Google are doing it with Google+ which is a step in the right direction but Facebook is the social gold mine that would be the one to crack. Given that this is not likely to be open to outsiders, I still think there is money to be made in search engines which specialize in tapping into social communities. No idea how the deals would work out but someone will start doing this and making money from it.
Jawbone Up and other sensor devices are starting to appear. These will become more common and the uses for the data will expand. For example why does your TV and PC and tablet each have to have the separate ability to respond to touch less gestures or voice commands? Why not wear a single motion sensor which uses a common set of gestures to talk to all of them. Do a unique gesture to address the TV, and then a sideways flick of the head to page through channel listings, a nod to select and another to confirm. Could be a necklace or earring, or a bracelet. One ring to rule them all.
Anything to do with Graphene
The next wonder material, it used to be bucky balls and carbon nanotubes, but now Graphene is the new king. It holds great promise in many fields, electronics, solar energy, antibacterial applications, replacement for silicon in ICs. Of course there will be many dead ends, and some applications will take longer to come to market, but it looks good. And it was first generated as single atomic planes by the researchers at Manchester University, who also won a nobel prize for their troubles.
Art by John Clark
Software to make 3D design mass market
3D printing has moved from research and industry to home geeks. Its next step will be mainstream, but in order to get there and become useful to the masses we need to improve the way 3D design is done. Google Sketchup is the best there currently is, but things need to go further. With motion sensors and much faster graphic chips it would seem possible to make 3d modeling packages which did not have to rely solely on mice or on 2D screens to represent the object. Alternatively the companies which already have huge 3D clip art libraries need to start generating models of useful items. 3D printing will be used to print spare parts to fix a broken product and to make unique objects.
Synthetic hair follicles
Not for those like myself who are folically challenged, but as a way to produce clothing which can dynamically changes its thermal properties. When animals, use included, get cold their fur stands up and traps more air to make an insulating layer. Imagine a coat which was sleek and whose "fur" hung close to the backing membrane when the weather was hot, it could even undulate to create waves of ait to flow over the surface to cool you down. Then when the temperature rose it would fluff up its individual "hairs". Each hair may be hollow and expand to trap air within their core.
We have had the 70's and are due for an 80's revival. Some 80's hit song will form the backdrop to an advert and the band will rise form the dead. 80's design and memorabilia will rise in price, clothes will embarrass us once more and the decade that gave us post modern will become the plaything of the thirty somethings. Buy up original Sony Walkmen, invest in Memphis lights and start flogging replica RaRa skirts. I must admit I have always loved Memphis design and think it was much more influential than it is often given credit for.