and we can already see huge progress in the mobile sector and it seems to be only the beginning. We’ll observe these tech trends in 2012 and see whether there will be new ones to be discovered.