Well here we are, 2013 has arrived. That means we're only two years off Back to the Future day where we'll be looking flash in our auto lace-up Nikes and zooming around on our hover boards. In fact, you can actually pre-order your hover board now.
Until then, 2013 promises to be another exciting year of lifestyle technology and the plight for deeper brand engagement.
We've picked three to watch out for as 2013 unfolds:
1. A fresher, more nimble Microsoft (hopefully)
2012 was a massive year for Microsoft. The big catch-up: A strategic partnership with Nokia, Surface enters the tablet war, and a completely rethought Windows 8 platform. For momentum, 2012 is definitely a hard act to follow but all this investment has to pay off this year. Microsoft need to show consumers they have something new to offer. Not a me too, but something different. They need to create a compelling ecosystem of software, devices and developers. The more integrated, more disruptive Microsoft must now see the value of moving first and quickly. It has to. If nothing else, the new Xbox 720 games console and entertainment hub should set off some fireworks.
2. Responsive Design: not just for handhelds
Since we posted about the importance of responsive design last year, we've seen more websites and brands using this adaptive, fluid approach to designing web layouts. Popular news media brands, including TIME and USA Today, are using responsive design to distribute content across a wide variety of screens, from desktop computer to smartphone and everything in beween.
This year, we expect responsive web design to flourish. But, it won't only be about scaling down the design from desktop to tablet to handheld. The focus will widen to how websites will scale upward to different types of large displays. You'll start to do more large screen web browsing; be it in your living room, your car dashboard, your boardroom, or even ordering your breakfast off the digital menuboard in your favourite cafe. Brands must be aware of this, and ensure their websites (and apps) are ready for these large-screen opportunities.
3. You tweet your flowerpot to water itself
Ok, maybe not. But something called the 'Internet of things' will wake up more than 99% of physical things that are not yet connected to the internet. This means everyday objects become intelligent and connected. To you, and to each other. This year, the momentum of the 'Internet of things' will kick up another gear and come into our everyday lives. Imagine your smartphone becomes your life remote. You come home after a hard day at work and the ambiance instantly adapts to your personal preferences - the lounge music starts, the lights adjust and the thermostat knows just how you like it. You place your smartphone on your bench and all your saved information (work, photos, videos, media etc) is available from any screen in your home.
As the 'Internet of things' becomes more powerful, our mobile devices will be even more integrated into our digital lives. There will be big moves in the automotive sector, health, consumer electronics and utilities. There is even a Dutch startup, Sparked, which is using wireless sensors on cows. When one is sick or pregnant, it sends a message to the farmer. Each cow transmits 200mb of data per year!
Anything that needs a processor to operate can use a smartphone as the brain. Brands, and marketers, will need to adapt to this new landscape and learn to interact with customers via these mobile remotes. Content should become flexible and smart so it not only gives information but receives it as well, adapting in real time to become more useful.
So, exciting times ahead. What do you think? What other tech trends do you think will shape how brands engage their customers? Share with us in the comments, we'd love to hear from you.Tweet
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