1. Editable Web technology finds its groove. And it will have a new name.
2. Internet video makes serious inroads into cable/satellite, (already is) – cable networks start offering subscriptions at low cost on a per channel basis allowing you to ‘build your own’ cable network. “IP TVs” – internet-connected TV’s with built in IP “tuners” start filling store shelves. Google looks to take over this space as well by offering up the “tuner” infrastructure (video / network search and streaming). Google will want to make sure that when these TV sets are looking for programming, they’re doing it through them. Perhaps offers the subscription infrastructure for networks / content producers as well. Cable companies begin the mental shift into thinking of themselves as IP pipe suppliers and nothing more.
3. DIME PR sees revenue growth of at least 60%
4. Twitter growth amongst “regular” people remains fairly flat but survivability is ensured by Google Realtime search. Becomes more of an RSS-style feed and spam engine than it already is. Twitter fights back by adding Facebook-like ‘comments’ to tweets to try to make Twitter more ‘conversational’. Google acquisition late in the year or in 2011.
5. Google barcodes start showing up everywhere from restaurant menus to packaged goods in the grocery store. Related: Google Goggles starts to read standard UPC barcodes. Bad news for retailers as consumers begin to use retail outlets just to get a “hands on” look at the product, then use Goggles to find best price and place order online – from inside the store.
On a side note, I seem to remember a company several years back that let consumers ’scan’ UPC barcodes with their home scanners and/or webcams and would connect them relevant content online. Anyone remember who this was?
6. Posterous sees some serious growth.
7. Location based services / advertising comes to prominence.
8. Apple begins online direct-to-consumer sales of unlocked iPhones at full cost but continues marriage to AT&T for retail (subsidized) sales in the US.
9. Google Chrome netbooks with integrated 3/3.5/4G GSM data introduced. All-day / always-on battery life and low price are their selling points. Google licenses Leaf Networks (disclaimer: shameless plug for a past client) technology allowing users to store data on their home Googleboxes (next) for the security conscious.
10. Google starts selling a consumer hardware device called the Googlebox. It does really cool shit. *Least* of which includes replacing your cable box, DVR, NAS, and media center and bringing IP TV to the masses. Expect it on big box store shelves late in 2010 for around $240.
11. Google abandons Wave, realizing it makes things more complicated, not simpler, and it isn’t simply a UI issue. Goes back to the drawing board to figure out how to create “Email 2.0″. E-mail as we know it remains unchanged in 2010.
12. Robert Scoble finally abandons FriendFeed. Twitter Comments and #17 below might be the tipping point
13. Google Phone disappoints, is not the ‘iPhone killer’. Subsequent upgrades to the OS connecting it to your Googlebox, however, give it a second wind late in 2010.
14. Michael Arrington decides it is okay to shake hands when he meets and interviews President Obama.
15. Government regulators begin hearings in late 2010 about breaking up Google, once they realize Google controls everything we hear, see, and read. Doesn’t happen until late 2011.
16. Huge datacenter outage or successful hacking has huge one-day economic impact on the scale of a natural disaster, leaving people wondering if mass migration of data to the cloud was really such a great idea. Might be the tipping point for #15.
17. Twitter lifts 140 character limit, realizing that no one is using SMS to send or receive tweets anymore. Limit becomes “50 words” (a short one or two sentence paragraph) instead of characters.
18. Apple iSlates begin appearing on coffee tables and in backpacks nationwide and people love them. Becomes must have gadget of 2010 if the price is right (about $400-$450 $800 feels ‘right’ to me).
Disclaimer: All of the above predictions are complete and utter mental ramblings on my behalf and I have absolutely zero ‘inside’ information into Google, Apple or any other company, so please don’t go around starting rumors about Googleboxes or anything else contained herein. They only exist in my imagination – for now.
So, you’ve read mine – leave your 2010 tech predictions below!