“The place to see and experience tomorrow’s technology now”. This defines the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin (Texas), whose 21st edition will take place in March 2014. Its director, Hugh Forrest, did not go unnoticed in the auditorium of the Ibero-American Culture Congress, held in Zaragoza from 20 – 22 November. His prediction of the future captured the attention of the audience and those who followed #culturadigital (#digitalculture) through Twitter. Today we zoom in on the 10 trends cited by this guru of technological change:
1. Technology on the body: Google Glass is the latest paradigm of this trend – with these glasses we can hear, speak, view and share content, etc. Blind people can even “read” text without it being in relief thanks to this new development. In the future, we will wear technology on our clothes, and even “tattooed on to our skin”, as Huge Forrest predicts.
2. Consolidation of the “do it youself” model: technology has made the “maker movement”, derived from the “DIY ethic” much more functional, efficient and accessible to everybody. People are looking for low prices and “do it yourself” technology lets you save on third party costs.
3. The Internet of things: today we are already able to control objects through mobile applications, and this tendency will continue to grow. Indeed, one day it will become routine. “I control the temperature of my house with my Smarthpone” Huge Forrest said, “but this is still first generation.” In the future, there will not only be chips placed on objects, but the objects themselves will be computers.
4. More crowdfunding: Technological developments demand new forms of financing. The concept of crowdfunding has been quickly adopted by industry and by the people, and will be the future of innovative proposals.
5. Changes in the education industry: education needs are changing. The old education model is being questioned more and more. Thanks to new technologies, students now have different expectations and values. Social networks are used as a means of communication between students and even between students and teachers, as e-learning platforms demonstrate.
6. Changes in the healthcare industry: health care, one of the world’s biggest industries, is also changing. More and more effort is being put into using first-generation technology for the care of people. Diagnosing will also evolve thanks to technology.
7. Transportation 3.0: We are witnessing a profound change in the way we move from one place to another. Transportation speed will increase more and more, which will decrease traveling time.
8. Improved broadband: high speed broadband enables high data transfer rates, making it possible to connect to the Internet – with all that that implies – in the most remote places. According to Hugh Forrest, thanks to broadband, relationships between people, both personally and in business, will be strengthened.
9. Continued growth of startups: new concepts derived from starptups are changing the world. See, for example, the influence of the major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or Google. However, we should keep in mind that the more the influence of large companies grows, the less possibilities new and small projects have of succeeding.
10. The world is flat: for Huge Forrest, the world is more equitable and there is more competition, in relation to opportunities for people and in terms of trade. A phenomenon of geographical divisions is appearing, in which places like Silicon Valley capture our attention. However, thanks to new technologies, places are no longer meaningful. The world is now digitally interconnected.
In short, when we talk about # culturadigital (#digitalculture), we are talking about routines which are evolving constantly and which change industry standards and affect every aspect of our business, social and personal lives.