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20 Tech Trends That Will Define 2013, Selected By Frog

Yes, it’s already that transitional time when our current year ends and another begins, and today and tomorrow are quickly changing hands. Rather than look back at significant trends of the past 366 days (2012 was a leap year, remember?), we asked a wide variety of technologists, designers, and strategists across Frog’s studios around the world to take a look to the future. The near future, that is. Smartphone accessories become smarter Assistant Vice President of Strategy Timothy Morey, San Francisco I recently interviewed a doctor who had used AliveCor’s iPhone ECG on a flight to diagnose a fellow traveler with a heart attack. Smartphones have always had a thriving accessory market, from covers to keyboards, but smart accessories are more than just accessories with sensors. We lose control of our cars Creative Director Katie Dill, San Francisco Our cars are becoming ever more automated. Americans have long looked at the road and the ability to drive as a sign of freedom and control. Related:  Mobile Market

Air Clicker - Camera Concept by Yeon Su Kim Two Finger Camera! Doing it the Apple way, Air Camera strips away all the unnecessary aspects to a digital camera design. It leaves us with a Bluetooth enabled camera lens and a motion-sensor shutter button mounted on two rubber bands. Precious moments are captured with a simple click gesture and the images get transferred to your synced smartphone immediately. This is how it works: if you want to click pictures, wear the camera band on your thumb and the shutter button on your forefinger and gesture to click a pic. I think it’s a clever and fun concept! Designer: Yeon Su Kim

Tech Demos Technology In session 1 of TED2013, we are meeting many new robots. First, we watched the amazing clip above of a troupe of tiny humanoid Nao robots dancing intricate choreography in unison. Culture The Best Props at TED TED2013, “The Young. Digital ecosystems: an in-depth comparison 168inShare Jump To Close There was once a time when the business of consumer technology was conducted with tangible goods. You bought a thing, whether it was a Sony VCR or a Sega console, you carried it home amidst a hormonal high of hunter-gatherer instinct, and you prayed to the electro-deities that it wouldn't lose whatever format war it was engaged in. Adding functionality to your purchase was done in the same way. That overriding paradigm hasn't actually changed in modern times, even as the devices themselves have grown exponentially more versatile. Sticky TOC engaged! The pitch is as simple as it is universal: you only need one account (with us!) My aim today will be to compare, in terms of features and approach, the "access-everything" accounts on offer from those six biggest companies. Movies and music Movies and music Entertainment has been big business pretty much since the dawn of man, and its two dominant forms today are film and music. Music Film and TV Reading Reading Gaming Gaming

Interactive Design Era It’s all moving so quickly. Just yesterday, we were amazed by the miracle of making calls from our cars. Now we’re furious when our 4G cuts out while streaming an HD video on a four-inch touch screen, just because we’re 50 feet underground riding the subway. Connecting is a short documentary by Bassett & Partners and Microsoft that explores how our lives (and our gadgets) have and will change in a more connected world. It’s 18 minutes long but very worth the time, as it features interviews with designers from Method, Twitter, Arduino, Frog, Stamen, Microsoft, and Nokia. What’s crazy, even with the magic of editing, is that so many of these talented perspectives tend to finish one another’s sentences. As you watch, you’ll see a general consensus on a few really important points. Our phones demand too much attention, detracting from our real experiences. But that doesn’t make any of the ideas wrong. [Hat tip: The Creators Project]

This Is How You Make Something Go Viral: An Impractical Guide Really? Really? How about this, produce original, well-written content. Also, "I know it sucks guys, but we have to do it" is a piss poor argument. Further, at least in my opinion, one or two Mobutu level posts a day is a hell of a lot better than 500 Neetzan posts about cats or whatever stupid song is trending sprinkled with one or two HamNo "how much snark can I fit into 50 words" posts (not that he [HamNo] isn't good, he is, but he could be so much better if it didn't feel like he was belching stuff out to meet some quota). Let writers be writers damnit. Oh, and the comment system, let us not forget that. Eye Tracking What if you could move a cursor on your TV with just your eyes? Or turn the page of an ebook without using your hands? These are the promises of PredictGaze, what’s basically (and somewhat allegedly) a series of ingenious algorithms by a team of garage engineers. One demo shows the iPad scrolling through eye movements alone. No doubt, Kinect could handle eye tracking were its cameras higher resolution. To be fair, all of this potential techno-magic makes me a bit skeptical that PredictGaze can work as well as advertised. I reached out to PredictGaze several weeks ago but never heard back, so I can’t speak to how realized these demos are. See more here. [Hat tip: Core77] [Eye Image: Morphart Creation via Shutterstock]

Tech Predictions for 2013: It's All About Mobile Karen Bleier/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesFacebook reaches 76 percent of the smartphone market and accounts for 23 percent of total time spent using apps each month. If there is one theme that will be the topic of digital business this year, it is mobile. ComScore, which tracks Web and mobile usage, published a report about what happened in 2012, and what to expect in 2013. It shows that the effects of a movement toward mobile are everywhere, from shopping to media to search. According to the report, “2013 could spell a very rocky economic transition,” and businesses will have to scramble to stay ahead of consumers’ changing behavior. Here are a few interesting tidbits from the 48-page report. The mobile transition is happening astonishingly quickly. Just as they compete on computers, Facebook and Google are dominant and at each other’s throats on phones. The most visited Web sites are not so surprising: Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon.

Kill the Password You have a secret that can ruin your life. It’s not a well-kept secret, either. Just a simple string of characters—maybe six of them if you’re careless, 16 if you’re cautious—that can reveal everything about you. Your email. Your bank account. No matter how complex, no matter how unique, your passwords can no longer protect you. Look around. This summer, hackers destroyed my entire digital life in the span of an hour. The age of the password is over. Since that awful day, I’ve devoted myself to researching the world of online security. First thing I do? This summer I learned how to get into, well, everything. The common weakness in these hacks is the password. Passwords are as old as civilization. In 413 BC, at the height of the Peloponnesian War, the Athenian general Demosthenes landed in Sicily with 5,000 soldiers to assist in the attack on Syracusae. The first computers to use passwords were likely those in MIT’s Compatible Time-Sharing System, developed in 1961. Apple: OK.

“Killing It” Isn’t Worth It It’s unfair to take a particular moment in time, slice it, and pass judgement on that particular slice. Yet that’s our precise function, as chroniclers of news, and our role in the startup community. Like many others, I read the news this week that Vegas-based ecommerce site Ecomom will be shutting down. Confirmation that he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound came on the same day as his birthday, and on the same day I received the saddest Skype notification ever (above) – that Jody was “offline” on that day. If this week’s reports are correct, and we’ve heard they are, Ecomom will be shutting down soon due to mismanagement of funds and some sort of purchasing decision the site somehow couldn’t recover from. As popular culture continues to glamorize startups, the harsh reality that 90 percent of them fail is consistently ignored. Hell, I’m terrified to start a startup and I’m relatively well-positioned toward success. So did Craig.

Rise of the robots: what will the future of work look like? | Robert Skidelsky | Business What impact will automation – the so-called "rise of the robots" – have on wages and employment over the coming decades? Nowadays, this question crops up whenever unemployment rises. In the early nineteenth century, David Ricardo considered the possibility that machines would replace labour; Karl Marx followed him. Around the same time, the Luddites smashed the textile machinery that they saw as taking their jobs. Then the fear of machines died away. New jobs – at higher wages, in easier conditions, and for more people – were soon created and readily found. For some countries, this long-run prospect might be uncomfortably close. Recently, automation in manufacturing has expanded even to areas where labour has been relatively cheap. Now the substitution of capital for labour is moving beyond manufacturing. For those who dread the threat that automation poses to low-skilled labour, a ready answer is to train people for better jobs. We can see hints of that future now.

Albert-László Barabási’s research says the whole Web is connected by 19 clicks or fewer. Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Everybody is familiar with “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” right? I have a sneaking suspicion you may not be all that impressed by this, given how much we take for granted the near omnipotence of sites like Google. Unlike connecting Hitler to Kevin Bacon, Albert-László Barabási’s conclusions are no party trick. The truth is, the vast majority of the sites online aren’t all that linky, especially with the sorts of random connections necessary to traverse the expanse of cyberspace in fewer than 20 clicks. This means a relatively small number of sites make up a disproportionate amount of the clickiness—sites like Reddit (aggregators), Google (search engines), and Wikipedia and the Internet Movie Database (indexes). Even more worryingly, a brief Facebook “glitch” a couple of weeks ago actually brought down major sites like CNN and the Washington Post—or at least made them inaccessible for users logged into Facebook.

Google retail stores: Ripping off Apple, Steve Jobs again? Yes and no. Photo by Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images Steve Jobs must be going thermonuclear in his grave. According to Walter Isaacson's biography, the late Apple chief was so incensed at Google over its Android mobile operating system—a "stolen product," in his eyes—that he was willing to risk everything to destroy it. Instead, Android has captured 70 percent of the global smartphone market. Now the Wall Street Journal, following the blog 9to5Google, reports that Google is working on plans for a string of Apple-like retail stores, presumably as showcases for the company's mobile devices, among other products. The move would make sense on multiple levels. The irony, though, is that Google still wouldn't need to steal this particular Apple idea if it were just in the business of making Apple knockoffs. Rather, it's the company's foray into genuinely innovative hardware that would make retail stores a necessity. The leadership thought consumers would need to try Google Glass firsthand to make a purchase.

How the Internet Has Changed the World [INFOGRAPHIC] From hactivism to the flipped classroom, the Internet has sparked an online revolution with digital tools. Classified documents on Wikileaks helped spark the Arab Spring, and protestors organized through Facebook. Daily tweets about the Egyptian revolution increased 100% after the overthrow of the country, showcasing the power of trending. Not only has the World Wide Web assisted in shaping our political persuasions, but also our personal interests. While there are 139,500 professional photographers in the U.S., Instagram rekindled the snap-happy side of everyone, with 90 million active users each month on the social platform. As the number of Internet users grow, the world changes, as suggested by this infographic from NowSourcing. Check out the infographic for more stats about how the Internet has made an impact. Image via iStockphoto, franckreporter.

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