With the end of 2010 approaching us in few days , it’s a good opportunity to look back and check all that has transpired in the technology space, some of them have arguably made a big impact in our lives. There are no surprises that most of these breakthroughs are related to mobility and it’s based on the need for technology to entertain us and make us productive ‘on the go’. Some of these breakthroughs are innovative technologies that are completely changing the way we do things, but some have been ideas that have been brewing for a while and have taken flight in 2010.
Here is a list of some of the tech products and services which saw most of the action in 2010
1) The Tablet:
The iPad from apple has probably been the most significant and anticipated product introductions of 2010. And now after its tremendous success and appeal to consumers many tech manufactures worth their salt have either launched or launching their own tablet versions. Quite a few non branded android variants have surfaced after the iPad launch, but the most legitimate branded android tablet that has launched after iPad i would say is the Samsung Galaxy tab. In 2011 many more vendors are expected to launch their tablets, to name a few – RIM, Dell, HP, Toshiba, Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Fujitsu. Expect many of these to be across multiple OS & hardware platforms.
Before the launch of the iPad there were many who were not sure if there was a need for a device with a tablet form factor and whose primary purpose was to be used for consumption of content. But a year down we all know that given a good easy to use UI (user interface) and with relevant productivity, utility, social and gaming applications, the tablet is a compelling device option. Users are increasingly becoming social over the web and now tablets also proving to be superior e-reader for digital books, newspapers, and magazines, and a portable Web TV, establishing the tablet as a new category of devices. Depending on which source you follow, the tablet market is estimated to be between 30 million to 45 million units in 2011. I recon there will be lots to talk about the tablet category at end of 2011 as well.
2) Smart Phones:
This segment within mobile phone category has probably seen the most intense competition and innovation in 2010. In 2010 this segment has been estimated to have seen a jump of 55% over last year. One of the biggest gainers in the smart phone OS space this year has been android. [pullquote]Very recently Google’s vice president of engineering mentioned that more than 300 thousand android devices are being activated daily which is testimony to growing popularity of android platform on smart phones.[/pullquote]
Though Nokia is still the leader in smart phone segment, it is apple (iOS) and Google (android) that made the most significant gains in 2010. The note worthy product introductions has been the iphone 4 and Samsung Galaxy S. But the biggest and most surprising launch in this segment was the introduction of the Windows 7 phone from Microsoft boosting more than 10 handset design wins. It may have ‘Windows’ written all over it, but make no mistake, Windows Phone 7 is not the desktop PC experience forced into a hand phone – it is a new , ground-up design suited for the smart phone platform. Having invested more than a billion $ to promote it, and roping in the much-needed apps to support, it looks like Microsoft is finally shaping up to be a serious contender in the smart phone OS arena.
3) Location Based functions:
Geo-location is increasingly becoming a necessary feature for many mobile phone applications. With the advances in GPS technology, increasing popularity of social networks and a need think and act local, there is loads of cool stuff that you do with geo-location functions. Some of social broadcasting apps that have gained popularity in 2010 are Foursquare and Gowalla. The other significant Geo location integration that happened this year was with the launch of facebook ‘Places’.
4) Real-time Search:
Both Google and Bing have arrived at agreements with major social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, Myspace and others for real-time search. Real-time search updates users as things are happening around the Web — some examples like live tweets, Yahoo Answers, news articles and Web pages now stream in on the actual result pages for your query. It also works on the iOS (iphone) and Android mobile platforms. Going forward, it will be interesting on how they combine better real time data with relevance so that users get best of both worlds.
5) Measuring Social influence & Sentiment:
Ever since the advent and popularity of Social media, marketers have searched for answers on measuring reach and influence for their social media efforts. Some developments have been made in this area with availability of tools that measure Social influence. Social influence is considered as the measure of your reputation across the web and is calculated by analysing several factors such as strength of your content, size of your network, your online activity, exposure and visibility of you (or your brand), number of subscribers to your RSS feeds, reactions and retweets and shares that your content receives and so on. Some note worthy mentions of tools that introduced or refurbish in 2010 are Klout, PeerIndex, Grader, Twitalyzer, Social Mention, Radian 6, ScoutLabs etc
This article was written by me for ‘City News – Singapore’ and published in their City News Weekly (edition: 24th to 25th December 2010)