I’ve been handing out technology predictions for a few years now – I thought I would continue the tradition this year
Gamification: Gamification refers to the use of motivational techniques (introduced in online games) to reinforce behavior or learning. Getting “points” or “badges” when completing certain tasks. Not a new concept at all – however, we’re going to start seeing a lot more of this in all aspects of software – not only consumer and social software such as FourSquare but in enterprise applications.
Kanban Professional Certification in Software Development: It’s hard to talk about Agile these days without talking about Kanban. Kanban is a very mature technique that came from Lean manufacturing that helps teams visualize and control the flow of their system and recognize waste and opportunities for improvement. Kanban is certainly making a significant impact on how software development teams visualize and manage their flow – and I predict that in 2012 we’re going to start seeing some Kanban certification close to what we see in the Scrum camps.
Heated Social Wars: Google+ was introduced in 2011 and has seen significant uptake. I have a feeling that Facebook as the economics behind these social platforms are too significant. Both have a great deal to offer – however, I have a feeling the race will kick into high gear in 2012. We’ll see incremental yet significant innovations from both camps – the big winner – me and you.
Windows 8: Yeah.. this seems like a given. I don’t think anyone questions the fact that 2012 is Microsoft’s year for Windows 8. The Windows platform has not only been good for business – but it’s been good for the business of partners – hardware and software partners alike. We’ll start to see innovation in a whole new generation of hardware, there is no doubt about this – and we’ll see a new generation of Windows developers spring up. Microsoft has a LOT of work in front of them to get Windows 8 right – and honestly, I don’t think they can ship Windows 8 without a significant revamp of Office (only because I’ve been trying to use the pre-release of Windows 8 on the Samsung tablet – and well – it sucks in tablet mode). The Windows app store MUST rival the Apple AppStore – which, I’m a big fan of. All of the big names must have their software on the app store at time of launch. My prediction – Microsoft is gonna pull it all off – but very close to the end of the year.
Apple Continue to Dominate and Grow on Mobile: It’s hard to believe that Apple Share’s Market Value Grew to over $350B from $5 Billion in 2000. It’s hard to get my head around. In 2012 – I don’t see Apple’s trend decreasing. I have a feeling we’ll see a new iPad in March and of course a new iPhone in October/November. I have a feeling we’ll see some other innovation from Apple this year as the competitive landscape expands largely due to Android (and hopefully Windows 8).
Continued Merger of Agile and Lean: This statement is very close to the Kanban certification above. It’s becoming more and more common to see “Agile and Lean” together. I think you’re going to see more and more organization jump on the bandwagon – Agile helps describe “what” works – Lean working to describe “why Agile works”. You’ll see more and more “Agile and Lean” service offerings, training and software. Unfortunately, this will lead to confusion in the consumer end of this message and we may see a new tipping point – something along the lines of SDLC 3.0 which will help better define this space and decrease the misuse of the term “Agile”
Health and Wellness for Consumers: I have a feeling that out of all of this mobile technology will spring some really game changing hardware and software solutions that focus on health and wellness. There is already a HUGE amount of software on mobile app stores to help track your fitness activities (RunKeeper for example – has software for your phone, a web site to track progress, and a watch to help you track your workouts) – however, we’re starting to see an emergence of connected devices that take this further. For example, I came across a scale that was able to talk to your phone via wifi – it helps track weight as well as body fat % and BMI. This type of thinking can go a long way – imagine if there was a toilet that was able to continually analyze your urine and produce reports that could flag certain types of illness. I have a feeling we’ll see some of the more influential and market driven organizations look closer at these opportunities – one of my favorites being Beach Body.com.
Smart TV revolution: Last year I predicted that 3D TV’s will be all the rage. Well, it turns out I was “close” – early adopters of 3D absolutely made an impact on the industry. The wave of TV’s for 2012 will focus on being “smart” – we’re starting to see this already with Samsung, LG, and Sony’s smart TV’s. A smart TV brings a fully integrated experience to the television – TV’s are connected to the internet via WIFI, have appstores, have integrated cameras and are much interactive. Honestly, I thought Apple would better dominate this area with their Apple TV – however, the AppleApp store has yet to reach to this device, and I think this was a shortcoming of the AppleTV vision.
Mobile Phone is your hub: I wouldn’t have thought 10 years ago that the mobile platform would become so powerful it would act as a hub to just about everything else. Your mobile phone will continue to be your “pivot” to all other devices – the thing that allows you to connect to just about everything else.. from your watch, to your scale, to your toilet – and of course, to the rest of your house. This “hub” model will become even more apparent this year as mobile hardware will continue to amaze and delight us. We’re really not far away from that tricorder I’ve always dreamed of having.