Digital Predictions for 2012

Here at DStv Online, we like to keep our “finger on the pulse” when it comes to technology and changes within the digital world. Evolution is expected as progress keeps on pushing forward; what isn’t always expected is how quickly we learn from our consumers and amend industry advances in line with convenience and innovation. Here are a few predictions for 2012 based on what’s current in digital.

Behavioural Lifestyle Data

Everything in digital is becoming more about data than anything else. While this statement might seem obvious to some and bold to others, it’s quite simple, really. Using valuable consumer data, digital pioneers are able to construct applications and online platforms that will answer to a particular need of the community. We think this is going to be the crux of all progression, the glue that holds everything together.

Using this data, incredibly intelligent apps can be created that will allow people to effectively manage their lives, time, health at the same time as being able to track the same. Track your expenditure, track your calorie intake, track your time spent on a project. Diagnose illnesses, determine treatments; find solutions to your obesity or lack of self-esteem.

Take the Nike + GPS for example; the perfect companion for serious runners, compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, running iOS 4.0 or later. Track the distance you run, the route you take (using the GPS feature) and the pace you manage. The app also calculates how many calories you’ve burned and allows you to share your statistics on social media platforms. Track it all with this app that provides an excellent way in which to improve your statistics and visually represent your progress. A small example, but it’s indicative of how personal data is changing the future.

Geo-targeting

Geo-targeting defines a way of helping consumers feel more connected to each other in real time, otherwise referred to as location based marketing. We’re pretty sure you’re familiar with foursquare and Facebook Check-in; these web properties allow you to conveniently track your whereabouts, the whereabouts of friends, business locations and various companies. Identifying with like¬minded people on which venues are cool to hang out at or which restaurants are the “must-try” is made all the more easier using geo-targeting.

Location based marketing is constantly gaining in popularity and this is highly evident in the appstores where applications that rely on geo-targeting are constantly being produced. Take the latest navigational device in the South African appstore for example; Waze is a clever little app that relies on crowd-sourced information to provide users with the latest traffic information in their area. It combines the data (see how the first point pulls in again?) and geo-targeting to give you up-to-the-minute information about the traffic on the roads you’re travelling. It sounds seemingly simple, yet it’s so undeniably effective and useful at the same time.

Broadcasting data about locations specific information is where everything’s at… or definitely going to be in the very near future.

Social Television

Television is a stalwart in the realms of on-screen entertainment and while it’s not dying out, it’s evolving. Social television is allowing viewers to enhance their viewing experience by adding a social element to something that people do every day. TV will become a source of more than entertainment, it’ll be another link that binds users together in a social space where they can share content, add personalised opinions and become participants in their TV experience, rather than simply being observers.

While this is not something entirely new, it’s providing cloud computing platforms and satellite or cable providers with a space in which to take their offerings to the next level. We’re interested to see who will be the first to step up to the plate.