Media, NMF, Presentations

Predicting the future

Whatever happens...

This is my first in a series of posts from my presentation at the Nordic Media Festival. I will tag them all with “NMF”, so that you can easily find all of them through the “Category Cloud” in my right sidebar.

I start the presentation talking briefly about how difficult it is to predict the future of technology. Using an example from the fantastic commercial in an old computer magazine that I found. Saying anything close to “whatever happens in the future, it’ll fit into this space” is bound to look ridiculous after a couple of years.

But is there something that is easy to predict? Something that we can take for granted when we try to figure out what will happen? I think there are.

Better quality

The quality will be better. If you can stream video over the internet today you can stream it with better quality tomorrow. If you can snap pictures with your phone today you can take pictures with a higher quality tomorrow.

Forcing us to think about issues like “what will happen when everybody can record broadcast quality video on their mobile?”. Following this rule, of course “broadcast quality video” will also be better. We will go from standard definition to high definition. But at some point the quality is “good enough”. An important factor to watch as well. Sony and Phillips failed to understand that CD quality is “good enough” when they decided to spend huge amounts on Super Audio CD.

In the quality discussion you should always keep an eye on what people really want. With the audio question they did not want better quality. They wanted higher availability. And started buying MP3-players…

More possibilities

If you can listen to audio on your computer today you can watch video tomorrow. If you can snap pictures with your mobile today you can record video tomorrow. Simple and very obvious. Still quite difficult to predict. Not the technical part, but again – what people really want.

Better knowledge

People will know more. They will demand more. It will be verry difficult to fool your audience. They will redesign your webpage and build services with your content before you can spell greasemonkey.


Region codes for DVDs was a bad idea in 1996. Dividing the internet into different countries is simply ridiculous. Know your audience. Know your local advantage. But don’t try to lock people out. They will break your virtual border.

Next chapter
In my next post from this presentation I will discuss the convergence of devices. The fact that this convergence of devices leads to an abundance of user situations.

Feel free to comment or contact me if you have more factors that you find easy to predict.