Tech firms talk 2007… Twitter-style!

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2007-calendar.gifTalk about best laid plans. I thought a neat way to summarise key happenings in 2007 would be to ask various tech companies for their pick of the most important consumer technology trends of the year. And what better way to do it than Twitter-style, asking for their submissions in 144 characters or less?

That was the theory. The reality was that many of the respondants sailed through that limit – and then some. The charitable view is that they thought I meant 144 words. Nevertheless, it’s a good snapshot of some of the trends we’ve been writing about in 2007…

“2007 was the year of consumer green: people making environmental choices with purchases, from lippy to laptops. But companies were sceptical that green is their colour.”
Dave Scott, Fujitsu Siemens Computers

“The way in which people have started to use their PC’s at the centre of their home entertainment package. This coincided with Windows Vista and the ability to scroll through films, music and pictures from your PC, from the comfort of your sitting room.”
Rob Forbes, corporate affairs, computing, DSG International

“Broadcasters and content owners making content available online either for catch-up services or as an alternative way to view professional content”
Babelgum spokesperson

“Virtualization, running multiple operating systems on the same hardware. Allows for consolidation, better redundancy, saves on hardware, physical space and power.”
Mark O’Dell, operations director, Connect

“The great uptake of mobile broadband access, connecting your laptop (or pc) at up to 7.2 Mbit/sec, at a fixed monthly rate.”
Lars Aase, Momail

“The biggest technology trend for consumers is simply the huge reduction in pricing on many traditionally high-end electronics items. GPS units, Digital Photo Frames and Flat Screen TVs have all seen substantial discounts brining them into the realm of affordability for the average consumer.”
Ty Liotta, head gadget scout, ThinkGeek

“The growth in smartphone capabilities and the possibilities that these phones now offer to users when combined with 3rd party service providers”
Aaron Powers, VP of business development, Vyke

“We’ve seen strong demand for large capacity hard drives to cope with people’s ever-increasing volume of digital content. Our 1TB drives shipped in Q2 2007 to meet this demand.”
Nick Kyriacou, director EMEA, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies

“Broadcasters and producers beginning to acquire and store their content on file-based servers in order to make it available for use on multiple platforms”
Digital TV Group spokesperson

“The rapid growth in Voice to Screen-based services being deployed by telecommunications carriers, on the web and in the blogosphere”
Jonathan Simnett, SpinVox

“The big trend in technology that we have seen for 2007 is in LCD Displays. The market has pretty much gone 100% widescreen and what appears to be happening is that customers are increasing their demand for bigger displays. Demand for laptops is still enjoying double digit growth with the demand for large displays such as 17” seeing stronger growth compared to the market. Large format LCD TV and keener prices at the end of the spectrum enjoying the same level of growth.”
Ken Chan, product manager, Toshiba

“Undoubtedly mobile working. The need to work wherever you are has driven demand for mobile tools, be it a slim wireless mouse, ergonomic bag, BlackBerry or power adapter.”
Tim Hemmings, European marketing director, Kensington

“The emergence and rollout of contactless payment schemes.”
Neil Garner, MD, Glue4

“For consumers I think 2007 was the year of VoIP at home ie Skype or Live Messenger. The ability to go from an instant message session to a free voice call and then a free video call without having to switch applications is very intuitive now – thanks to all the internet protocols including VoIP.”
Pat Finlayson, voice products marketing manager EMEA, Polycom

“The ability to be able to record, store and play-back digital terrestrial television (Freeview) on PVRs (Freeview Playback)”
TVonics spokesperson

“To celebrate simple, novel ways to achieve a real bonus to the user’s productivity (iPhone; Apple), and shun eye candy that covers broken functionality (rejection of Windows Vista with Aero). This follows the initial Web 2.0 trend in previous years to produce bells and whistles that add nothing.”
Paul Irvine, sales and marketing director, Bloxx

“Harnessing the power of the ubiquitous mobile device to deliver advertising was the biggest technology trend of 2007.”
Toby Downes, head of marketing, U-Turn Media Group

“In 2007 the big trend was toward free Wi-Fi access. The number of FREE HotSpots grew by 60% worldwide.”
Joe Brunoli, VP of HotSpot market development, Free-hotspot.com

“This year we finally saw the shift from client-installed software applications to a hosted or Software as a Service (SaaS) model.”
Doug Wilson, CEO, HoundDog Technology

“Virtualisation is the biggest trend in 2007. Moreso, Virtualisation is one of the few trends that has lived up to its hype for both the ISV’s that sell the technology and the customers who adopted it.”
David Karp, director of marketing, Ipswitch

“It’s become something of a cliché, but the whole sphere of social networking sites and Web 2.0 has continued to dominate what people are thinking, and talking, about. I specifically don’t say ‘doing’ because a lot of mainstream sites and companies still aren’t doing very much, or anything at all. There is still a lot of confusion over what exactly ‘Web 2.0’ means (and now we’re talking about Web 3.0?!?). It isn’t just simply a case of technology – converting your website to Ajax doesn’t make you the next Facebook.”
Conrad Bennett, technical services director, WebTrends

“ID Fraud has taken the biggest headlines this year and rightly so. Even without the lost HMRC discs, ID theft has seen big growth this year and this is a trend that is set to continue. Consumers are growing more confident with online shopping, banking and auction sites and this has put more pressure on digital security. Security software firms are finding it increasingly hard to cope with the volume of threats. So far, most are doing a good job but the gap between threat detection and threat cure is widening, leaving consumers exposed for longer. This has lead to an increase in interest in behavioural-based security technology in 2007, a trend whch will continue into 2008 and beyond.”
Mike Greene, VP product strategy, PC Tools

“2007 should have been the year of next generation touch screen mobile phones with the high profile launches of the Nokia N95, LG Prada and later the ubiquitous iPhone hogging the news pages. However, the internet functionality of these phones was only truly unleashed by the widespread uptake of High-Speed Downlink Packet Access or HSDPA. This protocol has allowed mobile broadband and really opened up the mobile internet space in the UK in 2007.”
Jens Anderson, CEO, mobilePeople

“In 2007 the biggest technology trend was the accelerated transition to multi-core architectures and supporting applications. Hardware has traditionally outpaced software in technology innovation and the move to multi-threaded applications is no different. In 2007 we saw multithreaded applications make big strides with more games and multimedia taking advantage of this dynamic increase in processing performance per watt. We’re also seeing the early stages of a move towards increased parallelism in multi-core processing architectures to accelerate single threaded application performance. This phenomenon is already playing out in commercial segments like HPC where significant performance benefits and ROI are being realized from multi-core CPU and GPU technologies. In the coming years, AMD will continue to evolve the model for X86 multi-core processing with silicon and platform level integration of heterogeneous compute cores, such as AMD’s forthcoming Fusion processors.”
Giuseppe Amato, AMD

“2007 saw a number of innovations that have captured the Consumers hard earned cash. The one that stands out in terms of a market that just did not exist a few years ago to a major market today is Portable Satellite Navigation. From a position of a few hundred sales per month in 2004 the market has exploded to be worth over 2.2 million pieces in 2007 with a value of over £400 million. Consumers have been attracted by a wider variety of products with additional features such as MP3 and Bluetooth. Prices have also become more competitive with the average price per unit sold dropping from £236 a year ago to £171 today. This rapid adoption by the consumer is even more remarkable given that a few years ago in order to plan our journey we were happy to spend £5 on a map. Today we can spend as much as £300 on a Portable Navigation System, £0 to £400 million in just over three years!”
John Binks, commercial director, GfK

“The biggest technology trend in 2007 from a VoIP perspective was the emergence of mobile phones from the big handset manufacturers supporting WLAN and SIP. For many years they have been reluctant to develop/launch these phones for fear of upsetting their biggest customers, the mobile network operators, by allowing other providers to cannibalise their call revenues.
In the absence of the big boys, this space was occupied by Far Eastern manufacturers whose products were functionally capable of dual mode operation (GSM and VoIP), but couldn’t match Nokia for design, feature set, build quality and battery life. Users have been tied to mobile operators and the high cost of making calls on the move and when abroad. However, with true fixed and mobile convergence now a reality, users can take advantage of low cost calls wherever they are.”
Terry Martin, CEO, Coms.Net

“The widespread adoption of digital cameras has led to consumers capturing more and more special moments of their lives in photographs in 2007. The rise of social networking sites, such as Facebook and MySpace, has also made it easier than ever to share photos with friends, family and colleagues. Which is where flash technology has made an impact this year. Flash technology (flash cards and flash USB drives) is increasing in popularity with volumes spiralling ever upwards, capacities doubling every few months and prices halving every few months.”
Craig Hill, national sales manager, Imation

Stuart Dredge