Tilting Towards 2011: What Can We Expect?

By Debbie Meltzer

New-Year-2011If only we could be fast motioned to December 31, 2011 and guide our younger self through the vestibules of the coming year. Being steadfastly rooted to the here and now, this flight of fantasy is destined to science fiction. Still, fellow market trendologists and futurists offer provocative outlooks for 2011 and beyond.

I scoured the literature to give you a selection of the expected and unexpected… inevitably some involuntary dribbles of retorts cascaded through.

So here it goes:

Out of the mouths of Silicon Valley’s galaxy of stars including; Robert Scoble, Fast Company, Rob Hof, Business week, Steven Levy, Wired and, Ben Parr, Mashable: What can we expect?

  • From wireless – to – Touchless – controlling media devices – using body gestures to control machines
  • Mobile, mobile and more mobile
  • Artificial intelligence is going mainstream (I wouldn’t hold my breath on this)
  • Google TV –through the Internet in our living rooms
  • Oracle will be make some surprising acquisitions and head for a face off with IBM and HP when they least expect it
  • There is going to be a really big hack – someone is going to take down a power grid or financial system (didn’t the Wiki leaks vigilantes already do so?)
  • Microsoft’s continued cluelessness

From Entrepreneur.com – Starr Hall and Sapient Nitro’s Freddy Laker offer their take on Social Media:

  • Welcome 4G – Higher bandwidth will be in demand, letting marketers get the message out faster with quicker download times
  • Conversation monitoring will grow: Thanks to free service sites like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, aside from Google alerts
  • Presentation platforms like SlideRocket and Prezi integrating  presentation tools with social media and live feeds, will rise
  • Our interaction with search engines will change – Google real-time information from Twitter, blogs and user reviews will rise
  • Content aggregators will be the new demi-gods, bringing method to madness (and make a killing)
  • Ratings everywhere – having a commerce site that doesn’t have user ratings could be a detriment to sales
  • And here’s my take The rise of Social Commerce – Facebook’s new e-commerce concoctions will change online shopping for good

And what about consumer trends? Venture beat share some interesting insights on this one…

  • Pricing Pandemonium: Mobile devices and social networks will let  consumers receive targeted offers at point of sale from rival brands and groups. Brands will target shoppers with instant mobile coupons, discounts and dynamic pricing, based on real-time supply and demand
  • Made for China/emerging economies: Expect an increasing number of ‘Western’ brands to launch new brands dedicated to emerging markets. Levi-Strauss, Apple and BMW already capitalized on it
  • ’Wellthy:’ More consumers will expect health products / services such as mobile health monitoring devices to improve their quality of life, rather than merely treat illnesses
  • Emerging Generosity: Brands from emerging markets, like China will be expected to donate and give, not just sell and take, on a global level
  • Planned Spontaneity: Consumers will sign up to services allowing effortless mass mingling with friends, family, colleagues …. An off shoot: Mobile services that passively and constantly broadcast your location
  • Eco-Superior: Expect a rise in “eco-superior” products that are not only eco-friendly, but superior to polluting incumbents in every way

Some insights into energy and environment – from The Futurist’s 2011 and beyond

  • Electric cars – sure they’re touted to make fossil fuel cars obsolete,  but they won’t cut energy – they will only create more demand for electricity
  • Solar power could come from glitter – from Photovoltaic cells embedded in textiles surfaces the size of glitter
  • As the Arctic melts Europe will freeze (so that explains the current cold snap?)
  • Rising levels of CO2 are benefiting genetically modified crops and weeds. Fast growing invasive weeds could become more troublesome
  • Environmentalists will embrace genetically modified crops as a carbon reduction technology