Can you remember a world before the smartphone? Back in 2008, ten years ago, the iPhone was introduced to the world. Since then, everything changed about how we interact with people and how we consume media. Blockchain and Crypto-Currency are just the newest addition to an ever-changing society, the likes of which we haven't seen yet.
You may have already encountered a massive movement of friends and family migrating into new platforms. I currently see this in Germany regarding Instagram. I have been there for a couple of years now, but lately, I see more and more people creating their account. Sure, Facebook is actively pushing people to go there or giving you the power to invite people to the platform, yet the real movement is coming in 2018.
Despite its original cult status, Twitter has lost a lot of gravitas during the emergence of Instagram and Co. and since then struggled to increase its user base significantly. I've grown fond of the service in the last 24 months because it became more and more of an underdog and but I feel the community being a lot tighter and responsive than compared to Facebook - at least I the sense of topics around Hashtags.
Today companies look for influencers, people who have a big online following and work with them to promote their product, service or otherwise. The goal is to maximize conversion and minimize cost per conversion. If your influencer is worth their money, you will find no better ROI in the market right now. Heck, you can even find influencers who love your product, and they will promote it for free if you send them one of your cool phones or stickers or whatever.
I agree that the technology is still in its infancy, and there are still some problems with infrastructure and app store, BUT Amazon delivers a small and smart product that serves as an easy entry into the future voice-dominated world. It is still early and more a gimmick instead of anything real, but to be able to play music, radio, listen to audio books, ordering FMCGs, dim your light and wake you up or simply remember your grocery list, Alexa will develop fast in the next 18 months.
Especially the automotive industry is trying to innovate with new electric vehicles concepts, urban transportation, and autonomous driving, but all those topics are currently just trends and not scalable because there is just no ecosystem to drive this change. I am a bit concerned about the future of "German Engineering" and if we will keep our status, although we are not part of this fast and dynamic new market.
The most recent case of this is the race for the attention of youngsters between 12 - 25 who just love to broadcast every meal and walk to the dentist instantly to their peers and create a personal reality show. The app of the minute is Snapchat. Even though Mark Zuckerberg tried to buy Snapchat a few years back for a few billion dollars, the app remained autarch and grew quickly. Since Facebook cannot own Snapchat, they will simply try to render them replaceable.
Every year I am looking forward to checking out new devices or services in the early stage of the year to test them and see if they are worth keeping over the year. My newest obsession is to get faster from A to B. Especially in a city environment. There were many times in 2016 when I had to wait for the bus, go by foot because there was no train and so on. I have an adversity towards bikes because they get stolen, they are huge and just not practical (for me). Skates are great but you always have to carry around shoes, new socks and they will not fare well when it rains. I always wanted to ride the skateboard but pushing this board all the time with one foot seems strenuous, at least up til now...
Virtual reality is going to be big in the future and it might just be the platform that will substitute the laptop. Today you turn on your laptop and got your desktop with applications ahead. Tomorrow you might wake up and just put on VR glasses and you find yourself in a different reality where everything can be virtually processed and shown to you. Writing an email, fixing a machine, scanning for viruses...
The Nintendo Switch, Nintendo's next entry into the consumer market, is a kick-ass tablet with an innovative controller. While Sony and Microsoft are trying to trump each other in the hardware department, Nintendo keeps ignoring the gaming juggernauts. The new console will not have any high-end graphics power; it might not even reach the PS4, but it will bring an entirely new storm of ideas to the gaming market, just as the Wii did when it came around.
There is a new competition in 2017 of who will have the best and most attractive technology devices. I would love to see something entirely new from Apple, but the new products from Microsoft and the new entries by Google promise a pretty nice year.
So I am curious, what will you want to buy in 2017? Will you upgrade your current gear, will you change your platform entirely?
Gamescom 2016 is over and the last few days were packed with new and exciting technology. First and foremost, Virtual Reality. Last year was just a sneak peak of what was to come. We still have to reach mass market with VR and by the end of this year and Sony's Playstation VR entry, I'm confident the market will get there. If you haven't tried out VR yet, just go get your hands on one of those Google cardboards https://vr.google.com/cardboard/ it's easy, it's cheap and you'll get the idea.