It’s hard to know exactly what new tech ideas will make the biggest impact on business in the near future and change how we do things, but according to John Brandon at Inc., here are a few worth keeping an eye on:
1. Predictive technology. Predictive technology is a body of tools capable of discovering and analyzing patterns in data so that past behavior can be used to forecast likely future behavior. The idea is that as computers become smarter, they can analyze historical data to make predictions. Ford is using a technology from Google to develop a navigation system that will predict where you want to go at a specific time of day based on previous patterns. “For small business, predictive technology could help in small ways: Your printer might forecast how much paper you will need next month,” says Brandon.
Amazon.com was one of the earliest online retailers to use predictive technology. The Amazon website compiles lists of merchandise that visitors look at and displays items customers with similar interests have bought.
2. HTML5. Look to this new version of HTML to replace Adobe Flash, giving a richer framework for videos and interactive content. The automotive industry is using this interface in the dashboards of new car models.
3. High-resolution displays. The newest Apple iPad uses ultra-high resolution, but it’s not the only one. Some Samsung desktop displays use it, giving everything a supersharp look.
4. Social analytics. These tools aid in analyzing how well companies are doing with their social media efforts. “What I’m seeing lately is an uptick in ‘aggregators of aggregators’—tools like Thismoment (www.thismoment.com) that take the data obtained from Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, etc., and show how your company is doing on campaigns,” says Brandon.
5. Speech for business. One of the great things about the newest iPhone’s Siri, is its ability to understand context. Natural language searches will become commonplace in a few years. “You will be able to walk into a conference room and say ‘tell everyone the meeting is canceled’ and the speech system will send the message,” Brandon says.
6. Business-ready storage. Cloud storage will continue to change how businesses operate with some companies dumping their data centers and new services, such as Huddle (www.Huddle.com), competing with Dropbox and others. Huddle offers better reporting, security and team accounts.