NEWS AND VIEWS FROM THE CONNECTED SET

Convergence: What a difference a year makes

Another great session at South by Southwest this year was by Dan Shust at Resource Interactive, looking at some of the big trends for 2011.  Here’s a quick summary:

Social: The integration of Facebook across platforms via Facebook Connect continues at a relentless pace.  Another major innovation has been the ‘like’ button which only appeared 11 months ago but has already been pressed over a billion times.

Location: SXSW 2010 was all about the battle between Foursquare and Gowalla, but since then Facebook, Google and even Twitter have switched on location features.  There’s an issue though and that is check-in fatigue.  In 2011 expect to see the rise of passive check-in services – things like ShopKick which uses high-frequency sound emitters (mosquito style) in stores like BestBuy and SportsAuthority to check you in.

Audio: which brings us neatly onto the increasing role of audio prompting action in your mobile device.  Just as ShopKick uses sound to determine location, a new generation of Shazaam style services are emerging – like IntoNow and Yahoo Broadcaster Interactivity in the TV space.  If 2010 was the year of the QR code to launch services, 2011 is the year of the audio wave.

Entertainment Everywhere: 2010 was the year of talking about entertainment services across platforms – take Sky Player on XBox, or the ubiquity of iPlayer.  2011 is all about Netflix who are everywhere except Android now.

TV: We’ve seen how the conversation around TV has in many ways started to eclipse TV itself – or at the very least become a major part of the viewing experience.  Up to now much of this experience is via a second screen.  Now the rise of connected TV will increasingly see second screen TV experiences complimented by on-TV interactive experiences that blur the lines between television, web and gaming.

Commerce: This year will see the continuing atomisation of commerce into distributed shopping platforms – Facebook, YouTube, etc.

Life as a Game: Gamification was the big buzzword from SXSW 2011.  Last year saw the rise of services like Foursquare and the continued growth of Nike+, but 2011 will see the application of game principles to even more aspects of everyday life.  These game experiences will be richer than ever before – take EpicMix as a great example of where real world gaming is headed – mixing social, points, status and competition in a really neat way.

Augmented Reality – this time last year XBox Kinect was being whispered about under the code name ‘Project Natal’, and now it’s the hottest console gaming accessory in the market.  As processors improve there will be more and more products in this space – take a look at the video for language translation app Word Lens at the bottom of the post.

iPad – and finally the iPad has been out less than a year but we’re already on version 2 with Android and Blackberry already competing for market share.  So maybe it’s not going to be the saviour of the newspaper industry as some overly-optomistic advocates predicted but we’re still in the early adopter phase of growth and expect more and more innovation and competition in this space.

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