Windows 8 will be seen as a failed digital mashup. The Jeckle and Hyde nature of attempting to combine two UI paradimes does not resonate with users. Those that upgrade find they live in either one UI or the other, but rarely switch between the two. The old school Windows users find it does not significantly improve Windows 7 and removing the start menu frustrates many. Microsoft eventually relent and launch a campaign telling users how to reinstate the start menu. Those that looked forward to the bright new world of touch are equally disappointed by the limited functionality of the core apps, and the low number of 1st rate apps available in the app store. The effort required to learn the charms metaphor or hidden functionality proves too annoying a hurdle for those used to the iPad's on screen approach. The minimalist design attracts while the minimal functionality confuses.
As a result PC sales continue their decline. Hundreds of millions of copies will be sold via OEM sales and a trickle of expensive touch enabled laptop hybrids will cater to the business market. Despite Microsoft's best efforts Windows 8 and Surface and the undelivered promise of Courier will further hasten the decline from what was once global dominance.
Sports will fuel the second screen revolution. The use of the second screen as an integrated supplement to TV broadcasts has started to arrive in the US but has yet to make significant inroads in the UK. 2013 will be the year when it goes mainstream. Data rich events such as sports events are the ideal content for the dual screen approach. Sky will continue to lead the charge. They will extend the functionality of their second screen enabled iPad apps to include data on a wider range of sports. There will be a closer integration with social media, and the ability to share realtime self commentary with your social circle. More and more people will augment their viewing experience of live sports events both at home and in the stadium by using a second screen. Making sense of all this data and deciding what stats to display and the level of information required by different user types will prove a significant UX challenge.
Staples are set to launch a 3D printing services in two European cities with plans to roll the service out over the course of the year. But in order to print people need models. 3D modeling is still a specialist skill, even tools such as Google Sketchup require a significant effort to become adept at producing complex printable models. The 3D clip art market will expand as witll portable scanners. 3D smartphone based scanning apps such as 123D Catch, will proliferate. Now with a smartphone and an app anyone can create a facsimile of a 3D object. Admittedly the intial offerings will be low fidelity but 2nd and 3rd generation apps will make significant increases in quality. The mainstream press will latch onto the dire concequences of such a capability. Stories will abound about who owns the rights 3d rights to objects. Museums will have to consider if they allow visitors to scan their artifacts. Brands will try to protect the 3d rights of their products, as a whole and in component form. Celebrities will charge for 3d files of their bodies. Questions will be raised in the house.
Tesco and other data rich retailers will employ more proactive and intelligent shopping bots. Regular grocery shopping will automatically take into account calendar events, school holidays, festive periods, birthdays. Weather predictions will inform alternative choices based on personal and aggregate and regional tastes. Users will be able to specify how the shopping bot can assist them. Any shopping list can be analyised to deliver, cheaper, healthier, and ethical or celebration alternatives. Users will be incentivized to employ the bots by preferential prices on staple goods. Brands will have to pay the supermarket chain to be part of the schemes and to feature their products in the initiative. Some will go as far as to offer "surprise me" features for new menu selections.
Eyes in the sky
Low cost aerial drones fitted with video cameras will be the top geek presents for Christmas 2013. Just as remote helicopters have moved from the domain of hobbyist to the general public so will quad copter. In 2013 these four and six motor devices which range from the cheap and cheerful with a low power video camera to robust versions capable of carrying the owner’s own camera will find a mass market. As these will be designed for non commercial purposes they will escape the existing legislation. Even so privacy issues will be raised and the public will be wary of these toy eyes in the sky. Digital services will spring up to allow users to geotag their movies as we all get up close and aerial with our, and our neighbor’s world. Police and security forces will employ them in a more Orwellian fashion. In 2013 it will be the norm for strikes, public demonstrations and even small scale public events to be monitored from the skies.