Whatever the ‘next big thing’ is, you can bet someone’s working on it

Written by on July 19, 2017 in Opinion with 0 Comments

By Krasimira Nevenova / Shutterstock.com

As the iPhone prepares to celebrate its 10th birthday, some in the industry are wondering what the ‘next big thing’ will be. It seems that just when things become comfortable (technology takes about 10 years to become ‘invisible’ and comfortable), the visionaries begin to question, well, everything.

Apple and Microsoft not only foresaw the end of the room sized mainframe, but basically killed it. Companies like Digital Equipment (who?, Ed) believed that they held the high ground and that PCs were a passing fad. Digital Equipment, or DEC, went the way of Kodak. And quickly. Mind you, even industry giants can get it wrong. Bill Gates himself declared that the internet was a passing fad

Then came the smartphone and it has become the new normal. It is now the most popular way of getting onto ‘the wild west of the internet’ (quote from 12 year old niece).

But 10 years is a long time in technology, and while the devices become smarter and faster and (hopefully) more secure, there are those that are looking for the next big thing, and throwing billions of dollars at the challenge.

The best guess of most industry pundits is that virtual reality, or better, augmented reality, will become the new platform, the new ‘hardware’.

Augmented reality is something that immediately brings out the cynic in ageing publishers of online publications, even if they are about disruption. We see them as niche, about games and virtual trips to exotic locations and porn (although robots already seem to be stealing the march on the last one).

The opinion seems divided. On the one hand, millennials see no point in things like Snap Spectacles. On the other, Google Glass 2.0 is infiltrating the enterprise and finding a natural home.

The question seems to be whether millennials, or whatever the next generation is called, ah, yes, Generation Z, will think it is cool to have your ‘computer’, your access, in a virtual space around you.


But, there is an equal chance that the pendulum is due a backswing, and some old fashioned traits and means of communications may come back (albeit for a while). Who knows, face to face conversations may become popular, or actually phoning someone without making an appointment first.

Whatever the next big thing turns out to be, device and hardware wise, with the 10th anniversary of the iPhone looming, you can bet that minds immeasurably superior to ours are watching and waiting…

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About the Author

About the Author: Alex was Founder and CEO of the Global Billing Association (GBA), a trade body focused on the communications sector. He is a sought after speaker and chairman at leading industry conferences, and is widely published in communications magazines around the world. Until it closed, he was Contributing Editor, OSS/BSS for Connected Planet. He is publisher of DisruptiveViews and previously BillingViews. .


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