Technologies that will transform our lives in 2008
Wimax. Asia will lead in 2008, where greenfield operators will deploy Wimax networks in Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Malaysia. Wimax has strong support for end-devices, with Intel and Taiwanese vendors among others, and the spectrum efficiency is superior to 3G. Incumbent wireless operators will still invest in 3G evolutions, as HSDPA, but will be pushed to more compelling end-user offers by competition from new Wimax players.
For many end-users, “broadband on the go” will be a reality in 2008.
IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). IMS enables rich services like Presence, Instant Messaging or intelligent call routing, under the Operator control. With IMS as the obvious choice for Wimax network, 2008 might see initial IMS commercial offerings. Open mobile handsets like iPhone and Android will accelerate the evolution to IMS for incumbent wireless, as these devices enable multimedia applications that Operators will prefer to control.
Android direct impact will be small in 2008, but the indirect impact in the industry is huge, setting the trend to open handsets, and anticipating the power of the innovations that Google can bring.
IPTV keeps steady subscriber growth worldwide, delivering features that are exclusive to IPTV: HDTV, Catch-up TV, TV communication services (SMS, Videoconference and voice) and Interactive TV applications, including Interactive Advertisement.
Mobile TV Broadcast trials will turn into commercial in Europe, following Italy and Finland. DVB-H and DVB-SH are the preferred technologies. Expect many technology trials in 2008. Mass market in 2009.
Internet and Media
Social Networks. New applications will come on top of existing platforms, with attention to Google OpenSocial as an enabler for these new apps. Special emphasis in how to monetize the knowledge provided by social interactions, and translate it into targeted advertisement.
Internet TV. 2007 was the year of Youtube. Content owners are quickly adapting and re-positioning. 2008 will see more content owners embracing YouTube and others as a channel.
Death of DRM for Music, as Amazon recent deal with Warner Music illustrates. Music industry transformation is unstoppable. They will find ways to survive.
Console fight is not over yet. Wii surprised us in 2007, but PS3 and Xbox360 have still more to say as new games fully use their technological powers.
Digital Home. Increasing demand for NAS (Network-Attached Storage) at home. On one side as a back-up for media libraries (pictures, music and videos), but also as an always-on low power server, with BitTorrent support, and a shared storage for the family members personal laptops. On the other had, the battle for the definitive set-top-box / Home Theater PC / Media Center/ Jukebox / Media Extender is far from settled. So far my take is a Mac Mini for HW and LinuxMCE for Software. But 2008 will bring more options and some light.
Linux and Open Source are winning on the Server, but Desktop not occupied yet. 2008 should be the year of the final attach to the desktop by Ubuntu and maybe other partners.
Global warming and others:
In general, the global climate concerns will translate into demand from conscious consumers for lower power consumption, as we already see in Servers moving into Blades and the appearance at home of low power NAS boxes, replacing the desktop PC as always-on home server.
But, wait a minute… what about Robots? Will 2008 bring any news beyond Roomba, Robosapiens and Aibo? Watch out.