2012 Predictions and Results
Last year, I said that Google would debut a Speech API. They haven’t officially introduced it, but speech recognition is now integrated in Google Chrome and Google Maps, and some have even reverse engineered an API from that. So I was officially wrong, but big steps were taken towards a Google Speech API.
I also predicted that Amazon would post big profits for 2012, partly from Prime but also from their new Kindle Fire devices. Amazon grew in revenue by 29%, but opted to reinvest that profit in keeping the company competitive with their tablets and creating new distribution centers – a smart move in a tough market such as this. I was officially wrong, but on the right track.
My final 2012 predictions were browser versions – I had predicted Chrome would hit #25 (they are at 23), Firefox would hit #21 (they are at 17), and IE would hit #10 (currently 9) but the release preview is out. I was 0 for 3 in these.
My 2013 Predictions
Mobile Devices Overtake PC’s For Internet Traffic
Last year, comScore predicted that in 2014 or 2015 mobile would overtake desktop PC’s for Internet traffic. I’m calling it early – I say it happens this year. Here’s why – everywhere I look, people are buying tablets and smartphones instead of PC’s. In fact, this past Christmas I had to help three family members set up tablets, and these family members had limited exposure to PC’s prior to tablets. The only steady thing driving PC sales are corporate users, which will be difficult to unchain from. When users opt for tablets and smartphones over PC’s – and it hits that close to home – you have to pay attention. It also means that 2013 is the year your website HAS to be mobile-friendly, if not mobile-optimized.
Prediction: By the end of 2013, mobile devices will overtake PC’s for Internet traffic.
ISP’s react to Google Fiber
One of the biggest stories from last year was Google installing gigabit-speed fiber into Kansas City. This was a shot across the bow with traditional ISP’s. As many customers see their own internet bills getting higher without any benefits, and also see reports of how data caps are profit centers for ISP’s, I think that ISP’s will have to build some positive customer experiences in the form of higher bandwidth caps and increasing bandwidth (in fact, one already has).
Prediction: I think the higher data caps and increased bandwidth for users will continue in 2013 as Google continues to pressure ISP’s.
Google Glasses Offered Publicly
Google Glasses were introduced last year (here’s the promo video), and while it’s still in the early stages, it has incredible potential. The one thing it lacks, though, is a killer app. Throughout computing, killer apps have defined adoption rates of technology. Right now, Google Glass is essentially a smarter hands-free smartphone. It needs a killer app, something that you just can’t do with a smartphone – maybe live recording with the option to post-save (think about how many new videos would be uploaded to YouTube). One downside to the project is that it is voice-activated – without an easy way to interact that doesn’t use your voice, this will be cumbersome. Imagine sitting at a dinner with all of your friends, and in typical fashion people interact with their phones. Then imagine it’s now with the Google Glasses and everyone talking, and you can envision the awkwardness.
Prediction: Google Glass is introduced to users, with a price tag of $1000 to $1500, but the adoption rate is incredibly slow.