13 trends for 2013

December 3, 2012

Tablet PC computer with 2013 New Year counterIn 2013 we will see an Australian election that is bound to slow business down and the economy for a couple of months. We will see Europe and America continue to build a new normal around their economy’s and future as they continue to grapple with the legacies of the past.

We will see a year where innovation will become the buzz-word as we move out of a relatively deep cycle of global negativity and doom and gloom to one where we see possibility and renewed hope.

2013 is only days away and it’s already set to be crammed with innovation, gadgets, new thinking and challenges..

This week Nicole Dyer of ABC Radio Gold Coast and I chatted about my 13 trends for 2013 which include:

1. Big Data – The answers we seek have got to be hidden somewhere amongst all this data that’s we’re drowning in. Internal records, online information, social media chatter, third-party providers, and the list of information sources go on. We know all this stuff is out of there and most probably could be useful, but how do you begin to make sense of it all. Welcome to the next frontier and the next set of tech billionaires. The rush is on for data gold and we will see a slew of one stop digital solutions that offer to make sense of all of your fractured information and turns it into one screen profitable wisdom.

2. Mobile everything – this may sound old and ordinary, but the first mass used smart phone was only 5 years ago and the shift to this becoming our default personal assistant and digital best friend has been quick and taken for granted. As we continue to take great big gulps of digital oxygen from our devices, our addiction will only continue. In this post iPhone era, where our desire for mobile gadgets will be far less brand dependent and more about features and cool and Apple, as cool as it is and was, will start to lose its’ cool.

3. Appy Days – an industry that hardly existed 5 years ago is now mainstream, a viable career choice set to turn over $12 billion next year. It has quickly moved beyond from just being about angry birds and games, to having a serious business side, with these little digital front doors keys poised to be the death knell of traditional websites.

4. Bring It All Together – we want everything now and in one place and that’s exactly what we’re going to get. Much of next year’s innovation will take lots of seemingly disconnected bits and pieces from lots of different places and put them together into one easy to use and purposeful space. The travel app that gives you a true door to door experience, booking you a taxi from home; let’s you know if the plane is on time; checks you in; informs the hotel how far away you are and checks you into the hotel, and guides you to your room when you get there and opens the door for you.

5. NFC – Near Field Communication, or a technical thingy that casts a virtual net from your mobile device to digitally connect you to your surroundings. This one has been in the wings for quite a while and we came close to a launch in 2012, but 2013 is make or break time for it.

6. It’s not rude to point / I know that face – mouse and keyboard – they’re so last century. 2013 is the year of the gesture, face recognition and voice. Every great sci-fi movie has this as a basic staple and now it’s going to become common in an office and living room near you. Mobile devices, ATM’s, cars, homes, TV’s and even fridges will know your face and let you in. Want to change channels on the TV, don’t reach for the remote, just swipe your hand in mid-air.

7. Goggles – 2013 will see the start of a new evolution in personal viewing displays built-in to ordinary looking spectacles. Google and other developers all have versions of the heads up displays buried in glasses due for release in 2013 and although it will take a while for them to come down in price and become mainstream they will find a market.

8. Co Creation – stop doing it on your own. There has been a fundamental shift in management style and business separations in the last decade. One where collaboration and co creation have overtaken control. Business of all sizes are synergistically coming together to achieve common goals and ambitions, sharing resources and talents, but also disbanding and moving on, or having multiple co creative experiences.

9. Chameleon Computers – BYOD aka Bring Your Own Device – one screen multiple uses in multiple places. It’s a work computer by day, a play computer by night and a friend in your handbag when you’re out and about. No it’s not 3 separate devices, it’s just the one device you carry with you everywhere you go and this is newest fad in businesses providing computer hardware to their employees.

10. 3D Printers – need a replacement part for your tractor, but can’t get it delivered for two weeks. No problem, print one out of your very own 3D printer. This love child of Star trek’s “Beam me up scotty” and your old fax machine, is the next big industry and will bring with it a fundamental shift in the way we manufacture, buy, deliver and innovate.

11. Head in the clouds – Our insatiable hunger for 24/7 access to all of our information regardless of where and when we are, has now found a new savior in the heavens. Cloud servers are becoming our preferred and trusted digital storage locker as we move from just storing our emails there to trusting it with our digital lives.

12. Out with the new and in with the old (in a new way) – everything old is new again. In this world of ever-changing “things” we are turning to the past, with a great big dollop of nostalgia, to reinvent what we’ve already had. Expect social media to become ordinary. For Facebook, Twitter and other conversations to become less “full on” and for us to become terribly blasé about all of this. New digital possibilities, apps and businesses will rise to refresh and update traditional offerings. Fashion, food and fun will also receive new twists on old themes as they make their comeback, yet again.

13. IP and Patents are becoming obsolete – First person to market advantage has never been more important than it will become. With the world-changing so quickly and innovative ideas abounding the timing involved in legally locking down ideas, innovations and inventions is becoming less practical and advise from top legal minds seems to be protect your innovation as much as possible, but don’t let it stop you being first to market.

Have a listen now to this month’s FutureTech segment and let me know what you think will be the innovation highlights of 2013


Which devices is sold more every day, than there are babies born?

January 29, 2012

What else could it be, but the iPhone.

In its 2012 1st quarter sales figures, Apple sold 37.04 million iPhone’s across the planet accounting for 53% of all of its revenue.

More people across the planet now take home new iPhone’s every day (402,000 units per day), than take home human babies (300,000 human births per day).

The figure needs to be seasonally adjusted as it includes Christmas sales, but nevertheless the numbers are huge and the implications for consumer preferences for their tech and connectivity needs even bigger.

In this weeks FutureTech segment Jason Jordan of Perth’s 6PR and I chat about what this means; what technological road we’re going down and where to from here for mobile technology.

Listen now:

and listen live each week at around 5:05 p.m. (AWST).


One person has made a difference

October 9, 2011

The online virtual world most of us take for granted is only 20 years old.

In the very short space of two decades we have eagerly and voraciously moved our lives and businesses into it and become dependent on it.

Look around you and see people everywhere staring longingly at their mobile screens, checking status, checking in and checking up.

Each seems intent on their interaction, to the point where it appears to the innocent passer-by as if they are greedily sucking air from their virtual breathing apparatus.

This new online and PC world required a pioneer, a visionary.

Someone to stare far into tomorrow and beyond and see what can be done. Someone to bravely say “what if” and then see about getting it done.

In our generation that forward looker was Steve Jobs, pioneering products, brands and people.

He started Apple Computers at a time when the PC was unknown and unwanted. He built software platforms far in advance of their marketplace needs. He innovated digital films when he purchased and breathed new life in to Pixar films. He returned to Apple after his forced departure, to take an ailing almost irrelevant company to corporate world dominance, with a suite of new horizon products that include iTunes, iPhone and iPads.

Steve Job’s gift seems to be his unwavering consumer focused vision of technology and what they could become as he uncannily built category definers that would be purposeful, useful and intuitive.

He thought nothing of relentlessly driving his handpicked tribe to seemingly reach far into the future and drag back to today unseen of and unheard of technology.

His ability to make the world see the future is also clear as he regularly ignited the passion of the everyday consumer, geek and non tech ahead alike, to stand for hours outside one of his global retail stores to be the first to buy and use one of his latest who would have known I needed gadgets.

From a corporate viewpoint he rebuilt Apple over the last decade and a half to tack into the wind. To seek and desire difference in order to find market opportunity. To work for Apple requires checking in the obvious at the door and joining the Don Quixote search for virtual and technological windmills.

This and where to from here for Apple was the on air discussion between myself and Jason Jordan of Perth radio’s 6PR in this weeks FutureTech segment as we paid tribute to the life and times of a gone to soon true innovator.

Listen now:

and listen live each Sunday at 4.40 p.m. (WST)


Heaven just got a hell of a great innovator

October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs legacy will be the cause of much writing and review but his place in history is, I’m sure, certain for bringing innovation and fresh thinking to the brave new computer and digital worlds.

Today as a tribute to the man I am choosing to reflect on his determination to see the future for what it had to be and not merely as a poor reflection of what has been.

In 2005 he told a group of Stanford graduates “remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important”.

His gift to us all is that we figure out, in life, what is truly important to us, steel our determination, gather our courage and go for it.

Adelaine Ng of Radio Australia and I chatted about Steve’s legacy, Apple’s road ahead and where to now for innovation, in our on air tribute to Steve Job.

Listen now:


ABC International Radio – Tech Spot – 17 July

July 17, 2009

teenagerIn this weeks segment we chat about Apple’s touch screen netbook to launch in October (the worst kept industry secret), China to get the iPhone without WI Fi and Microsoft takes on Google Office with its own free online offering and retail stores, before exploring a UK teenagers ad hoc handwritten comment of what he thinks of social media and who is actually using it – and here’s a clue it’s not him or his friends.