Five Hard Core Tech Predictions For 2012

2011 was the year technology became pop culture, thanks to the blockbuster geekpic, The Social Network, countless revolutions and occupations fueled by Twitter and the best-selling passing of a tech Brahmin, the incomparable Steve Jobs.

For 2012, several trends are are already obvious. We already know Facebook will poke the IPO market to new likes, television will be the next industry to be reshaped by Apple; RIM will be rammed by disillusioned investors and hacktivist Anonymous will continue to be less anonymous. Less obvious to the Joe Six Packs of the analog world, however, are a handful of now obscure trends that will likely be household terms by the end of next year. As such, my predictions for the hottest tech trends of 2012 are as follows:

1. The world will end in a series of ill-timed pokes and texts.

Click To Expand

This is hardly a prediction but interesting to note: the world population is predicted to reach 7 billion by the end of 2012. At the same time, Facebook is expected to top one billion members while Google’s social network G+ is on track to reach 400 million . In other words, the identity of almost everyone you know will be just one click away, as planned by Big Brother of course. Adding to the rapid digitization of earthlings is the fact that in 2012 there will be more mobile phones in the world than people. If world really is going to end on Dec 21st as scheduled in the Mesoamerican calendar, we’ll probably be too busy text messaging to notice.

2. The Digital World Will Become “Cloudier”

Watch the price of USB keys and portable drives plummet as consumers discover the best and most convenient way to access and store your data is in the “cloud” — not where angels fear to tread but instead online services where you can access documents, photos, videos and music from wherever there’s an internet connection. Whether it’s the current market leader DropBox or heavy hitters like Apple iCloud, Microsoft’s SkyDrive or Google’s inevitable GDrive, it’s just a matter of time (and a few hard drive crashes) before electronic pack rats figure out it’s better to let someone else worry about their digital junk than having to stuff it on devices that become obsolete every few years (remember these ?).

3. Steve Jobs Sightings Will Become The Next Big Thing Among Conspiracy Theorists

Given his cult status and game-changing impact on pop culture, it’s not unreasonable to compare the late Apple co-founder to Elvis, Tupac Shakur and any other number of immortalized celebrities who ostensibly choose to work in convenience stores posthumously. Jobs, however, always thought differently and is more likely to be seen in Taiwan hawking a health drink like tea rather than Cokes in a 7-11 located somewhere in Milwaukee. See quasi-moronic foreshadowing below, fanboys:

4. Everyone Will Be Able To Join The Megabyte High Club

In 2010 it was all about the “social layer” (adding tenterhooks to Facebook from whatever online service you were providing). 2011 was solidly about mobile as a billion apps were downloaded from Apple by April (with Android not far in the rear view mirror). At the same time the adult entertainment business underwent a “perfect storm” of trouble, thanks to piracy, a weak economy and user-generated smut. Combining social, mobile and the troubled porn business will lead to the next biggest thing on the Net: remote sex. Sure Telidildonics have been around for as long as geeks have had problems finding non-cardboard girlfriends, but the stars for globe-spanning sex between two far flung humans are as aligned as ever. The growing practice of Skype sex might have been a sign of what’s to come (sorry, couldn’t resist the tasteless adult pun) but below is an example of how close we are to getting even closer — led by the Japanese as always. Size no longer matters; only (internet) speed does.

5. A Robot Will Replace At Least One TV Newscaster Somewhere In The World

Sure it sounds absurd but hear me out. Given the fact that several television news studios are partially automated by robots (namely cameras) and the fact that most newscasters already seem silicon-based, it’s not a huge leap to see the cost-cutting benefits of replacing anchors with androids as the below video implies:

Still in doubt, check this future CNN anchor:

Be sure to check back in a year to see if any of these predictions are taken seriously, let alone happen.

McLean Greaves