FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Top Trends for 2006

As the clock winds down on 2005, pundits everywhere are weighing in on their expected trends for 2006. Among them:

  • SiliconValley.com makes some relatively safe forecasts, including the rise of "kitchen sink" mobile phones, Internet telephony, on-demand video, vlogging and web-based business applications.

  • David Kirkpatrick of Fortune goes further out on a limb, predicting that the Google bubble will burst in 2006, to the benefit of Yahoo and Amazon. He also believes that the upcoming Microsoft Vista will be greeted with a big yawn, and that video via cell phones will become the next big thing in mobile tech... though they won't be really big in the US until 2007.

  • Peter Newcomb at Forbes makes several media predictions. In addition to expecting greater gains of digital media over print media, he takes the contrarian view that newspaper publishers aren't necessarily dead in the water. Forbes makes some tech forecasts as well, including a rise in startups and a breakout year for RFID chips.

  • Steve Rubel echoes concerns about a tight labor market for 2006, taking into account forecasts for solid economic growth and growing payrolls. He predicts that employers will compete especially hard for bloggers who establish themselves as subject matter experts.

  • Rubel also expects a shakeout of Web 2.0 contenders (in fact, he uses the term "Crash 2.0"). Though he expects the big, established players to survive and even thrive in the aftermath, things won't be so pretty for smaller startups.