Friday, November 03, 2006

10 Hot Trends

The Innovation Lab is in Denmark and refers to itself as "the Nordic observation post for the technologies of the future." Aside from the interesting trends they identify that I list below, they also have a storytime once a month at the Ã…rhus Public Library (which is, by the way, a very cool site) called "Tales from the Future" which are the free public versions of work they do. They say, "Recent popular topics includes cybersex and digital art."

So, here is IL's "Hotlist" (do they know Michael Stephens?) and I am excerpting so go there and read the whole thing because it's worth it.

These are important things to be thinking about because in one way or another, in lesser and large ways, these will all have a profound impact on libraryland.

1. CUSTOMERMADE When customers and users "infiltrate" the product-development work of companies or organisations and begin to design and create their own products and services.

2. GEO-AWARENESS The filling station knows you're on your way, and – via the navigating system in your car or your mobile – it will send you an offer on the petrol, and at the same time it will advertise the dish of the day in the station's cafeteria.

3. THING CONNECTION Thing Connection is the keystone of the 4A concept – Anytime connection, Anywhere connection, Anything connection – by Anyone. Otherwise known as ”An internet of things” – in other words: when things communicate with each other.

4. VIRTUAL WORLDS Welcome to another reality! Close to 400,000 people have already settled in the virtual world Second Life. Here, BBC has arranged a major concert, and Harvard University has held a conference. There are more alternative digital worlds in the offing…

5. WEB APPLICATIONS - THE NEXT GENERATION The Web, and not the PC, constitutes the new centre of the universe. This entails a shift from software to web-based applications where the overt and the social will come to play an increasingly substantial part.

6. DIGITAL PRODUCT PLACEMENT Digital and virtual advertisement pillars. The digital billboard of the future will be blank space – to be filled in with messages directed at specific target groups. Thus, a major sports event attracting different viewer groups will, simultaneously, be showing ads for the local bakers as well as for an international online bank – and on two different TV stations.

7. WEB VIDEO Show me – see me! At first we had Google in the lead. Then they were overtaken by MySpace. Today they have both been left behind by the video-sharing web site YouTube, which is right now the most visited site in the world. Moving pictures has taken pole position.

8. MIXED REALITY The fusion of digital, virtual and physical products is near. The remote control of tomorrow will juggle the programmes; and, at the smallest flick of your wrist, your new telephone will scroll through the menu – and then it can also be used in a virtual game of table tennis .

9. EXPANDED SEARCH Search engines are becoming more than just a match of words and numbers in a colossal database. More "intelligent", meaningful and automatic searches are starting to gain foothold.

10. HUMANITARIAN TECHNOLOGY Profit-generating technologies and humanitarian aid in one! Too good to be true? Probably – but it's nevertheless a reality. A perspicacious neo-philanthropy is immanent.

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