DownsamplingThe Onion hit it spot
on when they joked that 90% of our Little Printer skims headlines from your online feeds andwaking lives are spent staring at glowing rectangles. Along spits them out as a low-fi ticker tape for your bedside. Ro-with more screens in our lives, the volume and intensity botify.me creates a personalized avatar that morphs basedof information that has been passing through those rect- on the quantity, quality, and content of your aggregatedangles has also been increasing—more widgets, more social media activity. And the lovably crude, etch-a-sketch-animations, more feeds, more dimensions, more data. In esque PopSlate case uses e-ink to display simplified con-2013 we see a counteractive trend towards digital abstrac- tent pulled from your smartphone. In 2013 look for tech-tions, a compressive reduction of dense information sets nology that pares down functionality and operates at theinto radically simplified communications and visualizations. edge, rather than the center of your attention.
FoodismFood has replaced art as
high culture. We pay top dollar In 2013, specialized products, processes and mobile ap-for the local, the organic, the socially sustainable. We de- plications will catalyze new levels of culinary geekiness.bate the finer points of terroir. We take pictures of our food Look for more hyper-specialization, more difference, moreand ogle the glistening food porn provided by Epicurious unique combinations of foods. In the home, look for con-and Evernote Food. Whole Foods and other premium food tinued professional aspiration and more high-tech tools instores are expanding at a breakneck rate. the kitchen as enhanced measurement, timing, and sens- ing become standard components of cooktops and coun- tertops.
Quantifed Ambition“How to win friends
and influence” has been the mantra of people. With widespread public health problems stemminggo-getters since Dale Carnegie’s influential 1937 book. In from poor nutrition and exercise habits, consumer technol-2013 it’s all about data-driven, quantified goal setting and ogies like Nike’s Fuelband, Jawbone, and Wii and Kinectachievement. How popular and influential are you? Ap- games are also becoming key tools for lifestyle change andplications like Klout and Traakr assign you an ‘Influencer improved personal fitness. In 2013, a spirit of ‘gamification’Score’ based on your social media presence. How effec- will make measuring, analyzing, and optimizing your habitstive are your communication habits? Use Google’s new and behaviors funner than ever.email analytics tool to see how long you take to respond to
Augmented DialogueMobile tech has already
stepped in to help us to search Can’t remember the name of that celebrity? Speech-recog-and discover, to navigate, to buy stuff. In 2013 look for nition apps like Mindmeld listen to your conversations andapp-assisted conversations. Missing social cues? Don’t recommend related info and content in realtime. Googleknow what to say, where to stand, or when to look away? wants to join the party too, not crash it, with plans to useSmartphones will help you to navigate the unstable terrain voice and gestural inputs to make it easier to look up factsof interpersonal dialogue. without disturbing dinner table etiquette. In 2013 we’re going to continue to get less attentive and even more awk- ward, with mobile tech taking up the slack.
Sensory BandwidthIn 2012, a rise
in texting-while-walking accidents highlight- feeds from the web. But the auditory channel isn’t the onlyed the absurd perils of mobile computing. We’re increas- sensory channel with available bandwidth. Vibration andingly tapping into sensory reserves to juggle the virtual sense of touch is also being explored, particularly as a wayworld and the real world at the same time. Voice control, of getting navigation directions while walking or biking, orwith its potential to free up screen-strained eyes, surged getting tactile caller ID information without looking at thein 2012 with Apple’s integration of Siri in iOS5, and has phone. In 2013 look for non-visual interfaces, especiallybeen rolled out in many mobile phones, TVs, and in-vehicle those invented for people with disability, to gain wide-systems. Audio outputs are growing too, especially for spread traction as tools for mobile computing.use in the car, with services like Aha Radio that read aloud
Agile EconomiesIn 2012 we saw
a growing tension emerging between back against the rising tide of gourmet food trucks thatthe static, stable, tax-paying substructure of urban busi- siphon away customers without paying taxes. Even thenesses, and the networks of mobile opportunists that public street is being monetized, as companies like Parkingexploit its legal and spatial margins. Big cities draw a fairly Auction try to help drivers auction high-demand parkingfirm distinction between a house and a hotel, but Airbnb’s spaces before leaving. In 2013 we see even more granularentire business is based on obscuring that line, angering capitalization of the public sphere, as open space and freehoteliers and local residents. Restaurants too are fighting time are put to work through innovative service ecologies.
Faceted VideoIn the vast intermeshed
soup of hyperlinked internet con- reenactments and other cool stuff, has officially been ver-tent, videos are the big, irreducible meaty chunks—heavy bed by the Oxford dictionary. Iphone apps like Cinema-to move around, impenetrable to search, clumsily bracket- gram and Flixel have popularized the image-video hybrid,ed off by pause and play buttons, and still relatively hard to or cinemagraph format. And as speech-to-text and audiospread, embed, and remix. In 2013, look for new ways of recognition technologies like Shazam for TV and Google’sbreaking down, chopping up, and sharing video content. auto closed-captioning continue to advance, in 2013 we can also expect greater video searchability as well as moreKey indicators? The GIF, reemerged from its 1980’s cryos- ways to link video to the rest of the web.tasis as the format of choice for spreading Gangnam Style
RetroFuturismAs the objects of consumer
technology literally disappear pixel iPhone snaps. In fashion, the industrial neon futurismfrom our lives, becoming thinner, lighter, more invisible, of Prada’s fall 2012 lookbook. And in music, from 8-bitand more seamlessly integrated, we have seen a resurgent Chiptune soundscapes to ubiquitous Autotune, to 90’s-erainterest, even a nostalgia for the artifacts of technologi- 808 drum kits, Pop and Electronic continued to aestheti-cal physicality. But we don’t actually want the clunky old cize the tools of digital production to break the artifice ofthings. We want it both ways. acoustic seamless. In 2013, look for product design to join the arts in this anterior gaze, as the history of technologyIn 2012 we saw the explosion of Instagram, offering becomes as important as its future.1970s-era film patina instantly layered onto your 8 mega-