We had been covering a lot about digital convergence and consumer electronics sector in this blog for quite sometime.Most of the predictions that we have covered,Telephony and Music ,a symbiotic relationship, Bob Cringley's predictions for 2005,eMarketer's predictions, heavily emphasises digital content convergence, Microsoft Vs Nokia impending mobile war,2005-Year Of The Mobile emphasising advances in mobile technologies, reach and utility,2005 Living Room Battles to digitize home entertainment and make it available anywhere, anytime, andInfoworld's 2005 predictions, moving onto Scobeleizer's 2005 predictions visualising harddisk, mobile phones and skype convergence to John Battelle predictionsfor 2005 all had almost a common theme : The Coming Ascent Of True Digital Convergence whose impact would be felt from corporates to practically every home.
(Via Paidcontent)Jermey Allaire makes his predictions mostly centered on digital convergence for the year 2005. Excerpts with edits and my comments added:
-Triple Play Becomes Passe. While Triple Play (voice/video/data) services from cable and telco's will surge in 2005, the emerging story will be the Quaddruple Play (wireless/video/data/voip) -Cable powerhouses shall begin to include wireless. Look for deep alliances and ultimately mergers between remaining independent wireless carriers and cable companies. The other aspect of Triple Play being passe is the bigger story which is that cable and telco focus on high-speed data will ultimately "unbundle" the services they hope to bundle, as consumers will increasingly be able to pick-up voice and video services from Internet-based providers rather than the operators themselves.
- Year II of Internet Transformation of TV. 2004 marked the first year that people began to see a shift in the television industry based on the Internet. From the movement of advertising dollars from TV to online, to an increased focus on online video by portals and major media concerns, to the emergence of devices that connect the Internet to the TV, all showed the promise. But 2005 this story will emerge with greater focus and force, as the traditional broadcast and even cable/telco VOD models of television are colliding with the massive force that is the Internet, marshalling in a transformation that will take years but will make the "digital music" revolution look small in comparison. Look for dozens of new companies, and both vapor and serious announcements from existing and emerging stakeholders in this decades old industry.
- Personal Video Communication Breaks Mainstream. Personal video messaging (at work and home) will move from being a curious and awkward sideshow to breaking into the mainstream. The technology of VoIP and Video are crossing the chasm, device manufacturers (USB, wireless and TV-connected) are putting real products into the market, and consumers are getting comfortable with cameras. Deeper focus from IM, mobile, and VoIP (especially Skype) on this area will draw significant mainstream attention.
- Microsoft Media Center 2005 Will Be a Hit. Microsoft now has a very strong product in the market. The PC industry is putting real weight behind it as it allows them to have a "whole product" sale with their emerging base of LCD and Plasma TV's (higher margin), and lets them dabble in the content business (a breath of fresh air from the cut-throat PC world); the CE industry is shipping dozens of connectors, extenders, and portable devices that support it, and the base of content companies getting behind the platform is impressive. Best of all, the product is really great, and the tens of millions of consumers who go out ot buy new PCs will be tempted by the marginal incremental cost to get the promise of whole house convergnece on the cheap. This will not be a product that is "pushed", but one that is pulled as consumer word-of-mouth helps fuel sales.
- Digital Identity Rebound. Several years ago the world was innundated with a vision for unified and portable Internet identity through Microsoft Passport, which has slowly faded out of collective consciense. In 2005, digital identity on the Internet will make a comeback. The emerging Internet platform landscape can't scale for consumers unless it integrates portable identity standards. The proliferation of devices that we use to connect to services and media, the continue and robust growth in e-commerce, the surge in mobile-based access to Internet services, all point to the need for some unified model of identity. Open standards will come to the rescue -- SAML 2.0, slated for release later this year, brings together the best of many standards and has very broad industry and open source support on its way. Lightweight standards such as SXIP also hold promise. But big websites, portals, mobile carriers, cable companies, and others will rally around this and make our digital lifestyles much easier. The adoption of these standards is also critical as a component in fighting identity theft and fraud. My Take : Years of visualizations, efforts and technological adavances in various fields - communication standards and infrastrcture, software, display technologies, entertainment standards, data stotage etc. have set the stage for true digital convergence to happen - Without doubt the tipping point for impactful digital convergence is happening right now.
Update: One can refer this site for a good overview about new generation digital identity management.