What Technologies Will Have Major Impact In the Next 5 Years?

During the lightning talk session at DevCamp #dcc1, I asked the audience to predict “What Technologies Will Have Major Imact in the Next 5 Years”. Here are some answers (in no particular order):

1. Google Wave

2. HTML5 and CSS

3. iPad like devices, interactive books

4. Windows 7 Phone

5. Mobile Applications

6. Mobile Commerce

7. Augmented Reality

Add to this list if your favorite one is not here.

Added four more from Satya (see comments)

8. Small Business applications (services)

9.  Human-Machine Interaction space

10. Online Gaming. (Virtual Reality)

11.  Social Applications

Innovation Trends

It takes a while for technology innovation to start appearing in business. Awareness of  innovation starts with a few fringe users/early adopters. It then starts growing and then moving main stream. The stock market analysts start looking at these innovations when they start showing up in revenue streams.

So following Weak Signals and Micro Trends is a great way to participate. How do you validate these trends? Look for supporting trends (in hiring from large companies, information propagation first through social media and then through print media).

Nice to see that Innovation is back and getting some attention.

Mary Meeker: Innovation is Back http://bit.ly/bFl5Pu #techtrends #innovationtrends

A few thoughts about these Innovation trends.

  1. Will smart phones become the norm for power users and businesses?
  2. Search is the largest mobile application and the king is now Google. We may see others jumping into this space. There is an interesting twist. During iPhone 4.0 launch, while the default search engine was Google, the press demos were all in Bing. Is Microsoft entering the search space  through mobile? Will Apple have their own search?
  3. Will HTML5 based Web applications take market share from App Stores? What are the new tools and opportunities in this space for smaller developers?
  4. Will most of the Mobile Apps require Cloud Support? Who will benefit if this becomes a big trend?
  5. What kind of innovations are happening in Mobile Apps for Enterprise? When will this become a mainstream market?
  6. If you are a product company, would you start dipping your toes in this space? What will be the business models? Can you start generating revenues now?

Simple Innovations: Cell phone applications

A typical example of an uncommon use of common devices – innovation at its best. Here is how Cell phones are used to track air pollutions.

Computer scientists in Cambridge, UK, are using bike couriers to monitor air pollution. These couriers are doing their usual jobs, but their bicycles are equipped with air-pollution sensors and GPS units that connect to their cellphones via Bluetooth. So their phones are constantly reporting the levels of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and nitrogen dioxide in the area. And back in the lab, servers are updating a Google map for Internet users and regular cellphone users. The sensors used for this project could also be fixed to a pedestrian’s jacket, which means that everybody in the area could become a pollution tracker.

In this depressing world of  conflict and chaos, it is nice to hear about innovative minds at work. The original project website is here.

The project will develop and demonstrate the potential of diverse, low cost sensors to provide data for the planning, management and control of the environmental impacts of transport activity at urban, regional and national level. This includes their implementation on vehicles and people to act as mobile, real-time environmental probes, sensing transport and non-transport related pollutants and hazards.

Thanks to Roland Piquepaille  who runs a column on “How tech trends affect our lives”