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Good morning, dear 2023! You are only a few hours old and I already have a headache because of you. At least that's what I suspect, because I'm writing these lines on December 21. And although you are still so young, dear 2023, I want to gaze into the crystal ball to see what you will bring us in the tech world this year.
In the past three years, we at NextPit have mainly been preoccupied with our insolvency. In the meantime, we have overcome this phase and can look forward with confidence and optimism. Therefore, I want to unpack an old AndroidPIT tradition and make a few predictions about what lies ahead of us this year.
Prediction 1: Apps and (smart) hardware for saving energy will become our best friends
As I said, as I write these lines, it's just before Christmas. Traditionally, double-digit temperatures prevail at this time - in the plus range, of course. Only the nasty drizzle indicates that we are not moving towards spring right now.
Last week and a couple of weeks before that, temperatures in Berlin were freezing. Frankly, I was still amazed to read several times that gas consumption in private households still remained far too high. In Europe, prices for energy have risen drastically in recent times. Despite government-imposed price ceilings, many households are likely to face a large increase in costs for heating, electricity, and hot water.
So it's no wonder that smart helpers are big in fashion when it comes to saving energy. However, smart thermostats and power sockets, which in turn can track and optimize our energy consumption, as well as apps that identify energy guzzlers in the home, will only fully take off next year. The year 2022 was at most a small warm-up phase, limbering up for the long haul.
The reason for my assumption is that most private households will not receive their horrendous utility and electricity bills until next year. Once you have the figures in black and white in your hand, it's often a kind of catalyst. It is then a call to arms.
Prediction 2: Twitter will lose massive relevance
After Elon Musk's takeover, Twitter continues to make news - in the wrong way. On the one hand, there's the new owner and CEO, who's been making waves with a series of strange tweets and even more grotesque actions. And on the other hand, there are still plenty of people (myself included) who don't want to break away from the great popcorn cinema that is "Twitter." Or can we?
Far too attached to the narrative, chat histories in Twitter or followers of somebody you are interested in, it can get pretty difficult to wean off this service. People like to follow what's going on in the world or what views one side or the other currently has. That certainly applies to many private individuals like me. But it's also true for politicians of all persuasions, for offices, companies, and also media companies.
So far, the platform has been forgiven for many of its recent antics. But the fact that Elon Musk banned journalists from the platform for no reason can safely be described as a censure. Many political institutions rightly reacted in an irritated manner concerning this action. It impressively unveiled how Elon Musk is not really serious about "free speech". He is basically concerned with the free expression of opinion for all those who represent his own point of view and way of thinking. The rest have the worst possible chance of making their voices heard.
Even if a large proportion of the blocked journalists have been unblocked again, it still shows how erratic and unpredictable posting on the platform has become. For journalists, media companies, and politicians, this should have been more than a warning to completely rethink their relationship with Twitter.
Many websites, including NextPit, embed tweets in their articles - and thus not only generate a lot of free traffic for Twitter, but also basically rely on the fact that the platform complies with ethical principles. The fact that these no longer apply is likely to scare off many media companies. Mastodon may be a more cumbersome platform to use, but its decentralized approach alone makes it a much safer haven than Twitter.
What will become of Twitter? Probably, in the end, we'll be left with a full birdcage with lots of brown sauce and a musty stench.
Prediction 3: Artificial intelligence will be firmly anchored in everyday office and school life
Let's move on to something more pleasant, but definitely scary in the long run: artificial intelligence.
For many years now, we here at NextPit have been using DeepL for all sorts of basic text work. Even though an article, for example, can of course never be translated just by simple "deepelen", the software offers us an amazing degree of assistance.
A real game changer will be the software ChatGPT from OpenAI: What. The. Hell. !!!1OneElf!
If you don't know of this software, you should definitely have a look at it. Basically, it's about giving a small chat window a few orders, for example, analysis on a certain topic, a poem, a comparison table on certain statistics, or even an article on a complex topic.
Don't worry! This article was not written with the help of ChatGPT. The software has not arrived there...yet. Not yet! But at least it is impressive with the results you get.
For texts on the web ChatGPT is rather unsuitable. Google is constantly working to reliably detect such texts and remove them from the index or give them a much lower importance. But for a good story, a decent structure, or a fancy HTML table, it is always enough.
Oh yes, not forgetting many term papers probably as well! Schools and universities, unlike Google, don't have their own AI to help track down AI-written texts. I am very curious to see how many politicians will stumble upon such "plagiarism" affairs in ten or twenty years, should their work be able to be checked for this.
Prediction 4: Augmented / Mixed Reality finally experiences its breakthrough
Now really, how long have we been hearing that Apple Glass (or whatever Apple data glasses will be called) is going to change everything? For a long time now, we have been waiting for it in vain so far.
I don't want to venture a fourteenth new prediction now about whether or not Apple will launch its glasses. I don't need to at this point either: the topic of augmented reality will also gain massive momentum this year. Almost all well-known manufacturers have something AR-like in their quiver. Currently, it seems, everyone is waiting for the other to let the cat(s) out of the bag.
- Read more: Why hasn't Apple Glass happened yet?
Smart glasses, I'm very sure, are the future. I debated this almost passionately with other colleagues just recently at the Qualcomm Summit. Some didn't see it that way, and a few more were of the opinion that it could happen - but we were all of the same opinion: A permanent stream of visible data to ourselves is the next logical step. In the medium to long term, so-called HUDs (heads-up displays) will then also replace smartphones.
I'm quite sure that the year 2023 will kick things off in retrospect. We will see devices that will finally bring use cases for all of us. It's a bit like what happened with foldables: Apple hasn't launched its foldable smartphone yet either. A lot of people already think the technology is cool, but it's not yet capable of completely replacing its mainstream predecessors. Still, I think that's what's going to happen in the long run: Every portable display will eventually fold.
That's exactly what's going to happen now with AR. With or without Apple.
- Also interesting: The best standalone VR glasses
Prediction 5: Metaverse, NFTs, and other kerfuffles aka crypto - that's it for a long time (this year)!
Over the past few years, several friends and acquaintances have called me and tried to convince me to do "something with NFTs or crypto". They said you could end up as a millionaire, and sometimes a billionaire, virtually overnight.
So it's no wonder that in China and Russia, where energy is cheap, entire bot farms sprang up just to farm a few Bitcoins. After all, it was worth it: within a short time, you could earn hundreds, thousands, and even millions of dollars. It was a bit like the gold rush of the 2000s on the Internet. Actually, that was only the way up.
I was always skeptical whether cryptos, NFTs, and other similar ideas were ready to conquer the mass market yet (see various Casa Casi episodes). What I always wondered: Why should cryptos suddenly change the world? What was now suddenly so different about it that so many people went so crazy and wanted to pay thousands of dollars even for ugly pictures (sorry, but it's like that!!)?
Also do remember, at the end of the 90s, there were similar excesses at that time. I was much younger back then, of course, being sure that the Internet will conquer everything. So I went all in! The big crash at the end of 2000 and in 2001 also caught me cold. However, I was able to pick myself up again quickly.
But the big difference between then and now was that digital was really new territory. It brought immediate opportunities. That's different from the hype today.
And yet there are big parallels: In the future - and I'm sure of this - decentralization will be the new standard, not the exception. That may sound strange with all the walled gardens of today; whether it's DAZN, Paramount+, Prime, Apple TV+, Sky, etc. with media; but also with things like the euro, dollar, yen, and other currencies; and of course, Facebook, er, Meta, Twitter or other big platforms. In the long run, however, we will be unified in a decentralized manner. Better: we will decide to do so!
The road to freedom is long and rocky
Cryptos, NFTs, and even Mastodon are the new long-term trends. We all want to be free and not controlled. No matter how, freedom will win! It is deeply embedded in us. Accordingly, this is also the biggest trend I see for the future: Digital humanity will become decentralized.
Unfortunately, this will not be the case next year. On the contrary, before we can see a greater degree of free development, the concentration on strictly regulated sectors will increase. Politics and service providers will still dictate this for the time being. But Meta is under tremendous pressure; the metaverse has the potential to be pushed all the way to the back of the pack, and the social networks are also currently in upheaval - from Facebook to Twitter.
Yes, it's a turbulent, chaotic, and sometimes uncomfortable time, but it can also give birth to great things. What will the dancing star look like, according to Nietzsche, then? You, dear 2023, will perhaps give us a first glimpse.
Long speech in short...
Happy new year, dear NextPit community. Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Of course, I hope to read your thoughts on NextPit soon in the comments section. Feel free to share your predictions for 2023 below! Stay in touch!