Tag Archives: Siri

Ten Tech Trends for Your 2012 New Year’s Resolutions List

Article first published as Ten Tech Trends for Your 2012 New Year’s Resolutions List on Technorati

BabyNewYearOne of the most exciting things about working in tech is using it to create new ways to work, play—and even live. We have seen many great technology innovations develop over the past few years. Over 2012, ten of them will complete the jump from “new concept” to “mainstream trend.” How many of them are your ready for?

1. Everything Will Be Portable. The move to portable computing (smartphones, tablets and ultrabooks) will accelerate. Thick laptops and—even worse—desktops will be a relic of the past (except for those with high-power computing needs). If you are not yet mobile- and portable-ready, you better get there very soon.

2. Augmented Reality Will Go Mainstream. Augmented Reality (AR) is no longer a science fiction concept. Smartphones and (especially) tablets are mass-market platforms for everyday augmented reality. We are already seeing the first applications at Tech Meetups, CES and more. At least three innovators will exploit this, gaining mainstream adoption, by the end of 2012.

3. Touch Will Be Ubiquitous. Over the past five years, capacitive touch interfaces have re-programmed how millions of us interact with technology. As more devices are now sold today with touch than without, it is time to begin optimizing your user interface and user experience for touch (instead of a two-button mouse and keyboard).

4. Voice Will Be Next. While the intuitiveness of touch is a leapfrog improvement over mouse-and-keyboard, it still ties up our hands. Voice-based interaction is where we need to go. Apple’s Siri began the move of voice-driven interaction into the mainstream. This year, we’ll see SDKs for iOS and Android that harness the creativity of thousands to explode use of voice.

5. Fat Will Be the New Thin. Over a decade ago, broadband Internet enabled browsers to replace thick client applications. Now, portable computing usage across low power, lossy networks (e.g., mobile, WiFi, Bluetooth) coupled with AppStore Model has brought locally installed apps back in vogue. Building web apps is not enough; you need AppStore apps too.

6. Location-based Privacy Will Be Solved. Over the last two years location-based services became really hot. Unfortunately location-related privacy issues became hot too. The move of these services into mainstream populations of tens of millions will expand anecdotal security scares into weekly news stories, forcing adoption of safer location-based privacy policies.

7. Cloud Will Be the New Norm. Cloud computing is no longer an “edge market.” It is now adopted by big enterprises, public sector agencies—and even consumer tech providers. The cost, convenience and flexibility advantages of cloud computing will make it too hard for everyone not to use—everyday—by the end of this year.

8. …So Will Twitter. While people still love to debate the reasons to use Twitter, everything from the Arab Spring to the Charlie Sheen Meltdown showed that Twitter is now a well-recognized media channel. #Election2012 will accelerate mainstream use of Twitter—with the same overwhelming intensity we have seen for years in “traditional” campaign advertising.

9. ‘Consumerization of IT’ Planned and Budgeted. Consumer tech has become so sophisticated (without sacrificing ease-of-use and intuitiveness) that we began last year to demand its use in the enterprise. 2012—the first year in which most enterprise budgets include planned projects to support the consumerization of IT—will both accelerate and “lock in” this new tech trend.

10. 2012 Will Be Declared the Begin of “The ‘Big Data’ Era.” This year we will see another 40% increase in data we need to manage. This growth, coupled with recent releases of enterprise-ready high-scale NoSQL products will begin adoption of this tech by the entire industry. Looking back, 2012 will represent the start of the global, cross-industry Big Data era.

If you haven’t started embracing these already, now is a great time to add them to your “2012 Technology New Year’s Resolution List.” Sponsor a few pilot projects in your enterprise. Buy one or two Post-CES products to help you work more efficiently at the office. Or—if you want to include the whole family—buy one to use while you shop online, watch TV or manage your household.

Want To Know What The Next Generation of Apps Will Be Like? Talk to Siri

Article first published as Want To Know What The Next Generation of Apps Will Be Like? Talk to Siri on Technorati.

A lot of people asked me why I upgraded to the iPhone 4S. The reason I gave—before I upgraded—was to get its new 8-megapixel camera. However, the reason I would now give—after I upgraded—is to get Siri.

jane-jetson-280pxwIt is really easy to think of Siri as a “toy”, something that lets you perform a few simple “parlor tricks” with your voice (instead of you fingers). It’s not. In reality, Siri a huge step forward into the world of the next generation of Post-PC Era interface. I know, this statement sounds a little overblown and buzz-wordy. However, it’s rather clear if you step back and look at the trends in computing that have developed since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007:

The iPhone: Life Is Integrated

While the iPhone was not the first integrated smartphone (or even the first capacitive touch phone), it was the first smartphone that made integration “of everything” easy and intuitive. You could manage your phone calls, contact lists, texting, email, web browsing, navigation, picture and photo albums in one simple, intuitive device—using the best tool known to man: your fingers. Better yet, the iPhone recognized that life always offers new opportunities. It enabled you to add new capabilities (i.e., Apps) created by others just as easily as you would add songs to your music library.

The changes since the iPhone’s introduction have been enormous. Smartphone growth since 2007 has outpaced growth of the Internet, TV or radio. Capacitive touch interfaces are now mainstream (well beyond iOS). App Stores are not just exploding, they are becoming the mainstream way to get software.

The iPad: Life Is Beyond the PC

This success of the iPhone paved the way to the iPad, the first mainstream market capacitive touch tablet. While many tablets were launched before the iPad, none of them became “must have” ubiquitous devices. The impact of the iPad has been even larger than that of the iPhone. It has heralded talk of a new Post-PC Era. It had grown even faster than iPad. Competitors have released over 100 products—in less than two years—to compete with it. A whole new generation of touch-based apps have been created to tap this grow, from industries as diverse as startups to old media to medicine.

However, the iPad has not quite “closed the door” on PCs yet. The “$64‑Billion Question” I always hear is, “iPads are great, but people are going to still need to enter text. How will they do that without a real keyboard?” Yes, tablets are “re-wiring” how we interact with “information devices” (f.k.a. PCs). Yes, many creative apps have shown that tablets can be used to create content in ways that keyboards cannot. Nevertheless, these techniques have still not yet answered the $64‑Billion Question. Now, Siri provides the answer.

Siri: Life Doesn’t Need a Keyboard

What iPhone did for smartphones, Siri will do for voice-based recognition and interaction. It is the first application that makes integrated voice interaction with multiple applications (phone, texting, pictures, email, web, picture and music album management) easy and finger-free (touch screen- and keyboard- free). The idea of being able to replace what you did with your hands with your voice is no longer a concept—it is real. Ellis Hamburger of Business Insider recently wrote how surprisingly much this changes your entire way of interacting with information devices, after just two weeks of use.

However, this is just the beginning of much more to come. The introduction of Siri to the (“not a major upgrade,” “limited market”) iPhone 4S triggers two important steps. First, it begins “training early adopters” in voice-driven interaction (while simultaneously creating “buzz” for everyone else). Second, it gives Apple valuable data needed to fully achieve a best-in-class voice-driven usability experience on a much broader scale in “major” product releases.

From, here we will see five things to come—by the end of 2012:

1. Massively Expanded Siri on iPad 3. Apple will launch a massively expanded version of Siri on the iPad 3, drawing upon its much bigger screen and integration with your home or office. Imagine people able to dictate documents, letters, etc. with nice formatting, watching the screen type faster than you can. Imagine extending this music, video, family photo albums, controls for your home, etc.

2. New Siri SDK for iOS. In combination with release of the iPad 3 (or iPhone 5), Apple will release a SDK to enable all developers (not just a select few partners) to build voice interactive applications on the iPhone, iPad, and (maybe) Apple TV. This will create an…

3. Explosion of New Voice-driven Apps. Just as the iPhone and iPad app stores created an explosion of mobile- and touch-based Apps, the Siri SDK will do the same for voice-driven applications. This creativity will yield more ideas that any one company or person could conceive of on their own.

4. Renewed Innovation from the Competition. The millions of people downloading voice-driven apps for their iPhones and iPads will be too attractive a market for competitors to ignore. They will develop voice-driven applications, SDKs and markets of their own. Google will be a major player (given their work in voice-driven search) ensuring the “iOS vs. Android” fight continues its intensity.

5. Smartphones Will Improve Microphone Quality. Human beings are (for now) much better at understanding speech than computers are. We are all now trained to “fill in the gaps” of things we cannot hear on poor-quality mobile phone calls. Voice-driven computer apps are going to take a long time to catch up. As a result, Apple, Google and Microsoft will drive handset providers to improve microphone clarity—making smartphones better for all.

By 2013, new applications will look (and sound) very little like they do today (let alone how they did in 2007). Of course the challenge at this point will be figuring out how can we all hear ourselves over everyone talking to his or her devices. I’m sure someone will figure out an app for that.