looking back & looking forward...

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all. All of us here at Envision, like you I am sure, are hoping for a much improved 2012.

As I sit here writing my first post of 2012, I am drawn, like so many others, to look back at the past year and to look forward to the next. With so much to consider, professionally and personally, that could take some time and consume a small novel. But don't worry, this post will be a quick one reflecting on the technology happenings of 2011 and some predictions for 2012.

One of my favorite technology sites to read for long-form, thoughtful content is GigaOm and they have a nice post on their top 10 tech stories of 2011. It includes links to stories they wrote about the failed AT&T / Tmobile merger, Google and Facebook's battle for social, HP & Netflix screw ups, Steve Jobs passing, Spotify's launch in the US, and more.

Of course, Steve Job's passing overshadowed almost everything else at the end of 2011. In case you needed a benchmark of how Steve impacted in the industry, consider that he passed on October 5th and his biography was released on October 24th and it was still the best selling book on Amazon for the entire year.

Looking forward to predict a new year is never easy, and I won't go out on much of a limb here today. However, I think the bulk of what we should expect in 2012 is more of what we saw in 2011. Or to put it another way, I think much of what we saw happening in our tech world will continue and "go mainstream" in 2012.

What does this mean? It means that Social, Mobile, Cloud, and Location Based Services will continue to expand and permeate our lives. I believe the bulk of the advancement and innovation will be in these markets. So we will continue to be inundated with new and cool gadgets and applications in the smart-phone and tablet arena. We will see more services centered around Cloud and Location Based Services. This, I hope, will include some real options for mobile payment systems that allow us to use our smart phones as "credit cards".

Additionally, the Washington Post predicts that we will see companies jumping on the bandwagon to grab consumers fascinated with the promise of the voice recognition technologies. The promise of computer voice recognition has been around since the first science fiction writers starting putting pen to paper. Howeve, like so much that Apple has done lately, their introduction of the iPhone4s and Siri has taken the long failed promise and turned it into a reality that is usable for "the rest of us".

All we know for sure is that we can expect new and interesting advancements in the world of technology and all of us here at Envision are excited about the possibilities. 

Again, Happy New Year and welcome to 2012.