Top Trends for 2011
1. Mobile Smartphones
According to Mary Meeker, who recently joined venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, sales of mobile smartphones will surpass that of laptop and desktop computers before the end of 2012. In a recent ABI poll, over 50% of smartphone users would shop using their mobile phone and 53% would do mobile banking. Firms that do not pay attention to the mobile market will likely regret their lack of action...visit the Verizon Wireless site on your smartphone for a dose of irony.
2. Tablet Computers
The Internet almost brought the publishing industry to its knees but now it may be on the verge of saving it. The iPad, Galaxy and maybe even the upcoming double screen Kno tablet seem to be perfect platforms for newspapers, magazines and books. Based upon the weight of an average middle school student's backpack, we'd predict that tablets will be a boon for textbook publishers as well. Check out Flipboard for a glimpse into the new world of publshing.
3. Design Rules
Since the dawn of personal computers, screen size and resolution have been big issues for designers. Today, a cheapo Dell Vostro ships with an 18.5" widescreen display and a MacBook laptop sports a dinky 13.3" display, but a smartphone may be lucky to have a 3.5" display. Great design and user interfaces are essential to making customers happy. Smart companies will reap big rewards for paying attention to the customer experience across these multiple platforms. Let's call 2010 the financial tipping point for user experience investment.
For years, the practical realization of convergence limped along on a road to nowhere. According to Dan Rayburn of the global research firm Frost & Sulivan, the reason convergence has not taken off is due to the lack of a standard because companies will not work together. However, once Google TV and the recently revamped Apple TV ship significant units, this story will change, and 2010 is the year of change.
5. Augmented Reality
Juniper Research predicts that Augmented Reality (AR), where virtual or computer generated graphics or sounds are overlaid in real world environments, will take off in 2011, mostly on mobile smartphones, tablets or handheld multimedia devices. Some of our favorite examples are acrossair's New York City subway location locator and Word Lens, a magical app that Instantly translates printed words from one language to another. While much of the interest has been generated by AR's integration with shopping, we predict that AR-enabled applications will begin to take off on a large scale.
“27 million Facebook users play Zynga's Texas Holdem game, about equal to the number of viewers who watch American Idol”