columnBy Immo Bohm
Concluding article in this series. The Economist pays tribute to Immo's enlightening contributions over many years. He is now based in South Africa as the Operations Director of Vaimo SA.
So - back in the saddle after some hot but good holidays! I hope that you are feeling rested and ready for the challenges of 2013!
One thing about 2013 is that changes in the IT industry will be faster than ever. The new products and technologies that await us will be even more amazing than before. If you are not on the bandwagon to keep up with this yet, the window is closing fast!
So lets have a look at what some of the predictions on the internet as to what we can expect this year.
Ultra HD TV.
Everyone is clear about this one - our TV's will continue to get bigger, clearer, thinner, lighter and smarter.
We will begin to see some households cutting their DSTV subscriptions. It is now possible to stream enough content over the Internet to be able to have enough to watch that you don't need to spend a few hundred Dollars on only a few channels. People will start spending this money on data rather and then consume from gazillions of options that they can access at any time they like.
Ever heard of this? It's an ever more popular way for small companies to raise cash to grow. Find a crowd online where everyone is willing to invest a few bucks, and - voila - you have enough cash to grow your business!
Ever more devices will connect over wireless. More and more cities around the world will offer free wireless services in their cities. I am looking forward to the day where this comes true for us.
Expect more ads and more spam on your mobile devices. Why? Because this is a very neatly focused channel for any advertiser. So plan now already to dunk your mobile device for part of the day. You need to consciously disconnect, at least some of the time.
Many articles I read online nowadays talk of the mobile device, especially the smartphone, evolving more and more into a remote for the person carrying it. It can now open garage doors, switch the lights on and off, water the garden, monitor the dog, find the kid, entertain the kids, alert when your car needs a service, sets the oven etc. The possibilities are limitless.
Virtual device accessories
We have seen holographic displays and infrared virtual keyboards before, but this year should be the year in which they are integrated into the mobile device. Think about your smartphone beaming a virtual keyboard onto the desk in front of you, and you tapping away directly on the wood. Nice!
And then there will be the Phablet... This is going to be a device will full phone capabilities, just like a smartphone, but with a slightly larger screen, more like that of a tablet. So the Phablet is a mix of the two - the Samsung Galaxy Note is an example. Who would have thought we would go back to holding bricks to our ears?
Better Voice assistants
So there is Siri, a constant companion nowadays for many iPhone users (and similar services on other devices). For 2013 the consensus is that these services will improve even more, with clearer speech and easier commands, as well as more functions. Soon no-one should ever be alone again!
So, these are just some of the predictions one finds online. Many of these will come true (or are true already in their early stages) but there will also be a few surprises.
One surprise already here is that I have decided to discontinue this column for some time. My projects are moving into a direction that distances me from much of what I wrote about in the past, and thus I feel that I would not do you justice by not being up to date as I was.
To all my loyal readers, a huge thank you for spending time with my thoughts and ideas once a week. To Daniel and the Economist, a huge Thank You for bringing these thoughts and ideas to you!
All the best for 2013 then!