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Your Future Is Now!

Erwin predicts, writes about the future & developments today.

Joost has third parties make comments

Through video site Joost Coca-Cola now facilitates people to share their comments on (fragments in) video content. Users who have installed Joost already, can download a so-called joba document, which then can be activated in Joost. Then their comments appear in bubbles, with a wink to Coca-Cola (cz). By making it possible for third parties to leave their comments, Joost can quickly grow. People will send each other fun fragments, only Joost has to be installed. In the end a developing home entertainment coaching brand like Joost will facilitate these comments itself. After all, if you are positive about something, Joost will want to know, so it can give you even more surprising content on your next visit.

Donor register uses DigID

It is now possible to online manage your donor registration through DigID, the uniform online identification method of the Dutch government. With this, the government extends the type of services accessible through DigID. In a next step the government can give access to things Dutch citizens are obliged to take care of, like medical insurance or car insurance. After that, I expect the government to start helping third parties. So that for example you can set up your e-mail like 'only mail from identified sender', without a blacklist. Slowly the government then takes on the same role as in the physical world: it gives you a proof of identity to travel the world. This development is a step in that direction.

Mix of today’s and yesterday’s worlds

The Swiss city of Basel is experimenting with special glasses for tourists. They can tour the city, while seeing a combination of today's and yesterday's worlds through these special glasses. Sometimes 'extra' people are even crossing their paths (fc, Dutch). Now this is done through a backpack full of technology, extra sensors, and thick glasses; in ten to fifteen years regular glasses will be sufficient. Now there is a big difference between today's and yesterday's images, but as time passes and history becomes more 'recent', there will also be more old material available, and these 'history' images will be of better quality (we have more images of 1990 than of 1950, and that in itself is more than 1920. Of 2010 we will have more images than of 1990, and 2030 will give us even more images than 2010). Now we see people from a certain time, later (and then we have to think 2050) we meet our father in his younger days, and can really have a conversation with him. He then will react about the same way he would have reacted in reality. The basis for this we create in our systems today. The more we register our behavior, the more predictable our behavior gets. The virtual world becomes a layer over the physical world, and it will be harder to see the differences. This development is part of that.

Iffps animates logo

Recently I joined the Iffps, the International Federation For Professional Speakers. This organization now also appears to animate its logo. Although this is clearly still a trial, there are more and more people within organizations who realize the logo doesn't have to be static. That you can do something with it. That it even attracts attention. This Iffps definitely attracts attention. In the time to come, designers will show us ways to animate the logo, attract attention, have it remembered better, have it communicate brand associations, in a more subtle way. It all goes very slowly (it will be hard to get rid of our old-style brand thinking), but the development is crystal clear.

KortingKorting: look for prices through mobile

Through KortingKorting.nl consumers now can also find a price with their mobile phone. If you are in a shopping center for example, you can check with www.kortingkorting.nl/m to see if there is a better deal for this specific TomTom, iPod, or Nintendo. (kk, Dutch). Thus brands of third parties are helping you on the spot. We always dealt with the balance between supplier brands and retail brands, and now there is a third type of brands: the coaching brand: brands which assist us in buying and using products. In the store, on the street, or at home. Wherever we are in the world, coaching brands in the end will be with us. This is a small step in that direction.

Related trends

Nadine answers questions about Rotterdam

Employees of the city of Rotterdam now have a new colleague. A virtual colleague, named Nadine. She daily answers all questions about moving to and from the city of Rotterdam. If Nadine doesn't know the answer, the customer is offered options to communicate with Nadine's 'real' colleagues. Through e-mail, phone, or at a window. Customers that way do get a quick answer to their question (ss, Dutch). Thus brands slowly start dialogues. Now just for moving, in the future Nadine will be the most important employee of the city of Rotterdam. You then will even be able to leave your vote with Nadine. This is a small step in that direction.

McDonald’s website is 3D

The website of McDonald's in Korea is 3D. That is, the home page is 3D. And of course as 3D as Second Life is, or as 3D as TV is. But it is a totally different look. When you come in, the tune 'I'm lovin it' is played. And the narrow casting screens contain video, which seems to be adapted to the site. Many elements react to mouse clicks which make the 3D perspective change. After that you get a 2D page with text about the product again (following this). This shows what websites will become: 3D worlds in which we will projected ourselves and in which we can invite our friends if we like. McDonald's is on the right track.

Related trends

Otto introduces life style agent

Dutch mail order company Otto introduced its Life Style Agent. This small software program nestles in the task bar and continuously shows new offers in the area of lifestyle, fashion, and living. Not just of Otto, but of all kinds of sources (cc, Dutch). Brands are becoming pro-active. They continuously watch the world for us, and select exactly what we want. The brands who know us best, will offer us the most relevant products and information. These brands we will love most. This is a small step in that direction.

Zie.nl links Messenger contacts

If you open an account at developing home entertainment coaching brand Zie.nl, gets the option to add windows live messenger contacts. The user can directly select contacts from his own buddy list of the chat program, and invite them to Zie.nl. In a next step, Zie will make a permanent connection between the Zie account and the Messenger account. Then Zie can start advising you about what your friends are watching (or have watched). Also when you have removed friends, or added new friends. Thus your list of friends always accompanies you. From one brand you trust to the other brand you trust.

Placing your McDonald’s order by phone

At McDonald's in Korea you can submit your order through your mobile phone. Sitting at your table, you can connect your phone to a RFID reader. With that, you aim your phone to the menu of your choice, and when your food is ready, you get a text message with the number of the pick-up window. You pay through your phone subscription (kt (Korea Times)). All artifacts in the physical world get a virtual layer around them. In the future we will be able to aim our mobile phones at license plates, people, shoes, animals, plants, restaurants, business cards, TV screens, lamps, air planes, anything you can think of. Everything will be recognized, and brands will be waiting to tell you anything about it. This example is part of that development.

Visual sorting with Live Search

Through Live Search, Microsoft's search engine, you can drag visuals from your search results to a side panel, the so-called 'clipboard'. This clipboard is saved, even after starting a new search. Thus you can easily use different ways to find the best picture. Here you see and example of searching for Santa Claus (dc, Dutch). In this seemingly simple function, we can see some hidden trends: first of all, brands are linking to people's visual thinking, second, brands start remembering what we possibly find interesting (I call that the brand memory), and third, brands share that with us openly. This can totally inspire brands.

DirectWonen shows house sale history

Dutch site for rental houses and houses for sale DirectWonen from now on also shows the price for which houses have been for sale until a year ago. The time the house has been on the market is also shown. The site has always been the leader in the area of rental houses in the Netherlands, but now apparently also offers information on houses for sale, with this history as a distinguishing extra value (em, Dutch). Thus home coaching brands slowly develop. They stand next to the consumer and look at the whole market. Information about the price for which a house has been for sale earlier is not readily disclosed by the seller, but is very relevant to the buyer. Information about the status of the house before (rental or not) is relevant as well. In a while, housing sites will contain ALL rental houses, and ALL houses for sale. Then the added value will be in adding categories, like mortgages. And after that the selection of contractors, painters, movers, or moving services. Earlier or later it will be a drama to take care of this yourself, and home coaching brands then give you the break you need to relax and enjoy the fun part of moving.

Zie makes you first choose videos

When you register at video site Zie.nl, first quickly has to browse through a couple of videos, and rate them by clicking the rate button. Thus a viewers profile is assembled, based on which Zie develops a personal TV guide. Then Zie finds your view friends: people who like similar TV programs (em, Dutch). This way another home entertainment coaching brand comes into existence. Now looking at TV channels, in the future also at online content. Now just at the computer, later also through the mobile phone. But home entertainment coaching brands will only then really break through, when they always appear when we turn on the television. There are lots of initiatives in that direction, but it hasn't had its breakthrough for the masses yet. I expect this breakthrough some time next year.

Finger prints in German passports

Chips in German passports from now on also contain finger prints (fc, Dutch). First all governments, worldwide, will take finger prints. Then they will connect finger prints to identification initiatives like DigID, after which brands always can use the government to check if their client is really the person he says he is. Governments will make sure that consumers can only move through the digital world under a pseudonym. This is a small step in that direction.

Wixi listens and connects

Through Wixi Dutch users can now say a catchword, which then is automatically interpreted and called. Anyone can buy such a catchword. It is possible to buy off a catchword so that the caller doesn't hear an advertisement first, but it is also possible to reserve a catchword for free. Then the caller first hears and advertisement. Besides, there are many more possibilities, among which printing a business card with the Wixi catchword included (via am, Dutch).

For example, it is possible to buy the word 'workshop'. A caller dials the number 0900-0100 and says 'workshop'. Then he or she is connected to the business that bought the catchword. Unfortunately, in this case it didn't work perfectly, and I was connected to a different catchword. That of course is not very good. It is a step in the evolution though. Brands more and more learn to (automated) listen to consumers. In the future they will put our pronunciation in our personal context, and will be perfectly able to understand what we are saying: in the end even better than humans. Then we only have to say something and we get connected every brand, every part of the government, every individual, on demand.

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