It’s that time of year.  It’s the “end of year, list-making season.”  The best of movies, TV shows, facebook postings, YouTube videos, etc.  There are also lists of predictions for the coming year in the field of technology.  After perusing the articles, we’ve collected some of the more intriguing tidbits predicted for 2012.

Erica Ogg of Giga OM collected these from British Digital Design Agency, Fjord. 
1.    The use of consumer devices in the workplace will become more commonplace.  Employees are already using personal tablets and laptops because they have the installed software that they prefer.  By using programs such as Dropbox, Evernote and Skype, the way they use them at home, employees are more efficient. 
2.    Wearable technology.  Fjord also thinks this will be a big trend.  They think as we do, that this will bring on a revolution in communication.  When you combine voice activation with digital jewelry, you begin to see a real “James Bond” experience on the way. 
3.    Which leads us to the next “James Bond” experience – hands free and gesture-controlled interfaces.   It’s already happening in game technology, so how hard is it to imagine the use in our phones or other devices?  Thanks to Siri, voice control is here and will only grow.  The next area of exploration is naturally gestures and facial expressions.  It is Fjords’ prediction and recommendation, that smart companies get on board with new interfaces and modes of communication.

Paul Sloan, in an article for Cnet News, sat down with Mark Andreeson, co-founder of Netscape and now partner in the Silicon Valley venture firm Andreeson-Horowitz.  They kicked around thoughts for 2012. 
Andreeson predicts that software will continue to rule the world.  Our words, not his.  His exact words were, “software is eating the world.”
“Software has chewed up music and publishing. It's eaten away at Madison Avenue. It's swallowed up retail outlets like Tower Records. The list goes on.”

4.    His next predictions go hand in hand, literally.  The use of smartphones will expand to a point where most people on the planet will own one.  This ultimately will lead to the downfall of retail as we know it.  But, first things first.  A smartphone is a collection of software that fits in the palm of your hand.  Cloud engineering makes it possible to do almost anything from the palm of your hand.  Now think of that power in hands of the world.  Andreeson says in three to five years, 6 billion people will have smartphones.  The opportunity that provides for a Google or an Amazon is mind boggling.  Not to mention all the companies that have not even been formed yet.  After all, who heard of Google ten years ago?
5.    He sees the rise of e-commerce continuing, and 2012 will be the year that traditional retail really feels the pressure.  He points out the example of Warby Parker, an online eyeglass e-tailer.  He calls it “software eats LensCrafters.”  Borders will not be the last big name in retail to go under. 
6.    The technology is not just changing retailing.  He gives another example:  Uber.  “Software eats taxis.”  It’s a smartphone application that brings town cars to you.  You watch the car on a map as it makes its way to you.

He also mentions Foursquare and how it is connecting people and businesses in a whole new way, that was totally impossible before smartphones.  He foresees people running not just their personal lives, but running businesses from smartphones.