Future Gazing for 2013

December 12, 2012

whats-aheadInsiders knowledge of what lies ahead is the holy grail for many businesses decision makers. If we could only know in advance what’s likely to sell, what marketplace demands there will be, what new technology is just over the horizon and what the world is likely to want and be like are just some of the constant burning issues we look for answer to.

Over the last 3 decades I have tried to answer these questions for my clients and audiences not by crystal balls and guessing, but by carefully and methodically researching, analysing and hypothesising the horizon and beyond.

In this weeks segment David Dowsett of ABC Local Radio Queensland and I chatted about my top predictions for 2013 and the implications and ramifications they may have.

Have a listen now:


A bright and shiny 2013

December 12, 2012

mobile-trends-for-2013-277x300A look ahead to the new normal of 2013, the rise of apps and mobile technology, objects coming to virtual life and social media losing its shine but not its purpose are some of my business trends for 2013 that Belinda King of ABC Northern Tasmania and I chatted about in our semi regular spot.

Have a listen now:


2013 Consumer Trends

December 5, 2012

4D MOVIE GFX 01_FF VIZHere is my annual look ahead to 2013 from a Consumers viewpoint:

2013 is going to be a year of nostalgia, consolidation and innovation.

The world will increasingly become jaded with social media as it evolves to become as ordinary and mundane as the phone and fax machines of old.

The past few years of angst and trepidation have spurred next year’s response to offer us a year of where we will return to simpler time with a most modern twist.

This will be evident in the foods we will eat, the colours we will paint our homes, the clothes we will wear, the names we’ll give our children and the technology we will see over the next 12 months that will all pay homage to the past as it reinvents itself for a new tomorrow.

Here are some of the key trends and influences I’m seeing over the horizon that will impact our 2013.

Here’s what we already know about 2013:

Australia’s population will exceed 23 million people (up from today’s 22.84 million).

World population will exceed 7.2 billion (up from today’s 7.08 billion).

We will have a federal Australian election, most probably between August and October, as well as a state election in Western Australia in March.

Australia will withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by December 2013.

Analogue TV will be turned off in Australia on 10th December 2013.

There will be 30.5 million connected mobile handsets in Australia in 2013.

There will be 7.5 billion mobile connected mobile handsets globally in 2013.

China and India will begin their space race in 2013.


What Will We be Eating and Drinking in 2013?

Sharing plates, artisan products, local sourcing and culinary creativity are set to trend up restaurant menus and home kitchens next year with the top ten food predictions being:

1. Locally sourced meats and seafood
2. Locally grown produce
3. Healthy kids’ meals
4. Environmental sustainability as a culinary theme
5. Children’s nutrition as a culinary theme
6. New cuts of meat (e.g. Denver steak, pork flat iron, teres major)
7. Hyper-local sourcing (e.g. restaurant gardens)
8. Gluten-free cuisine
9. Sustainable seafood
10. Whole grain items in kids’ meals

Top 10 drink menu trends for 2013:

1. Onsite barrel-aged drinks
2. Food-liquor/cocktail pairings
3. Culinary cocktails (e.g. savoury, fresh ingredients)
4. Micro-distilled/artisan liquor
5. Locally produced spirits
6. Locally sourced fruit/berries/produce
7. Beer sommeliers/Cicerones
8. Regional signature cocktails
9. Beer-based cocktails
10. Locally produced beer

What will we watch at the Movies in 2013?

Another big blockbuster year for movies in 2013, with lots of safe-bet franchise movies including:
Star Trek Into Darkness; Iron Man 3; The Hunger Games Catching Fire; Thor the Dark World; The Great Gatsby; The Wolverine; Mad Max: Fury Road; The Hangover Part 3; Scary Movie 5

Whilst at home we will see the first 4K and 8K television sets offering even sharper images as well as the short march to second screens where we will watch TV on one large screen and have a second screen – smart phone / tablet – in our hands to engage with all the others watching the show. And watch out for Apple TV in 2013, another ground breaking, must have gadget to add to their stable.

Beyond 2013: Look out for 4D movies making their way into our cinemas with scent and movement as part of the experience

What will Women be wearing in 2013?

Vogue claims ruffles are back with statement ruffles curled over shoulders and wound around bodies, bringing new dimensions to strong silhouettes.

Sunrise_SingleAsian Major
Kimono-inspired shapes and poetic prints call to mind the Far East with everything from silk pyjamas to sheath dresses coming under an Asian influence.

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The overriding mood for spring/summer is upbeat, joyous even, and mostly evident in the textures, fabrications and embellishments designers will choose to use. Stripes, spots, checks, and flowers will take on bold proportions at the hands of the more adventurous designers.

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Designers will embrace the new suit in all its forms; some will opt for a relaxed take, while others will go for oversized proportions, or sculpted and cropped silhouettes.

Sunrise_SingleSixties Again
Micro hemlines, reworked beehives and ladylike accessories are all poised to make a return.

What Colours will we Surround Ourselves with in 2013?

Vintage design, fossicking and gathering, the meeting of old and new, and the rise of new technology are among the key influences that will dominate Australian design over the next 12 months – and with it our choice of colours.

The Dulux Colour Forecast next year draws on the themes of movement, social change, people power and the march of the digital age. It explores how colour is shifting and changing in modern times.

Dulux forecasters have identified six palettes, Merge is warm and earthy. Seek updates vintage shades. Empower’s blue-greens speak of confidence. Relaxing Rise uses a soothing Japanese-inspired aesthetic. Share is monochromatic with metal and stone influences. Blur is bold and daring.

Major colours for 2013 include yellow, pastel hues and the stand out colour will be persimmon.

What will we Name Our Baby’s in 2013?

2013 children’s name will be an apocalyptic mix of wild weather and the gods preferences including names like Winter (used by actress Gretchen Mol on her baby daughter last year) is sounding “fresher” than Summer or Autumn and May and June are being replaced with March and January.

Names of old world gods and goddesses, mythological heroes and leaders like Augustus, Atticus, Persephone, Athena, Juno and Julius, Thor and Maeve are set to dominate birth announcements
The last wave of grandma and grandpa nickname names – Annie and Molly, Ben and Max – will turn to vintage nicknames from the Mad Men era and a new generation of kids with names like Hank and Hal, Ray and Fay, Millie and Monty, are emerging

Middle names are going to be blend of sharp crispy names like Snow, Frost and even the direction North and significant words like Ballerina, Bear, Sweetheart, Seven, Song, Star and Saint.


Morris’s 13 Big Trends for 2013

1. New normal – Our global, regional, national and local issues and economic uncertainties will not disappear in 2013, but what will disappear is our strong reaction to them. Mellowing and resignation are occurring, we know these real and important issues are not going away soon, but we are learning to live with them.

This new sense of normal will bring with it renewed consumer confidence as slowly we replace pessimism with optimism as we reframe our world to accept these variables and make new choices accordingly.

2. Two Degrees of Separation – Now that we’ve all gorged ourselves on social media and proven that we can alter the course of lives, international events and governments with it; stay digitally connected to our ever-growing tribe and ensure we know what’s going on in our purpose-built world 25/8, it’s time to move on to see what else this new digital social glue can do.

Expect 2013 to push the boundaries with new digital social recommendation sites, crowd learning, crowd financing and crowd everything sites coming on-line.

Sites like Kickstarter, indiegogo, and Spacehive allow end users to engage, invest and support new ideas, products and services long before they become a commercial reality. Gigfunder allows you to start a grass-roots movement to get your favourite band to come to town and perform; right through to sites like brickstarter that lets you say Yes In My Backyard by influencing local public service and community based projects and even sites that let you share cars, dresses, handbags, homes and private planes.

3. 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 of information from lots of different places and put them together into one easy to use and purposeful space.

The new travel apps for instance will give you a true door to door experience, booking your taxi from home; letting you know if the plane is on time; checking you in; informing the hotel how far away you are, checking you into the hotel, and guiding you to your room when you get there, even opening the door for you.

4. The World of Objects are Coming Alive – Near Field Communication (NFC) 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 and, when it hits, expect to get rid of your physical credit cards and start connecting with everything through that little electronic box in your pocket.

Grocery items, store posters, doors, people, objects and things will all be able to share information with you.

5. Appy days – If you think you’ve seen apps, hold on to your digital screen, because you haven’t seen anything yet. The avalanche of this brave new world is going to be fiercer, stronger and greater than the advent of websites and the World Wide Web.

Every business will eventually have one of this new digital keys to offer their online world as we move at the pace of light to cut the umbilical cord that tethers us to walls and desk bound technology to the freedom of take with you anywhere and everywhere technology.

6. 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 online conversations to become less “full on” and for us to become terribly blasé about all of this.

7. Local and national trumps global– Carbon footprints, immediate delivery demands, a growing sense of self entitlement and importance and a strong desire for jingoism and patriotism will all lead us to want to shop as local as we can and to have products that express who we are and not some generic global corporation’s image of what they want us to be.

All these growing influences will rekindle our desire to buy local and national rather than international. All we need to do now is get local retailers both bricks and clicks to play ball and give us what we want.

8. Customer Is God – The days of being spoken down to, of being brushed aside are gone. As consumers we are now increasingly and collectively demanding what we want, where we want it and how we want it, knowing that if this provider can’t do, we can find another who will.

Our sense of entitlement is changing irrevocably. The old and non-connected relationship between manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and customers is gone and will be replaced with a fresh dynamic co-created organic marketplace where everybody is vital and integral if the sale is going to work and the end.


9. Who cares where you’re having coffee! Our social media baby has finally grown up and turned into a pimply teenager. The awkward early adolescent phase where we had to share every first step and toilet training event is over. Social media is here to stay and everybody’s ready to take a deep breath and just get on with using it.

This however is not the end of the social media journey; we still have to turn the teenager into an adult, so expect to see a tonne of new social media life changing platforms, uses and abuses ahead.

10. Right before my eyes – One of the new big must haves next year will be augmented reality glasses. Google Goggles and many other geek provider manufacturers have promised to bring us a set of ordinary eyewear with extraordinary purpose.

These spectacles’ will take information from the World Wide Web, your surroundings and your mobile devices and mash them up to give you a unique, real-time heads-up display complete with images, words, road maps, television and whatever else you want all on the inside of your designer sunglasses.

11. Cash is no longer King – with a growing number of retailers encouraging you to pay for all your transactions large or small using your plastic money (and eventually smart phone based e-wallet) expect to see a less-cash society evolve over the next few years.

12. Print your own Dinner Set – this innovation is the love child of “Star Trek’s Beam Me Up Scotty” and a 1980’s fax machine and makes it totally possible to print in real-time and on demand
one-off pieces of crockery, clothes, shoes, engine spare parts, human organs, building, bikes and kids toys, just to name a few.

This new technology has been around for a while, but get set for its explosive mainstream introduction in 2013 as consumers begin to discover and use 3D printing for their everyday purchases.

By 2020 we’ll look back with amazement at how we ever survived without our home based 3D printer!

13. Look what we’ve done to our world – 2013 will be an introspective year as we slowly start to turn our attention back to the planet, our place in it and the legacy we want to leave behind.

There is a growing global collective consciousness emerging, fanned by transparency and transported by social media, which is ever so slowly reshaping what is important, to whom and by when.

These issues are far-reaching as we grapple with changing our fuel and energy; reworking how we use our land and water; how we feed, clothe and provide meaningful opportunities to over 7.2 billion global inhabitants; how we make better use of medical breakthroughs and the extended life spans they offer, as well as how we might use technology to reshape our work, lives, families, communities and governments.


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


Radio ABC – FutureTech Segment – 12 March 2010

March 12, 2010

Blogging and great mobile device apps started our discussion this week between ABC Radio Australia’s Phil and Adelaine, guest Danny Gorog and me.

One of Danny’s favourite apps (and mine) is TuneIn Radio a great little paid app that lets you listen to radio from around the world, the other is a fitness related app that uses GPS to track speed, distance and more.

HK3 Hong Kong radio joined our discussion on a wrap up of the CeBit show in Hanover Germany which included 3D hologram cystal balls, new mobile phone designs, features and gizmos including glasses that plug into your mobile device to let you watch movies on the go, dual sim card phones and a whole lot of 3D devices that are springing up on everything technological.

We continued on to chat about future food trends which are moving towards health and nutrition as well as the environment with increasing interest in ancient grains, gluten free beer and organic alcohol all set to rise in popularity.

On line gaming also came up with OnLive, a soon to be launched streaming game provider, talking about knocking off traditional game consoles as the preferred method of on line play.

All this, Google blue dots, word of the week, great conversation and guests made for another busy segment of FutureTech.

Listen to this segment now , or listen each Friday at 12.20 p.m. (Aust EST) and join me on Twitter for in between news and views from the future.


The Weekender – 6PR Radio – Morris’s predictions for 2010

December 27, 2009

2010 is set to be a year pregnant with promise and possibilities, but with some difficulties nevertheless.

Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way. There will certainly be a couple of interest rate hikes (1.5% – 2.0%) over the next 12 months; the Australian economy will for the first time in a couple of years have no large government handouts or stimulus packages, some American and European loans that have a similar bad odour to that of the sub prime interest rate debacle will fall due in the latter half of 2010 and a South Australian, Tasmanian, Victorian and possibly Federal election are all on the horizon. This cocktail will subdue, but not stymie, consumer confidence and the economy.

Next year will definitely continue to see the rise and rise of technology the iPhone, Googles Android and Googles own mobile handsets will storm along with new apps, features and possibilities abounding. This will also be the era that ushers in the notion of apps or software accessories being readily available for hardware and within the next few short years expect every piece of hardware – phones, computers, televisions, cameras, toasters, fridges to come with their own apps store.

3D, virtual and augmented worlds will come into their own and although they will not dominate the online world, yet, they will begin to make their presence felt as we build to a mainstream acceptance of these new rich features. Our expectations soon will be that we receive real time in-situ information about where we are, what and who’s around us and what we can do between here and wherever we are headed.

Although we have chosen to have our devices merge into one, their is an interesting side show happening where a raft of stand alone technologies are emerging – these include e-readers and flip cameras (small high definition video recorders). It will be interesting to see if we take to these devices or prefer the single united divergent technology – my betting is on all for one and one for all; and whilst we’re betting look out for Apple’s next killer piece of hardware the new iSlate tablet PC.

These were some of the predictions Morris and Todd Johnson of Perth’s radio station 6PR discussed this week in their weekly segment. Recorded live 27th December 2009.