Which 2012 Trend Predictions Came True?
Reflecting on Technology in 2012
As the year draws to close, we reflect on this past year. 2012 has been an interesting year for technology. In retrospection, we came across this video, where Vivek Wadhwa, a business researcher, author, and entrepreneur, predicts the trends of 2012 for Bloomberg.
At the end of 2011, he predicted the following trends for 2012 in technology.
- A Major Cloud Security Breach
- Mainstream Adoption of Voice Recognition
- Explosive Growth of Tablets
- Bubble Burst for Technology IPO’s
- Bubble Burst for Social Media
Bubble Burst for Social Media
His Prediction: Wadhwa recognized that Facebook had become a platform in and of itself, like the internet. In the early 2000’s, the internet bubble burst, and thus came the dot com crash. He predicted that social media wouldn’t die, but rather, it would evolve to become ubiquitous and commonplace. He cited slowing usage and revenue that isn’t meeting projections.
Reality: The bubble hasn’t burst, rather it seems to have grown. 2012 brought the Facebook IPO, the creation (and subsequent purchase by Facebook) of Instagram, and innumerable other social media platforms. It appears that Mr. Wadhwa may have looked too far into the future.
Bubble Burst for Technology IPO’s
His Prediction: Wadhwa also called for a burst of the technology IPO. Throughout 2011, there were several high profile technology based IPO’s, such as Pandora, LinkedIn, Zillow, and Groupon. He anticipated that these companies would rise and fall throughout the course of the year.
Reality: Throughout 2012, of the four companies mentioned, LinkedIn was the only company to survive the year with a growth in its stock price. Many companies, like Facebook, were overvalued at the start of their IPO.
Explosive Growth of Tablets
His Prediction: Not only will tablets take over the world, countries (besides China) will subsidize tablets. Universities will give them away for free. They will be at our tables in restaurants. And most importantly, the tablets of 2012 will cost around $100.
Reality: Tablets have evolved greatly since their inception (for more information on the history of tablets, check out this infographic). While the tablet trend has not necessarily exploded the way Wadhwa may have predicted, the tablet market certainly has grown. 2012 attracted Apple, Google, Samsung, Amazon, and Microsoft to the tablet table. Apple upped its ante with the iPad 3, iPad 4, and the iPad mini. Google fired back with the Nexus 7 and 10. Samsung, while the least vocal of the major players, has created a different kind of tablet allowing for multiple apps to run simultaneously. After the release of the first Kindle Fire in late 2011, Amazon expanded its Kindle eReader to mirror the tablet trend with its Kindle Fire HD. The average price is still in the mid $200’s. And to Mr. Wadhwa’s credit, many restaurants are employing tablet technology such as E La Carte to be utilized a POS system.
Mainstream Voice Recognition
His Prediction: With the adoption of Siri by Apple, the world will see more voice recognition, and the technology will only improve with each software update. Wadhwa anticipated that because Apple embraced this technology, the market would follow. 2012 would be the year that our technology would talk back, a la Star Trek.
Reality: Outside of Apple, many mobile devices have adopted voice recognition. The Android operating system has similarly implemented voice technology. The technology is well suited for mobile devices. While voice recognition software continues to be developed and used, we are still a long way from talking to our technology with ease and frequency.
His Prediction: Because the prices of hardware and connectivity have dropped, the market has trended toward the cloud. Cloud computing allows organizations massive amounts of storage and functionality at a lower cost than previously allowed. But the rapid adoption of cloud technology comes security risks. China continues to hack the United States. The technology evolves at a faster rate that fiber security. Wadhwa doesn’t foresee the major security breach occurring in 2012, per se. Rather, he predicts that sometime in the future we will see a major security issue pertaining to the cloud.
Reality: While there were several cloud breaches like that of Dropbox and Apple’s iCloud, the industry still continues to grow, even if the term “cloud” remains a mystery to many. However, 2012 was definitely not without downtime for companies such as Amazon. It will be interesting to see what 2013 may bring to the cloud industry.
Hindsight may be twenty-twenty, but we tip our hat to Wadhwa. He made some accurate predictions. What trends did you see across 2012? Do you agree with our assessment of Wadhwa’s predictions?