2012 has arrived.While the Internet is buzzing with ways to routines. We had frogs from all disciplines—survive the last year of the world (according to from strategy to engineering—draw from theirthe ancient Mayan Calendar), frogs are thinking passions and expertise to offer their input.of other things that will shape culture this year. Without doubt, 2012 is shaping up to be a yearWe asked frogs from across the globe to share of hyper-connected, highly-personal, ultra-their personal favorite tech trends that’ll crop smart computing that, well, might just skip theup this year and what their impact would be on computer altogether. design, business, entertainment, and our daily
8 Connected Cities by Chief Creative Officer Mark Rolston The modern city is becoming a pointer system, changing how we live. A digital landscape the new URL, for tomorrow’s hybrid digital– overlays our physical world and is expanding physical environment. Todays Facebook will be to offer ever-richer experiences that complemented by tomorrows Placebook. complement, and in emerging cases, replace Explosive innovation and adoption of the physical experience. In the meta–cities of computing, mobile devices, and rich sources of the future, computing isnt just with us; it data are changing the cities in which we live, surrounds us, and it uses the context of our work, and play. Its about us, and how environment to empower us in more natural, computing in the context of our cities is yet powerful ways.
8 Taking Computers Out of Computing by Senior Principal Design Technologist Jared Ficklin, Executive Technology Director Robert Tuttle, and Assistant Vice President Marketing Adam Richardson A new pattern of computing is emerging where assuming voice control, just as touch control is interactions with technology will be now assumed for any screen. However, the conversational. We’ll literally talk to them and spoken word is only a fragment of any they to us. Voice recognition is a key enabler of conversation. Computer vision—especially this. Apple’s Siri is the headliner, of course, but depth sensing cameras—will be able to pick up Ford has been employing Microsoft Sync—which non-verbal cues such as gesturing or body also uses voice control extensively—in its cars language that complete human for a few years. Its being smart about offering communication. When both voice and gesture it not just in its high–end models or Lincoln comprehension are paired, humans will be able premium brand, but in less expensive cars that to address technology naturally, without appeal to younger buyers. Its a great way to command jargon. The tactical steps being get a new generation engaged with the Ford taken in 2012 are to “design the human” as the brand. Voice recognition technology has ﬁnally primary interface device in support of that. hit its tipping point of capability, and the stage is being set for a generation of users to start
8 Quantiﬁed Selves by Creative Director Thomas Sutton We’ll see the launch of open data aggregation construct ever-greater value and insight on top platforms that provide APIs for third party of the data. The smarter the services get, the sensors, front-end applications, and analysis simpler and more valuable their insights will engines. A self-tracking enthusiast will be able become. At a presentation level, I believe we to merge her Fitbit, Jawbone, Zeo, Nike plus, will move beyond the current data and Withings data to see a comprehensive visualization trends towards humanized overview of her health and lifestyle. Driven suggestions that prompt and guide individual initially by a simpliﬁcation beneﬁt, the long- action. term power of this trend will be the ability to
8 The Reductive Social Network: Technology Finally Gets Personal by Vice President of Business Development Nathan Weyer Facebook is not personal. It is social, but it is computing only exacerbates the problem: now evolving into the next iteration of the Internet. my 10,000 digital photos are in the ether, but Today’s technologies, products, and services am I any more emotionally connected with do not adequately serve the human need for them and sharing them with my three closest intimacy and personal connections. The early friends in a meaningful way? 2012 is about days of Facebook and Flickr felt this way, but culling from the terabytes and sharing with the now our social networks and hard drives are single digits. In 2012, product companies will swamped with a deluge of digital data that we deliver new products that begin narrowing the cant process. Our Internet personalities have social circle and capturing intimacy and evolved into ampliﬁed personas that arent authenticity. truly us. The current fervor around cloud
ç Convergence Causing Specialization by Creative Director Michael DiTullo For the past decade we have been seeing a camera and the watch, would rapidly shrivel convergence of multiple pieces of hardware into and die. Instead, I think new technologies will fewer generalist devices. The smart phone is provide opportunities for them to get better. the almost perfect example of the convergent When users do purchase a dedicated device, digital device as Swiss Army knife. It has they are gravitating towards products with absorbed much of the most common use cases higher quality and better design to elevate their for portable devices, like music and video experience. It turns out that the convergent consumption, digital photo and video capture, device is killing the commodity digital product email and calendar, and simple things like time while forcing everything else to improve. This is keeping. I read countless blog posts presenting companies and brands with an proclaiming that dedicated devices, like the opportunity to do what designers love: make
8 Interaction Choreography by Senior Principal Design Technologist Jared Ficklin User interaction with technology is going interaction requires new thinking about above the glass. You no longer need an explicit dexterity, ergonomics, and whether someone tool or even direct manipulation to drive a user might feel silly or offensive with certain interface. With the ability of technology, like gestures. We are so involved in this space right the Microsoft Kinect, to see users’ movements now, that we’ve had to move our design in space, gestures are being added to technologists’ desks to create enough room traditional methods in new layers of for all the hand waving design. interaction. Designing for this new layer of
8 Reputation Enhanced Lending and Trading Becomes Mainstream by Assistant Vice President, Strategy Tim Morey becomes critical. I want to know that you are The recession, coupled with the rise of the so- not a crook, or a thief, or a bad egg. By linking called Collaborative Consumption or Shared person-to-person transactions to social Economy, has the early–adopter community networks, we are reducing the need for cash abuzz with notions of the end of consumption. deposits and other ﬁnancial remedies to the Companies like AirBnB and Zimride that allow bad egg problem. While logging into third people to open their homes or their cars to party websites using your Facebook identity is share or loan for a fee are cited as examples of now commonplace, we are beginning to see new ways of using and exchanging goods and person-to-person exchanges making use of services. But the really interesting trend here is social networks to broker trust. For example, that new forms of trust are being enabled by before you stay at someone’s spare bedroom social networking technology. We all joined via AirBnB, you have to sign in with your Facebook and LinkedIn to stay in touch with proﬁle. I recently rented someone’s house in colleagues and friends, but the upshot of mass Toronto for a few days, and between our adoption is that we can check up on virtually respective social networks we found enough everyone we come across. Individuals who friends, relatives, and colleagues in common have never met or transacted with one another for him to lend me the property with are using social networks to validate each conﬁdence. In 2012, this reputation enhanced other. If you are just selling goods on lending and trading will become mainstream. Craigslist, it doesn’t really matter whether the We will lease, barter, and trade with relative buyer is a good person or a bad one: I take the strangers, banking on their reputation and cash, you take my goods, and you are gone. connections. But if I am renting something to you, trust
8 Base of the Pyramid Mobile Innovation by Strategy Director Ravi Chhatpar Smartphones will make signiﬁcant inroads into stripped down versions of their more an entirely new segment: the lower end of the expensive and feature-packed brethren. mass market and the “base of the pyramid.” However, they’ll be notable for the fact that an Huaweis sub-$100 Android smartphone has eager population will be discovering the world already had signiﬁcant success in Kenya, and of smartphones and apps for the ﬁrst time. major manufacturers are quickly following suit This population is ﬁlled with experimenters, across Africa, India, Southeast Asia, and South tinkerers, and developers who will unleash a America. These smartphones will not be new world of apps that address their own notable for hardware innovations, as theyre needs and pain points—those that have been
8 Digital Discovery in the Physical World by Creative Director Scott Nazarian The experience of the unstructured discovery mixture of Wolfram-Alpha "smarts" and of the physical world is about to get a lot more location–based, contextual intelligence is the interesting in the next few years. 2012 will be (software) basis of all future "smart space.” a year of continuing to focus on the digital and Meanwhile, sensors and actuators of greater material evolution of "search.” Were already acuity may deﬁne new modes of physical and familiar with a few of the functional (software) architectural expression. and representational (media) components involved through the introduction of Siri and Of course this may seem an obvious services such as Gowalla or Four Square. The progression to the Technorati, but for the conﬂuence of complex search and knowledge work-a-day masses soon to be living in so management algorithms, and the growing called smart cities in Asia and elsewhere in the layer of location-based applications, gives rise next decade, the expectations about how such to a highly ﬂuid, seamless integration between integrated "ﬁndability" actually feels are physical and digital contexts. This evolutionary already beginning to be set.
8 Flourishing Commerce in the Post-PC Era by Assistant Vice President of Financial Services, Innovation Strategy Group Toshi Mogi The post-PC channels for commerce have evolving post-PC platforms matures, they will come of age, and consumers will continue expect much more. The post-PC platform to ﬂock to mobile, tablet, smart TVs, and game affords mobility, portability, payment console platforms to conduct their business. capabilities, video and collaboration, location Financial services ﬁrms would ﬁnd it wise to awareness, natural language processing, ready themselves for this dramatic change in gestures, and so on. Clever ﬁrms will wield this customer behaviors and expectations. We will fresh and evolving palette to craft engaging likely see ﬁrms convert their successful web experiences in the real and virtual worlds. The experience to a more streamlined mobile and aim will be to drive customer delight, loyalty, tablet capability, in particular. But as and engagement. consumers experiences with these rapidly
8 The Age of the Algorithm by Senior Principal Design Technologist Jared Ficklin We live in the App Age and are entering new territory. The sexy math behind voice or facial recognition, real time translation, or even just assembly of a playlist of music, is no longer the realm of super computers or even desktops. Smart phones will run algorithms, and the data to feed them will also be more ﬂuidly available. Forget Global Warming models: Consumers will pay good money for an algorithm that gathers data and solves everyday problems.
8 Biomimicry by Consulting Editor Reena Jana In 2012, well see increasing numbers of have come up with ways of harvesting water scientists, technologists, architects, from fog, for example, or possess sleek forms corporations, and even governments looking to that are more aerodynamic than traditional biomimicry—designing objects and systems man-made ones. While bio-mimicry has been based on or inspired by patterns in nature—as an emerging ﬁeld for some time, in 2012 an efficient innovation strategy. Why? Often, inﬂuential thinkers will begin to apply nature can provide examples of energy-saving, biomimetic principles on a larger scale, environmentally-friendly solutions to a variety including the planning of new cities and the of technological challenges. These solutions updating of urban infrastructures. In addition, have also been "tested" via billions of years of experts will also begin exploring the pitfalls of informal R&D—by animals, plants, insects, and biomimicry and will also share best other participants in the natural world who practices, as more case studies are available.
8 Reign in the Clouds! by Senior Vice President, Engineering Mark VandenBrink and Executive Strategy Director Abby Godee Were rapidly moving into a technology space making that data comprehensible to the where mobility is becoming less about a set of consumer is key. The question has never really devices, and more about the pervasive mist of been “is this possible?” but rather “when will data that we all generate with every interaction we have an ecosystem of compelling and on the Internet. Managing, securing, and useful devices and services that will integrate understanding this data will play a huge part in seamlessly into people’s lives?” We think that technology over the next few years. Moreover, time is ﬁnally arriving in 2012.
8 Remote Collaboration by Executive Creative Director Holger Hampf When you work in a context where regular from a high-def experience that we may want interaction via audio and video between to reconsider sending a smoke signal. Make no multiple locations is a necessary part of your mistake, technology is moving fast, as shown daily activities, you might have experienced by the popularity of Skyping with friends and great frustration as of late. With the demand family across continents. Unfortunately, the for more connectivity everyday, between both truth is that most of our conversations across people and places, it feels like technology is distances are far from perfect and no fun at all. far behind in addressing the need to work We need creative collaboration between design efficiently and with the same "directness" of and technology to rethink these experiences so talking to a person in the same room. Dropped that they are more fulﬁlling and "direct" calls, poor reception, and interrupted video activities in our lives. streams are the standard. We are so far away
8 Re-Shape: Humans Are Analogue by frog Founder Hartmut Esslinger The way of design is only achievable via mediocrity and a loss of creative excellence. creative model-making and prototyping by the Like the new “polystyrene slates” of many new designer. Tools, both real and virtual, connect electronic products, where excellence is our mind with the real world. However, tools deﬁned by how well the corners are shaped (a also deﬁne how we shape things: tools’ re-run of 1950‘s boxy design), our modern- limitations enhance our deep involvement with day digital design software is the cause for them and the materials, and honing our skills zillions of repetitive and bland products. ultimately leads to mastership. The curse of Charlie Chaplin’s classic film of mechanized “easy” digital tools is to become complacent dehumanization, Modern Times, is a déjà vu of after relative early “successes.” This can lead to our current state.