2009 – Brave New World?

I have been listening very hard to the technology predictions for 2009 and of course looking closely at the consumer end of that at last weeks’ CES in Las Vegas.  In equal parts I am excited and disappointed, that’s because there is a lot of technology innovation coming but most of it will not be “computer” based. 

As my good friend Mark Anderson points out all the excitement is for the new class of application development – the smart phone.  It has been a long time since there has been so much choice of innovative software on multiple platforms at pocket money prices.  I hope the software giants are watching as gargantuan software and development life cycles are leapfrogged into oblivion.  For me a CES highlight was watching people do the “expand” thing (think iphone with finger and thumb) but with two fists (think Charles Atlas and chest expanders) for the TV platform hand gesture interface  GestureTek.

 I also expect cloud to envelop us all encouraging another class of user away from another major cash cow for hardware and software giants alike.  In that respect hats off to people like my friend and past co-worker Andy Mullholand, global CTO over at CapGemini who embraced Google’s Software as A Service model from the very beginning.

Major moves too in the consumer electronics “platform” where many of the traditional network, Internet and computing giants are bringing their in home solutions forwards (Yahoo widgets in TV sets for example, or Cisco’s media and entertainment  content hosting service Eos).  Those of you who know me will remember my predictions for this integration back at the end of the last century.  It just took a little time to arrive, spurred on (dare I say) by an urgent need to reinvent ones-self on light of an economic downturn.

Wherever 2009 takes us I am confident that now is a time of great change and of great opportunity for bright, agile companies who can innovate and react at a pace that these new opportunities demand. A year in which the story of David and Goliath will be told many times.


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