Real time communications are increasingly seeping into our world and the era of ubiquitous web is upon us. Twitter allows us to disseminate comments and links at the speed of bits, creating a whole new way of discovering information. Facebook keeps friends and family updated with the latest thoughts and images from our life. Yes, even the use of email is changing. We still send emails and that will not change for a while, but how many times do you engage in an “instant email” conversation with a friend or co-worker.
This begs the question: What will we be using tomorrow? What new types of technologies will disrupt new industries to create unthought ways in which we will use the our devices? Here is my quick thinking on four emerging ideas as I gaze into the web tonight.
Real Time Local Information Platform
Imagine a twitter like experience, including relevant informational updates from around your local city/town/village, from people and places you chose to stay connected to, delivered to your mobile device in real time. This will happen sooner than you think… Some might say “well Nick, that sounds a lot like Twitter, I don’t believe another platform will replace Twitter.” Great, me neither.
I think Twitter will continue to grow and mature into a different set of protocols and essentially replace certain information hubs we still use today. But Twitter cannot be ubiquitous worldwide and at the same time incredibly strong on a local level. What I think will be different is exactly how the “local” community uses technology to disseminate information. I am hedging my bet on it not being Twitter proper as we use it today. I believe a new player will emerge with specific value propositions set for the local merchant/community/consumer.
Social Search and Discovery
I have written extensively on the concept of Social Search, you can find them here on Business Insider. My main theory is around the fact that in the not-so-distant future we will discover and find relevant information not from a traditional Google search but from leveraging our network of contacts. Think about how much information your network of twitter followers, Facebook friends, and linkedIn contacts interact with on a daily basis. I believe new platforms will be built to collect, organize and disseminate this information to you exactly when you need it. No more 10 links per page with 1,000,000 results crap. If you think about it, why do search engines even tell you about a million results anyway? That doesn’t mean anything to us as users. Whatever…. My point is the forefront of social search and discovery will come from some surpassing players, no doubt.
In less than 5 years, there is no doubt your commercial experience – especially around your local community – will be tremendously different than it is today. Paying with cash… gone. Calling in an order on the phone… forget it, so last century. Waiting in lines to be seated… a thing of the past. Being called Sir or Madam from the restaurant owner…. probably not any more when they now can identify you. With the use of new mobile commerce technologies, all this will be unified within a local commercial network, encompassing orders, payments, communications, social sharing opportunities, offers, marketing messages, etc… and all this will be personalized to the individual so no two people have the same experience. It will be amazing and all driven through your mobile device of choice. Someone should be work on this…
What if cars could talk? No, not to us… to each other. Web enabled cars will fundamentally transform our world. I am not referring to cars having internet screens in them, which some do today and will in the future as a standard feature. More specifically, Google is not too crazy to be working on a self driving car. If an automobile is connected to the web and in constant communications with all the other “devices” on the grid, theoretically there shouldn’t be any more accidents or fatalities due to automobiles. Each car would travel at a certain speed, maintain a certain distance from another, roll along on a set route and never veer from the predetermined destination. It will be transportation 2.0. I believe that day is not too far off the radar and would be a great time to invent or invest in this area.
These are just a few of the things I thought of tonight when I asked myself… man, if Facebook and Twitter are today, what is tomorrow?