What gadgets will we be using in 2015, where will Augmented Reality take us? What about robots, gadgets of the future, super-fast internet speeds, cars, materials of 2015 and much, much more.
The entire set of stories make excellent reading with insights from thought-leaders around the web. Apart from gadgets, there are other posts on what to expect from the semantic web and how we will consume content in 2015. Being in the technology news business, my thoughts were included in What will be the big tech stories in 2015.
I would like to elaborate on my thoughts here. I must say that these ‘predictions’ are nothing but a reflection of my hopes as well as fears. Further, I sent these on 21st March, after which there have been some interesting developments.
Facebook will not become AOL 2.0. To remain competitive, it will be forced to interoperate with other networks.
There has been discussion on this issue time and again on the web. I personally think the web is resilient to any attempts to dominate it in the long term. I also think the team working at Facebook is wise to learn from the past.
Social Networks will no longer be "places" on the web. Instead, your "social graph" will follow you on the web.
- You will control your social graph – choose and add from among different networks – Facebook, Twitter, Google, Windows Live – which will all be interoperable using an open standard. This evolution of social networking will be similar to that of Instant Messaging, where the open XMPP standard became popular, achieving interoperability to an extent.
- Rather than social networks wanting you to visit and spend time on their site, they will compete to become an inseparable part of the time you spend online, whether mobile or desktop.
- The social graph that follows you will help personalize and customize your browsing experience for everything:
- Primary Content on websites – for example, which headlines/articles you see
- Ads – tailored to your social identity and graph
- Search Results
- Which friends of yours are online, shown within your browser
- Reactions/comments from your friends optionally shown for the web page you’re visiting
All the above is pretty self-explanatory. We are already seeing glimpses of this in Facebook chat, Google Sidewiki, and so on. Interestingly, one week after I sent these, there were reports of Facebook planning a “Like” button for any content anywhere on the web, and launching a Meebo-style persistent toolbar. Imagine my reaction when I saw these developments!
Websites will personalize according to your social graph using mechanisms like Facebook Connect, Google Friend Connect, Twitter Following/Followers graph, etc.
This is an ongoing trend I see towards a personalized relevant web. Again, a week afterwards, there were reports of Facebook sharing your profile data with external sites, so that these sites will tailor content for you.
I had also pointed out Facebook Connect being a mechanism for precisely this goal, when I wrote in January about Facebook’s non-portable data-portability. Marshall Kirkpatrick now points it out as well: there’s a big difference between opt-in and opt-out “data portability”.
Anti-trust legislation will be a major threat to Google’s dominance both in US and EU. "Will Google split up?" will be a question discussed in the media.
This is speculation. Google’s expansion into virtually every aspect of technology have already brought it under the scrutiny of anti-trust authorities.
Apple’s mindshare will start to decline. As Steve Jobs approaches retirement, questions will be asked of Apple’s survival.
Two weeks after I sent this, the question of what happens after the iPad and after Steve Jobs has been asked. I have my doubts about Apple’s innovation and competitive capabilities in a post-Jobs era, but would be happy if they’re proved wrong.
Privacy and Anti-Piracy will continue to make headlines.
- On Privacy: We would move to a public-by-default, private by opt-in model.
- On Anti-Piracy: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) will be in place, along with a global version of the DMCA.
These are my fears and they are very real. ACTA negotiations are making progress, and includes a global version of the DMCA. The politicians behind these negotiations may not understand technology and the people who understand the technology are busy writing about other topics that get their blogs more traffic. It’s also a case of those who matter, don’t understand; those who understand, don’t matter.