2012 was a huge year for us. We secured a Series B round of funding, updated our mobile site and web site, and announced our first major partnership with a federated search engine, Ask.com.
We’re poised to make 2013 an even bigger year, and can’t wait to announce more of the exciting products and partnerships we’ve been working diligently on. As we look forward inwardly, we’re also excited about where the industry as a whole is heading. Here are some of the rising tech trends we’ve been following recently, and how we think they’ll make an impact in 2013:
As apps continue to flood the various app stores and their icons keep filling up additional home screen pages on our phones, a shift toward providing the content and functionality of apps in simpler, more intuitive ways will ensue. Now that sifting through countless icons and folders on a home screen has become somewhat tedious, technologies like Siri will rise up and begin to successfully provide seamless entry into an app. You wouldn’t bookmark every single website important to you, just to look through all of them when you need to get something done, right? Well, soon you shouldn’t have to do that with apps either.
As we wrote about in a previous post, smart appliances are starting to pop up everywhere, truly giving rise to the smart home. In 2013, this trend is likely to continue both inside and outside of the personal space. With more and more everyday objects either getting NFC-enabled chips stuck inside them, or advanced connectivity with mobile apps, users will be able to get information from places they never expected. As Lance Ulanoff of Mashable writes, “Any place they can jam a sensor to capture…data, [utility poles, doorhandles, sidewalks] or let you quickly gain information about…situational awareness, there will be embedded technology.”
Although a lot of hype has been placed on products such as Google’s Project Glass—and rightfully so, as the applications for placing information over our field of view are nearly limitless—augmented reality will even sooner begin to appear in other forms. GPS-based AR apps like Layar already exist, and smartphone manufacturers will increasingly incorporate the technology into their devices in unique ways. There’s a lot of room for innovation, be it for AR games, specific product apps, or advertising. Look for 2013 to be a big year when it comes to tightly integrating data into the real world we see every day.
Smartphones Become A Phantom Limb
We use our smart phones for everything. They’re the ultimate utility tool, personal assistant, and social connectivity device all in one small package. So it’s no surprise that according to a survey conducted by Qualcomm and Time, 68% of people sleep with their phones at their bedside. Whether it’s a real-life assistant you can reach through Exec or an easy way to catch a ride across town with Uber or Lyft, there really is an app for just about anything. As a result, our reliance on smart phones will only become greater and greater. As more comprehensive functionalities like Google Wallet and Apple’s Passbook become fully integrated with our finances, coupons, and tickets, we truly won’t be able to live without our phones.
According to Social News Daily, more than 80% of smartphone and tablet owners use their devices while watching TV. Many of them post what they’re watching on social media, read more news based on something they saw, or try to find apps relevant to the content presented to them on television. In 2013 this trend will continue, but media and advertising agencies will have captured the monetary possibilities presented by this dual-screen behavior. They’ll attempt to enhance the viewing experience by prompting users to further explore TV content on their tablets or smartphones, while also taking advantage of new ways to push users toward buying a product.
We’re extremely eager to see where the industry moves in 2013. Of course, many of these trends have been in the works for years, but we’re confident a lot will finally come to the surface this year. Here’s to a productive, progressive 2013!