PARC’s 2014 Predictions: A Disruptive New Year

2014-number-250 (2)

“What is really going to take off in 2014?” we asked.

PARC researchers and the commercial team answered. From surprising growth and inroads in mobile to web tracking technology without cookies to the iWatch and a new generation of free services, it’s all here. Read on!  And from PARC we wish you a happy and disruptive new year.

Julien_freudiger_250_parc (2)Julien Freudiger
Predictions: New Web Tracking Technology; New Generation of Free Services

New Web Tracking Technology: Web tracking so far relied mostly on HTTP cookies to monitor consumer behavior online. But the increasing use of mobile apps (that do not use cookies), and the desire to track consumers across a variety of devices and locations, fuel the development of alternative methods of tracking. In particular, cookie-less tracking will become prevalent and enable a deeper understanding of consumer habits online and offline. Cookie-less tracking typically relies on device fingerprinting, whereby a user is identified via analysis of unique features of its devices, and on other identifiers, such as phone numbers, increasingly required for two-factor authentication.

New Generation of Free Services: Services based on personal data start to generate significant revenue (in 2012, Facebook generated about $8 per daily active user). Companies will begin to provide a new series of free services in order to collect more fine-grained personal information. New services may include free phones and/or free Internet access. These services will be particularly appealing for developing countries, as highlighted by the project.”

clark_jeremy_250_parc (3)Jeremy Clark
Prediction: Chief Customer Experience Officer

“I predict the rise of the Chief Customer Experience Officer. The role may go by many names but the common thread is senior executive accountability for a rich, engaging, equitable, and utterly dependable customer experience. To some extent IT leaders have been making a play for part of the role, by deploying platforms that allow customers to provide quicker feedback on products and services, or to request changes. But the potential really lies at the intersection of IT and the Marketing function, to move beyond awareness building and brand management to ‘live’ co-creation of the consumption experience with the customers themselves. Clearly new competences are required: for example, the ability to unpack the needs of many segments in many contexts, simultaneously calls for agile systems and big data analytic chops.”

curley-tim_250_parc (3)Tim Curley
Prediction: Windows Phone will significantly outpace iPhone sales in Europe and grab 10% US market share in 2014.

“Windows Phone is quietly grabbing market share in the U.S. and Europe (EU’s top 5 markets). According to a recent Kantar report:  across Europe, Android remains the number one OS with 70.9% share, with Apple holding 15.8%. Windows continues to achieve rapid growth and now accounts for 10.2% of European smartphone sales and 5% of smartphone sales in the U.S. In Gartner’s Q3 Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End User by Operating Systems report, Gartner dubbed Windows Phone the winner of the quarter with a gain in shipments of 123%.

“And, according to TechCrunch’s Alex Wilhelm, Windows Phone App Store now sees 10M transactions and 500 new apps daily. The app store has served more than 3B total downloads (as of November 2013). The release of Windows Phone 8 remains the crux moment for the platform, with ‘monthly paid app revenue’ up 181% since its launch. Also in roughly the past year, app downloads have increased 290%. Windows Phone is small, but growing at healthy rates.

“While you may not be paying attention (shout out to all you iPhone fans), the top mobile application developers are. Just in the last 30 days Instagram, Waze, and Mint jumped on board the Windows Phone platform.”

fitz_christian_250_parc (2)Christian Fritz
Prediction: iWatch

“I think a major disruptor in 2014 will be Apple’s anticipated iWatch. I could imagine this watch to eat up most of the body sensor market and, more importantly, set off a third-party app development avalanche surrounding this data. This assumes that the iWatch will come with a number of sensors that are common in fitness and health tracking devices such as the Fitbit, BodyMedia FIT CORE Armband, Jawbone Up, and the Nike Fuelband.

“Since the iWatch is expected to run iOS, since there is a significantly larger number of iOS developers already out there, and since developing for iOS is a lot easier and has more potential than developing against any particular fitness tracking API, I think that there will be a large number of third-party apps becoming available very soon after the launch of the iWatch.”

Leon_Wong_250_parc (2)Leon Wong
Predictions:  Disruption for capital equipment vendors; growth of health networks

“If you’re a CEO of a capital equipment vendor, you should take a serious look at the coming services opportunity and potential disruption to your business model. The entire M2M stack, from sensors to cloud computing to predictive and real-time analytics to intelligent automation will take big steps forward in 2014.  These technologies will enable your company – and the competition – to add new services and even change your business model from selling capital equipment to billing by use of the product, for example.

“Joining a health network will become mainstream.  People are already members of a social network (e.g. Facebook), professional network (e.g. LinkedIn), corporate network (e.g. Yammer), but don’t necessarily want to share their sensitive health information within these areas.”

Jatinder_Singh_250_parc (2)Jatinder Singh
Prediction: Growth of mobile and connectivity to sensors, vehicles, wearables

“We will continue to witness the fast-growing mobile ecosystem break traditional silos and expand connectivity to sensors, vehicles, and wearables. We should watch out both for Apple and Google to launch new devices to this effect in 2014, while they continue to innovate towards and foster increased capabilities in iOS and Android supported smartphones. One key area that will gather attention is encompassing applications which contextualize user information and benefit the consumer as well as the enterprise. This is especially true as wearables and sensors become more pervasive and with the Internet of Things market poised to take off in the ensuing years.”

And more from PARC staff…

There will be the potential for a variety of new disruptions, from mobile to consumer electronics.  These include:

  • The rise of embedded motion co-processors in smart phones will cause shifts or product cancellations in the quantified self movement
  • Laws banning or restricting Google Glass and always on recording devices
  • 100+ inch LED TVs
  • Blackberry will stage a comeback by developing a secure, government-friendly version of Android and adopting it as their mobile OS
  • Valve will release a Steam Game Console bringing everyone’s Steam games to the living room and impacting sales of the new Playstation 4 and Xbox One

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