The keynote speaker at this morning’s sessions of Daze of Disruption, Kim Williams, has boldly offered his predictions for media (and mankind’s) digital future in the coming years.
Williams, a former boss of Foxtel and News Corp, agreed, however, that any attempt to predict the future was always a “risky business”.
“The famous futurist George Gilder in the 1990s predicted the death of television before the start of the 21st Century,” Williams told the Daze audience.” A bold effort with a messy outcome for him. But really all he did was get the timing wrong – TV as we know it will change completely in the next decade – no doubt about it, it is happening now!”
Here are the pick of Williams’ predictions based on the impact digital is having on all aspects of our lives.
- The inexorable trend in power to consumers will accelerate.
- Consumers will continue to channel trust with their friends and online communities of strangers before they trust traditional authorities and commentators or well established brands.
- Fragmentation in all things will accelerate and the outcomes will be unpredictable.
- Digital, for the foreseeable future, will be down to a lot of trial and error.
- Which means that the turbulence and speed of change, the disruption and breakup central to digital life is going to be with business operators and investors for a long time because upheaval and all its, in many ways, messy impacts has only just begun.
- Touch, gesture and voice commands are all becoming second nature in modern product constructs embedding technology patterns and personalities from the youngest age.
- Equally important is that notwithstanding the unpredictability and insecurity such turbulent change and consolidation generates, the opportunities will be infinitely bigger and very much more interesting.
- Network speeds and the ubiquitous connectivity by wireline and wireless technologies will increase inexorably, matched with ever more sophisticated software tools empowering change in the way in which we produce, manage, store, deliver and consume information and new digital products.
- Consumers now expect mobile devices to become the central controllers for other devices and services in their lives.
- On the other hand the digital divide is very real and will expand with the fresh irony that the wonder of all that is available will also see a new information ‘dark age’ for many who will be locked out.
- International software players will offer a stunningly wider range of products and content services, increasingly through worldwide distribution management where geographic separation will become ever less relevant. Nations and their legal frameworks over time will be substantially bypassed.
- New players and on-line providers will continue to grow and enter the Australian market place which will be remarkably vulnerable if it doesn’t change the game as it operates currently.
- Driverless cars, enhanced reality systems that will blow your mind with virtual phones, TVs and many other elements will become commonplace. Intelligent shopping systems and oral instructions to most devices will become equally standard.
- An allied force will see a lightning speed in uptake of increasingly intelligent software tools and their partner – pervasive automation, where machine to machine conversations will be central to society and its operation. M2M will be as common a term as B2B and B2C.
- The phenomenon of the post 1981 generation – Gen Y or the “Millennials” depending on your preference – sees a large ‘instant expert’ community which has a different attitude to self, work, play and interaction. It needs to be understood if one is to productively engage commercially, politically, creatively and very much so in creating durable employment environments.
- Personalised medicine and genomics will be matter of fact realities and they will transform all healthcare delivery which over time will see a flip where it will be more about wellness management rather than sickness care. And that means we are all going to live a heck of a lot longer.
- From all of these changes we will continue to see changes in our political systems and the way we relate to each other as fellow citizens. Who knows where that will take us all culturally?