6a00d8341c3faa53ef0154338f27e3970cIt’s that time of the year again. Where you get to drag your sorry backsides back to work after a three-week break (I’ve been back a week, sadly, but I did wear jandals as a rebellious gesture) and I get to make vague predictions about what this year will bring in the way of technology.

Wearable Tech

Like some kind of guilty secret this will start to take off this year but will be blunted by the fact that it kind of makes you look like a bit of a dick. Let’s be honest, some of the wearable tech is very cool, but it screams “geek”. Look for smaller, cooler wristwatches. Google Glass has a long way to go with its designs getting geekier, and creepier, by the iteration.

No doubt once the geeky facial wear takes off in Wellington we’ll see the bus versus pedestrian hit rate increase by thousands of percent as the technical glitterati wander oblivious into traffic.

Health Paranoia Devices

In keeping with wearable tech expect the level of health paranoia devices to rise this year. Heart rate and blood pressure monitors, diet analysers, stress analysers, exercise automatons, sleep management tools, and a host of other 24X7 health related toys are due to come to market. Interestingly, they’ve found that people who use these tools are generally more stressed and at risk of disease than the rest of us given they live a strange paranoid world wear all metrics are symptomatic of some strange ailment. As we already know, putting symptoms into the mighty interweb always results in a diagnosis of cancer or brain tumour. We don’t need expensive gadgets to find that out.

Encryption and Privacy

Speaking of paranoia. Expect a host of enterprise and personal encryption services to be released this year in response to the NSA and Five Eyes spying scandal. Encrypted VPN’s, messaging, email, txt services, phone calls, at rest data, and more are in the pipeline with consumer Cloud providers likely to throw away your key and let you encrypt naked on their service. Not actually encrypt naked… Though I am sure some of you do.

Balkanization continues

Bad bad bad NSA. Countries will continue to make massive changes this year to their telecommunication and internet infrastructure in an effort to poke the U.S. in the eye and look at stealing their technology business streams. Just this week Amazon has announced presence in Brazil and China most likely as a result of those countries threatening to stop using their services unless they provide a physical installation in their border.

Cloud

Cloud will start to fade this year, dissipate as it were, as the over-excited sugar rush of the last two years wears off. We’ll see a lot more organisations moving to Cloud, but we won’t see the media hype associated with it. Cloud is ICT. ICT is Cloud.

Internet of Things

One of the most hyped technologies of 2013 this will fail to fire. We’re already feeling overloaded with our television, consoles, tablets, and phones cluttering our wireless at home. The chances of us wanting to plug in fridges, toasters, our pets, cars, lights, heating systems, power systems, and anything else we can think of is low. The big tech companies are going to have to work a lot harder on the hype.

Even Smart City tech, again, being pushed by the large ICT corps is likely to stutter. For a couple of reasons a) its expensive and b) most City Councillors struggle to work a rotary dial phone let alone understand the concept of a smart water system.

The Death of Television accelerates

The only reason that SKY still exists in New Zealand is because of greedy foreign contracts that forbid content from being delivered by other means to us, geo-locking. However, as the year goes on more people will switch off SKY and move to on-demand television and movies, certainly as bandwidth caps increase. SKY TV in New Zealand is anywhere up to $100 for a set of static shows while overseas all-you-can-eat models are down around $5 per month.

Chorus Bumbles Along

Speaking of bandwidth. The most entertaining infrastructure company in New Zealand will continue to bumble along this year as competitors race past them hooting and throwing beer bottles with all the best girls in a top down red convertible. This newly fledged dinosaur is going to have to find some mojo this year as uptake rates stay low, rollout stays low, and it comes under intense price pressure. Will it still be around at the end of the year?

Guerilla News Continues to Grow

Large media organisations are struggling with defunct business models and accelerating their death by introducing more and more pay walls for mediocre and lame content. And good riddance, the day that Fairfax collapses will be a mighty day worthy of a large party.

Seriously, alternate news groups are forming rapidly and providing content of an excellent local, regional, national, and international level. Expect these small, agile, tech savvy news warriors to run rings around the old, fat, bloated, greedy, heavy media barons of the twentieth century era.

ICT Organisations increasingly adopt Service Management

In a world where everything is moving to “as a service” ICT organisations must adopt Service Management to keep business operating. Much gnashing of teeth over ITIL is yet to be had but the reality is without some kind of Service oriented model the ICT organisation is doomed to fail. Ex-mainframe engineers everywhere will seek the nearest basement. But it won’t help them.

Anyone under the age of forty will be forced into a family Help Desk role

As the population of older New Zealanders increases at a rapid rate those of us forty and under will be forced into the role of family Help Desk support if we aren’t already. Parents, relations, older aunts and uncles, and the technically illiterate will call us on our land lines more frequently demanding support. Remote access services will rocket in sales.

Flying Cars

Forget it. Never going to happen. Sadly.

Oracle

Larry Ellison will buy three more boats, become increasingly arrogant, grow his beard into a more aggressive form, and continue to charge everyone one million dollars for a license while insisting the Cloud is dead.

Hewlett Packard

In order to pay for her 150,000,000 percent pay increase (seriously) the CEO of HP, Meg Whitman will have to get rid of another 34,000 staff. Oh. Wait. It happened.

Microsoft

Will continue to present themselves as an Enterprise contender. Will quietly sulk when told they are not, writing grumpy blogs.

Amazon

Much like Mr Creosote Amazon, having eaten all the Clouds, is likely to go one step too far, eat one Cloud too many, and explode into a myriad of foggy pieces.

 

 

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