In order to predict our future, sometimes we have to look back our past. We need to know where we’ve come from, to see what future trajectories we might headed toward.The Pew Research Center released a Collection of the 10 Studies that have most appropriately demonstrated the global trends of the last 10 years.
The graphic above shows the changing demographics of the 60 years and where we’re headed for the next 40. They key here, is to see the flattening of demographics, the peaks representing previous population booms seem to smooth out over time to a more homogeneous population age spread.
Have you considered how changes in future demographics and attitudes might affect your project?
Children are among the most savvy of technology users. They’ve grown up surrounded by tablets, smart phones, apps, and the internet as a whole. They are keen observers and willing consumers of the latest, newest, coolest technology. This NY Times article “Toward a Childproof Internet" describes a new round of tech companies who are looking to develop applications specifically aimed at child consumers. For example, Norwegian company Kuddle is looking to introduce an Instagram-like photo sharing application designed specifically for children.
While I’m all for kid friendly technology, I think these new applications raise a larger question, why aren’t companies including use cases for children into their basic design? Instagram should be considering children as one of their primary users and designing filters and content aimed specifically at them. Kids will only continue to be a larger and larger portion of the marketplace. Have you considered how children might use and consume the projects you manage?
You may have been too distracted by the new Apple watch to notice the classic iPod was quietly pulled from stores this week. The iPod touch and iPod shuffle still remain but really, they are quickly going to way of the dodo. Wired wrote a great eulogy to the iPod “On Death and iPods”. The article really captures how amazed we were when the technology was introduced, how quickly it insinuated into our lives as a must have device.
But really its life was destined to be short lived. The introduction of all-in-one devices and cloud technology was the final nail in the coffin of the little workhorse of the aughts.
We all work on projects that are “the newest and coolest” but have we objectively taken a step back to consider what will come next. What will the death of your own project or device look like?
The future of human-machine interaction is wearables. Integrating sensors or smart electronic systems into the things we wear is the new, smart way to interlace ourselves with our gadgets. Discovering new and unique ways to integrate electronics and communicate messages to the wearer efficiently and succinctly is interesting challenge going forward. This device combines the basic functions of a fitness tracker (steps, calories, heart rate, ect) with the basic functions of a smart watch (meeting reminders, call and text alerts, etc). Have you considered how your project might integrate into a wearable?
Tech analysts are already starting to see the trend of movement toward investing in enterprise technology.
Investments into enterprise software companies of all stripes are soaring. The amount of capital invested in these startups has already surged to over $5.4 billion in the first half of 2014. That’s roughly the same amount that enterprise-facing companies raised in the entire year for 2013, according to data from CrunchBase.
The transition to Web 2.0 as an application structure is complete. People are less interested in generating data and more interested in building efficient means to handle data. Words like automation, organization, management, resource optimization are quickly becoming the hottest buzz words. Have you considered how this market shift will affect your projects?
“We found that we could do just as well in predicting flu trends in New York City as we did nationally,” says Mark Dredze, the assistant research professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins who supervised the research. “That’s critical because decisions about what to do during a flu epidemic are largely made at the local level.”
For example, when flu cases are on the rise, hospital administrators must make sure they have enough beds, staff, and medicine to cope. Also, an early alert can lead local health officials to boost efforts to vaccinate healthy residents to help contain the virus.
How have you considered the use of alternate data mining as a primary source in your project?
The cost of memory and bandwidth has declined steeply, meaning “you don’t have to be as efficient,” says Schrage. “You can take shortcuts, design things that are a little inefficient. You can afford to waste the resources of a technology that’s now cheap and the virtual freedom of these technologies means that you can play with all manner of ideas.”
According to research firm Gartner, our smartphones, tablets and “phablets” will utilize cognizant computing — the next step in personal cloud computing — by 2017, rendering them capable of predicting our next move based on what it knows.
The falloff has continued through the first half of this year, with ebooks now showing clear signs of “stagnating” at about 25 percent of the overall U.S. book market, according to Digital Book World: ”Once thought destined to reach 50% or 80% of all book buying and reading in the U.S., ebooks have stalled out on their way up to higher altitude.”