Research Questions

Where we brainstorm the broad collection of items to consider...

PROCESS: Please enter your responses to the research question by adding to the list below, most easily done by moving yor cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. You may list as many items as you wish (and we hope you will!), but please list each item separately -- that is, if you say wish to list widget1, process2, and idea3 as important, please list each item as a separate bullet point, as we will be rank ordering these later.

Please indicate your work by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is update like - alan alan Jun 25, 2009

Research Question Three

What are the key emerging technologies you see developing to the point that small to medium businesses should begin to take notice during the next 3 to 5 years? What organizations or companies are the leaders in these technologies?

NOTE: Items in this category should also be easily supportable with examples, although some of them may still be only found in research contexts. Nonetheless, some work should be happening that we can point to for those who wish to learn more. Three to five years is not a long time for small to medium businesses to turn their attention to something, thus we should see evidence of pioneer efforts that can be documented. Listing the actual companies or organizations working on the items listed here is very very important, as we often will follow up with them to learn more as we turn to the actual writing.

  • 3D printing (Rapid Prototyping) -- specialized, small-run manufacturing. There seems to be a lot of potential here for boutique production in fashion, decorative arts, industrial production, and medical manufacturing. - CynthiaScott CynthiaScott Jul 9, 2009 Zebra Imaging in Austin, Tx is a forefront leader in developing 3D printing and holograms for businesses. Expect to see more of this as the technology gets more affordable and easier to produce. - KeeneH KeeneH Jul 11, 2009 online 3D printing - amichaelberman amichaelberman Jul 13, 2009
  • 3D Telepresence. 3D telepresence is a form of remote conferencing in which the participants appear to be physically present in the conference space. CNN made extensive use of the technology during coverage of the US presidential election. [...from the 2009 Horizon Report Short List] Researchers at USC's Institute for Creative Technologies' Graphics Lab are working on true 3D teleconferencing technology. - KeeneH KeeneH Jul 11, 2009
  • Affective Computing opens up a broad research field that can have great impact in areas like: the design of new ways for people to communicate affective-cognitive states; the development of techniques to assess frustration, stress, and mood through natural interaction and conversation; the development of devices to make computers more emotionally aware (synthesizing emotions in machines; modeling and responding to user emotions, etc.). ( - Iolanda Iolanda Jul 12, 2009
  • Augmented Reality will change the way we view the world and interact with information. Although the early adopters of AR have been the advertising industry and others with the ability to pay the bills, already there are some exciting examples of AR being used to support and enhance the learning experience - see Magic Book: - Larry Larry Jul 1, 2009 Layar is the first Augmented Reality Browser for the mobile platform - alan alan Jul 1, 2009 Also, AcrossAir is soon to release their augmented reality iPhone app for London's Tube system. - KeeneH KeeneH Jul 11, 2009
  • Digital Ads (Signage) esp with e-Books. Advertising is quickly becoming a digital affair. The better a small business understands the opportunities and downsides of this new medium the faster they can benefit from its characteristics.- rherrera rherrera Jul 8, 2009 e-Books are poised for some big changes as e-Readers become more ubiquitous and consumers demand cheap or free content. The textbook market is perhaps a good one to look at for how larger publishers may deal with e-books and advertising. Flat World Knowledge is leading the charge for "open source" textbooks and Campus Technology dives into the issue - KeeneH KeeneH Jul 11, 2009 There are rumors about next Kindle versions availability on different computer devices, large sized and with touch-screen. iRex Technologies have already announced the development of a next generation of e-readers (color, writable, ultra-thin) expected to launch mid 2011 ( - Iolanda Iolanda Jul 12, 2009
  • Electronic Reading Devices: Related to some of the publishing related items listed, these new devices are about to proliferate and will change things in the publishing world. Examples of devices are: Amazon Kindle, iRex Illiad, eSlick Reader (for PDFs), Plastic Logic (mentioned elsewhere on wiki, esp for business), Sony Reader, Bookeen's Cybook and the diminutive Readius Pocket Reader Also on the iPhone is Kindle iPhone edition and Stanza - KeeneH KeeneH Jul 12, 2009
  • Location-based media. Content that is dynamically customized according to the user's location. See Also see iphone app WikiMe that uses location to pull up Wikipedia articles nearby or that brings you news based on your geographic location. Many iPhone apps are leveraging this (locating nearby twitter or flickr users). And Loki provides a very simple way for web site owners to embed user location into their sites - alan alan Jul 1, 2009 Web applications dealing with media content are increasingly integrating location based capabilities into their offerings. Still image geo-tagging at sites like Flickr are common, but now the push is into tagging video at a frame by frame level. Sites such as VisualPin and Viddler are starting to offer this capability. For businesses dealing with geo location data, tagging this type of media could have some important ramifications. - KeeneH KeeneH Jul 11, 2009
  • Personal Portable WiFi technology. New devices are allowing individuals to literally carry Wifi routers in their pockets which convert 3G cell signals to wifi signals allowing users to connect anywhere there is a cell signal from their carrier. The speeds are at the DSL level but promise the ability to always get online and not be restricted to locked down Wifi, unreliable Wifi or no wifi at all. Novatel ( has made the first consumer device called the MiFi which is sold by Sprint and Verizon. David Pogue gave it a review in NYTimes: - KeeneH KeeneH Jul 11, 2009
  • Semantic-Aware Applications. Applications are appearing that can make connections between apparently unrelated concepts, individuals, events, or things – without any special metadata. New web applications are allowing meaning to be inferred from content and context. The promise of these semantic-aware applications is to help us see connections that already exist, but that are invisible to current search algorithms because they are embedded in the context of the information on the web. [...from the 2009 Horizon Report Short List]- Larry Larry Jul 1, 2009 A unique Mac application called DevonThink Pro uses elements of artificial intelligence and semantic technology to find related information within its database that users populated with their own collected content. - KeeneH KeeneH Jul 11, 2009
  • Smart Objects. Everyday objects with embedded microprocessors that know what they are, where they are located, who is using them and how they are being used. Smart objects have the ability to send and receive data over the network. The next step in smart object technology is just over the horizon: not only do smart objects know what and where they are, but they can also sense and communicate with other objects, and report and update their own history and status. [...from the 2009 Horizon Report Short List]- Larry Larry Jul 1, 2009 Prime example is Siftables - alan alan Jul 1, 2009 Imaging technology will also be getting "smart" technology allowing it process and recognize objects and people in large numbers of images within seconds.;jsessionid=NL0X2B24NIX0IQSNDLPSKH0CJUNN2JVN?articleID=210800744 - KeeneH KeeneH Jul 11, 2009 Smart objects may also be actual content. An experimental plug-in called HyperWords makes every word on a webpage linkable which could have an impact on how businesses advertise and market themselves. - KeeneH KeeneH Jul 11, 2009
  • Smart Tools. Devices like the Pulse smartpen from Livescribe that record audio and match it with written notes are likely to become more common in the next few years. The Pulse pen changes the way you take notes: because the pen records the audio, the notetaker is free to jot down personal reflections, inspirations, or connections. Then, later, tapping the pen to the written note plays whatever the notetaker was hearing right when that note was written. - ninmah ninmah Jul 1, 2009 Livescribe is found at - KeeneH KeeneH Jul 11, 2009 The iPhone ReQall has several smart tool features that help you collect and organize information around to-dos and other tasks. ReQall also makes a number of other related software packages for desktop and other mobile devices - KeeneH KeeneH Jul 11, 2009
  • Subscription-based mobile software models. iPhone 3.0 is changing the way the businesses interact with their consumers. It is an interesting shift in how business should look at developing products; from what should I sell to how can I continue to sell and create value. Activision figured out how to continue to monetize their software product Guitar Hero by selling additional levels. How can businesses begin to take advantage of this new model? jeffmonday jeffmonday Jul 9, 2009 The travel industry of which the entertainment industry may have an interest may also soon be affected by subscription based models based around geo-location and travel destinations and guide books. See - KeeneH KeeneH Jul 11, 2009
  • Thin Screens. Flexible screens that can wrap around curved surfaces are in prototype, as are small, thin interactive screens like the Plastic Logic Reader ( Manufacturers like Sony, Phillips, and Samsung are experimenting with prototypes of flexible and ultra-thin screens based on organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology, in which the pixels emit their own light. [...from the 2009 Horizon Report Short List]- Larry Larry Jul 1, 2009 Devices such as the soon to be released pocket eReader from Readius will feature flexible e-ink technology for small flexible screens. - KeeneH KeeneH Jul 11, 2009
  • Virtual and Alternate Realities. These online virtual realities in which thousands of people can all be interacting with each other simultaneously are available now (World of Warcraft, Everquest, Warhammer), but the enormous expense of making them has made it impossible to create them for more specialized uses. New engines are being created that can create these worlds much more cheaply, thus allowing the creation of worlds for marketing and education. For one example see - NoahD NoahD Jul 7, 2009 I would also include Augmented Reality Games too (ARGs) which use the real world to involve massive player involvement and don't require as much pure virtual world technology. A prime example was the game World Without Oil Also, Jane McGonigal's work is related to this. See - KeeneH KeeneH Jul 11, 2009 or McGonigal's web site Major source of info is Alternate Reality Gaming Network (ARGNet) and the IGDA White Paper An intro to ARGs at Sean Stewart documents one of the first popular ARG games used to pr0mote the movie A.I. - alan alan Jul 12, 2009
  • Web-based operating systems. With the announcement of Google's plans for a new browser centric Chrome OS, this may be a game changer in how we think about doing our computing. This would be the first new OS for personal computing to show up in a long time. This article discusses the new OS and mentions that browsers will soon get capabilities more in line with full featured OS such as the ability to have device control. Such OS systems may change how businesses operate and how we interact with entertainment content.;jsessionid=2MXTIHIEIGZJCQSNDLPSKH0CJUNN2JVN?articleID=210800744 - KeeneH KeeneH Jul 11, 2009
  • Wireless power transfer: a research team from MIT has experimentally demonstrated wireless power transfer, potentially useful for powering laptops, cell phones and other portable electronics capable of charging themselves without ever being plugged in. Read article at the MIT news: - Iolanda Iolanda Jul 12, 2009

This wiki page has been edited 35 times. The last modification was made by - ninmah ninmah on Sep 25, 2009 2:41 pm