2010: The Year and Decade for 4 Screens and a Cloud

Rob Enderle’s blog post has it right. 2010 will be the year and start of the cloud decade.

I’d like to take it a step further. The coming wave of ubiquitous ‘democratized’ data services with eager clients waiting to consume will take the internet to a dramatic new level. Microsoft’s three screens and a cloud vision speaks to it but I believe its more about “4 screens with data services”. I consider the data services to be more relevant. The cloud is the engine but the 24/7 data services it provides will be life changing/business transforming.

Thanks to 3G, pending 4G and whatever comes after, the data services will come from highly reliable mobile data pipes that can be consumed while driving a car, riding a bicycle, at the doctor’s office or exercising at the gym.

The data services are democratized because the data being provided was once only available to a select few. Opening up the data to software developers and entrepreneurs can be a catalyst for positive change. The democratization of data trend is an unstoppable force that has the power to accelerate innovation to help solve some of the world’s problems and improve the quality of life for all.

The US Chief Information Officer, Vivek Kundra, understands the power of democratized data. He spearheaded a new web site for this called Data.gov. Another great example is the City of New York’s recent NYC Big Apps Contest. Microsoft is also getting involved with their new Dallas service.

Regarding the 4 screens, not 3, I expect the data services to be designed to support the following clients.

 

1. Large Screen 10 foot away living room experience.

2. Desktop/Tablet Screen Multi-touch Tablet and PC monitor
experience.
3. Small Screen Smartphone
(e.g., Blackberry, Palm,
iPhone, iPod Touch, Android,
Win Phone 7, ZuneHD, etc.)
4. Car Dashboard Screen This is the Ford Sync, Fiat Blue&Me,
Kia UVO and General Motors OnStar.

Listing the Car Dashboard may be a bit premature but I expect to see at least 25 million "connected" cars sold during this coming decade. In less than a year, the Microsoft Ford Sync system has already exceeded 1 million in US only sales. These systems are just starting to go global with Kia’s UVO and Fiat’s Blue&Me systems. I expect “Connected Cars” consuming mission critical data services to become the norm within 5 years.

Examples of the mission critical and revenue generating data services are the real-time location-aware contextual ads or electronic billboards. Some of this is already available in the Ford Sync system. I consider it the first commercially viable Augmented Reality solution. I expect Car Dashboard solutions to eventually provide windshield “heads up display” driving directions that can also show the nearest movie listings, nearest Thai restaurants, closest hospitals, etc.

Aside from the Car Dashboard services, data services will come in many flavors. The more popular services will be the entertainment and news services:

Video Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, Boxee
Music iTunes, Pandora, Zune
Games Xbox Live, SONY Playstation Network
Books Amazon Kindle, Nook, PDF, Audible
News NY Times, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and all of the Radio News Feeds
Sports ESPN

 

There will be Quality of Life services such as:

  1. Health medical record services – HealthVault
  2. Real-time Traffic – Calculate Quickest Travel Time
  3. Air/Pollen Quality – What will the air/pollen be like on December 31st at 5:30 PM.
  4. Population Growth versus Food Supply – Expected food supply in Somalia over the next 3 years.
  5. Malaria Cases/Birth Rates/Life Expectancies by Region
  6. Violence Levels in Iraq and by Region
  7. Airport Security Wait Times – Security Check Wait Time at Gate #4 in LAX, etc.
  8. Crime Stats by Region
  9. High School Education Quality by Region

 

The list of potential services is endless.

Much of this data is already available but is not in a format that can be easily used or consumed by the 4 screens mentioned.

I’ll leave it to the developers and entrepreneurs to pioneer.

Ten years from now, I am confident that we’ll all be grateful for this new cloud computing/data services era.

 

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