Two of the most interesting things that happen in the tech world in January are the predictions of technology trends for the new year and CES (the Consumer Electronics Show). As a techie nerd and former Systems Librarian, I wanted to give you some brief (*cough*not-so-brief*cough*) words about each as well as some resources to learn more (I am a librarian, after all).
I do not love the new year for the resolutions or the singing of Auld Lang Syne. I love the new year because of technology predictions. My top choices from last year were the Internet of Things (IoT) and the importance of social technology in driving application development. I hung my hat on IoT. But, since this article is about 2015 predictions, I’ll leave you with this article from American Libraries about the Internet of Things.
2015 Predictions: Here are some examples (with commentary):
- PC Mag’s Predictions: Kind of lame. Wearables? Health and Fitness trackers? What is this, 2014? You can do better, PC Mag.
- Fox Business: In general, do I recommend that you get your tech news from Fox Business? No. But, I think that they are least tried to predict. Mobile payments expanding? Yes. Google being evil? Kind of yes. Net Neutrality failing? Yes. Making lobbying illegal in government? Only in my wildest dreams.
- IDC Predictions (via Software Development Times): First off, I’m biased because the reporter made it far easier to understand than a traditional IDC press release. 3rd platform is just a confusing term. I agree with IDC on a lot though, IoT will continue to affect you. Wireless data growth will be huge. Security will be a big thing.
There are a lot of others predictions. Use Google. Read them. Think about them. Maybe post a comment about how wrong I am in a year. I’m ok with it. Plus, I’ll probably just respond to your concerns by using made up acronyms until you give up.
Why do we, as librarians, talk so rarely about CES. It’s a huge thing. To get you started, some online coverage.
- Engadget’s Best of CES
- CNET’s coverage of CES
- Mashable’s coverage of CES
- Lifehacker Highlights: The CES News You’ll Actually Care About
Will all of the products at CES develop into something marketable? No. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t alert the world to tech trends that are worth considering. For example:
- Sling TV: Cable TV is going to have more problems. With already developed trends of people cutting cable and using Hulu, Netflix, and other content providers, another nail has been placed in Cable TV’s grave with Sling TV from Dish Network. Offering channels previously unavailable from not-to-be-named content providers (like ESPN and CNN), Sling TV is giving more access to content without your local megacorp.
- Internet of Things: I wasn’t so off in my favorite 2014 predictions, and CES proved me right. Apple HomeKit and Google’s Nest are just two examples of improving your life with connected “things”
- USB 3.1: Ok, this isn’t a “trend” per se, just something that I’m excited for. Imagine, a day when you don’t have to try your USB 3 times before it plugs in. And why is it always 3 times? It only has two sides! If you’ve already tried the first side, why didn’t it work? </rant> Will USB 3.1 ever become the standard? I can only dream of the 30 seconds that it would save me in flipping USBs over the course of my lifetime.
I know what you’re thinking. Library service vendors are not the best about getting us the latest and greatest tech. Somehow the latest and greatest is always 3 years past before similar tech is ever debuted. But that is a rant for another day. In the meantime, take a trip down the road of the technologically ideal, library-based thoughts conjectured from CES trends:
- Libraries rent Rokus and AmazonTVs from the desk. Some libraries do. And I love them. What better way to help your patrons evaluate their new viewing options on their ridiculously-thin TV, then with the help of the Library. They’re going to be paying off that TV for a while, so they don’t have any money to waste.
- Where could you use IoT at the Library? What if your displays told you when someone took an item off, so that you could refill it? Or, better yet, what if those displays offered suggestions of similar books to the person taking the book off the display? What if your automatic sorter could tell you when there was a back-up of books now being caught in the conveyor? Or what about telling you when the return bin was full?
Tends in consumer electronics mean changes for libraries, both in how libraries use their own technology and in how they serve their patrons.