A Primer on Millennials: List of 25 Research Reports

There is a lot of interest in the marketing and HR community about understanding the Millennial generation, including who they are, what their interests and expectations are,  and what their preferences are relating to work and shopping.

There is no real definition on what the age range is of a Millennial.  Wikipedia mentions that that some are using birth years from the late 1980’s to the early 2000’s.  Some refer to Millennials as Generation Y, some are even mentioning a new Generation Z as part of this category.   Regardless, there is no question that Millennials now represent the future workforce and purchasing power of the developed economies of the world.  Marketing professionals want to learn more about how this new generation consume marketing messages and what their purchasing preferences are.  HR professionals want to learn more about how to attract and retain this this new generation of workers.

Studies seem to agree on certain generalizations and characteristics of this new generation.

 

  • Heavily reliant on social media and technology … and communicate with people differently because of it
  • Raised differently than their parents were, primarily because the environment has changed dramatically
  • Live in a completely different world of media than their parents (real-time access to information, fewer filters on information)
  • Relatively unattached to organized politics and religion
  • Many entering the job market are burdened by debt
  • Inherently distrustful of people
  • They are in no rush to marry
  • Optimistic about the future
  • This is a racially diverse generation
  • Able to multi-task better than their parents
  • Naturally Group-oriented and collaborative
  • Values peer opinions (typically gathered via social networks)
  • Generally confident about their abilities to succeed
  • Values lifestyle above work
  • Impatient.  Expects things to happen now
  • Open-minded.  Receptive to new ideas and ways of living
  • Self-expressive (online as well as offline)
  • Desires constant feedback
  • Competitive.  Will compete to winFor those of you digging deeper into understanding Millennials, I have done some research for you.   Below is a list of 25 research reports and resources that you can download.  Most of the reports include findings of surveys that were conducted over the past year or two.  The reports are presented below in alphabetical order by the organization that published the study report.
    1. Accenture: Who are the Millennial shoppers? And what do they really want?   Accenture research to understand the needs of the Millennial consumer.  Surveys were conducted of both retailers and consumers, then 50 face to face interviews were conducted.
    2. Barkley:  American Millenials: Deciphering the Enigma Generation  A 90 page report from Barkley based on research conducted as part of a joint partnership with Service Management Group, The Boston Consulting Group and Barkley.  With 5,493 survey respondents and more than 4 million data points, this was a detailed study with many insights.
    3. Bentley University:   The PreparedU Project: An In-depth Look at Millennial Preparedness for Today’s Workforce   Survey commissioned on the subject of preparedness of Millennials for joining the workforce.   More than 3,100 people were surveyed from nine different groups who all have a stake in this issue, including leaders in higher education and business, corporate recruiters, current high school
      and college students and their parents, recent college graduates, and the public at large
    4. Boston Consulting Group:  Millennial Passions:  Food, Fashion, and Friends A 6 page summary of the results and findings from the Barclay study (see above)
    5. Deloitte:  The Deloitte Millennial Survey:  Big Demands and High Expectations  Survey of more than 7800 Millennials was conducted October 11- November 11, 2013 about career and workplace expectations.
    6. Hartman Group:   Outlook on the Millennial Consumer Syndicated Study for 2014  Comprehensive new research to understand the lifestyles, life stages, preferences, and behaviors of America’s largest and most influential demographic group.
    7. IdeaPaint:  2013 Millennial Workplace Trends Survey: Corporate America Begins to Solve the Millennial Paradox   Survey of 600 employed Millennials was commissioned by IdeaPaint.  The goal of the survey was to see if modern workplaces were tapping into the potential of their young talent by engaging in more collaborative ideation techniques or if they were leveraging more traditional business models.
    8. International Journal of Emerging Research in Management &Technology:  Future Workforce “The Millennial”    The generation X has built a perception on what they have see about the generation Y and the generation Y comes with a different perception about them.  This study attempts to evaluate and asses their perceptions built by the generation x on generation y and also to determine what the generation y thinks about them and their expectation on the managers in the organization
    9. Journal of College & Character:   Off Our Lawns and Out of Our Basements: How We (Mis)Understand the Millennial Generation   In this article, the author explores the existing research on the characteristics of Millennials within historical, social, and economic contexts. While many researchers have made claims about Millennials, they fail to consider how parenting styles, economic factors, historical events, and shifts in educational priorities may have created the unique traits of this generation.Millennial Impact:  2013 Report  and the report portal page at http://www.themillennialimpact.com/2013research
    10. Long Range Systems, LLC:      The Millennial Mindset:  How a Generation is Reshaping Hospitality   White paper discusses Millennials and their potential impact on the hospitality industry
    11. Millennial Inc.  What your company will look like when millennial’s call the shots  Results of a six-month study taking place in both the United States and the United Kingdom with the objective to understand what your company would look like if Millennials were already in charge.
    12. MODIS:  Millennial IT Professionals:  Millennials in IT show aggressive approach to career path in contrast to other generations   Modis polled 501 employed IT Professionals about their career ambitions and
      perceptions as well as their perspective on the IT industry
    13. Network for Good:   Engaging Millennial Employees:   Recruit and Retain Top Talent with Cause  This eGuide provides the evidence and advice to help your company better engage all employees, especially younger ones, through cause programs that foster both business and social impact returns.
    14. NPD:  Millennials’ Surprises This brief examines how Millennials consume a variety of products across some of the industries The NPD group tracks: foodservice, entertainment, home, and the automotive aftermarket.
    15. NPD:  Winning the Fight for the Millennial Shopper  Report discusses shopping behaviors of Millennials by retailer, channel, and category.
    16. Pew Research Center:   Millennials in Adulthood    Report discusses perspectives and expectations of Millennials as they enter adulthood.  Findings are based on a new Pew Research Center survey conducted
      Feb. 14-23, 2014 among 1,821 adults nationwide, including 617 Millennial adults, and analysis of other Pew Research Center surveys conducted between 1990 and 2014.
    17. Pew Research Center:   The Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change   Old report from 2010, still provides some good insights.
    18. Pew Research Center:  On Pay Gap, Millennial Women Near Parity – For Now.  Despite Gains, Many See Roadblocks Ahead    Findings are based on a new Pew Research Center survey of 2,002 adults, including 810 Millennials (adults ages 18 to 32),  conducted Oct. 7-27, 2013. The survey finds that, in spite of the dramatic gains women have made in educational attainment and labor force participation in recent decades, young women view this as a man’s world—just as middle-aged and older women do.
    19. Princeton One:   Attracting Gen Y Employees   Highlights five items for employers to take into consideration when recruiting Millennials   Retaining Gen Y Employees  Five ways to retain top Millennial employees.
    20. PWC:   Millennials at Work – Understanding Your Future Workforce  Presentation at the 2013 Financial Management Institute PD Week
    21. PWC:   Millennials at work: Reshaping the workplace  A survey of over 4,000 millennials designed to capture their perspective on what they value most in a career.
    22. Rainmaker Thinking:  Meet Generation Z: The second generation within the giant “Millennial” cohort    White paper discusses the Milllennial sub segment called Generation Z and the five key trends shaping this sub segment.
    23. Raytheon:  Preparing Millennials to Lead in Cyberspace   A Raytheon-commissioned study of attitudes, behaviors and career aspirations among young American adults online.
    24. Urban Land Institute: GenerationY: Shopping and Entertainment in the Digital Age   40 page report published in 2013.   Results of an online survey of Americans aged 18-35 (1,251 respondents) with an objective to understand Gen Y’s shopping habits and dining/entertainment preferences.
    25. Verizon:   Millennials & Entertainment – Final Report March 2014   results of a two-phased research project including a quantitative survey of 1,000 consumers and qualitative interviews of 8 consumers.  Focus of study was to understand how this generation connects with media, content, and entertainment.
  • Are there other reports I missed?  Let me know via Twitter (@HorizonWatching) or contact me on Linkedin (whchamb)

 

IBM’s 5 in 5 List for 2013: Humans and Computers Become Smarter Together

IBM 5in5 2013Every year around this time, the IBM Research team publishes a list called “5 in 5”.   The list is based on research into market and societal trends as well as emerging technologies from IBM’s Research labs around the world.  As a foresight analyst, I love these annual lists as it’s a little bit of trends research readout and a little bit of scenario planning that’s all designed to get people thinking and talking about how our lives will be transformed in the near future by technologies that are being developed today.

This year’s IBM 5 in 5 explores the idea that humans and computers will become smarter together and as a result of learning insights from the vast amounts of data.  The 2013 5 In 5 lists explore scenarios in education, retail, healthcare, security and our cities.   IBM says that in the future, everything will learn – driven by a new era of cognitive systems where machines will learn, reason and engage with us in a more natural and personalized way. These innovations are already beginning to emerge, enabled by cloud computing, big data analytics and learning technologies all coming together. Over time, these computers will get smarter and more customized through interactions with data, devices and us.  Humans and computers will learn faster and the result will be that we will be able to solve previously unsolvable problems in education, retail, healthcare, security and our cities.

So this year’s 5 in 5 from IBM is as follows

1. The Classroom Will Learn You.    IBM says that the classroom of the future will give educators the tools to learn about every student, providing them with a tailored curriculum from kindergarten to high school and on to employment. In the next five years the classroom will learn about each student using longitudinal data such as test scores, attendance and student’s behavior on e-learning platforms, not just aptitude tests.  Sophisticated analytics delivered over the cloud will provide decision support to teachers so they can predict students who are most at risk, their roadblocks, and then suggest measures to help students conquer their challenges based on their individual learning style.  For more, read the full story around “The Classroom Will Learn You” 
2. Buying Local Will Beat Online.   Today, most physical stores are limited to the insights they can gain at the point of sale – and the trend of showrooming is making it harder to compete with online retailers who compete solely on price.  IBM says that In five years, new innovations will make buying local du jour once again.  Savvy retailers will use the immediacy of the store and proximity to customers to create experiences that cannot be replicated by online-only retail.  They will magnify the digital experience by bringing the web right to where the shopper can physically touch it.   For more, read the full story around “Buying Local Will Beat Online” 
3. Doctors Will Routinely Use Your DNA To Keep You Well.   Imagine if treatment could be more specific and precise – where computers could help doctors understand how a tumor affects a patient down to their DNA and present a collective set of medications shown to best attack the cancer.   IBM is predicting that in five years, advances in big data analytics and emerging cloud-based cognitive systems coupled with breakthroughs in genomic research and testing could help doctors to accurately diagnose cancer and create personalized cancer treatment plans for millions of patients around the world.  Smart machines will take the output of full genome sequencing and scour vast repositories of medical records and publications to learn and quickly provide specific and actionable insights on treatment options for oncologists.  For more, read the full story around “Doctors Will Routinely Use Your DNA To Keep You Well”    
4. A Digital Guardian Will Protect You Online.  IBM says that by 2019, each of us could be protected with our own digital guardian that will become trained to focus on our digital and physical assets, offering a new level of identity theft protection. Security will assimilate contextual, situational and historical data to verify a person’s identity on different devices. By learning about users, a digital guardian can make inferences about what’s normal or reasonable activity and what’s not, acting as an advisor when they want it to.  For more, read the full story around “A Digital Guardian Will Protect You Online”     
5. The City Will Help You Live In It.    IBM has been leading the discussion around Smarter Cities  for about five years.   IBM is saying now that within five years Smarter Cities will be able to react more in real time.  Computers will learn to understand what people need, what they like, what they do, and how they move from place to place.   Soon it will be possible for cities and their leaders to understand and digest new information freely provided by citizens, knowing which city resources are needed, where and when, so the city can dynamically optimize around the needs of the citizens.   For more, read the full story around “The City Will Help you Live In It”.

There is much more content for you to learn more about each one of the 5 in 5 prediction scenarios.   For more information, you can check out

And, if you want to, you can explore all the past lists of IBM 5 in 5 projects and how those technologies have progressed since appearing on the list.  For that go to Five in Five—where are they now?

IDC Retail Insights: Predictions for 2012 for the Retail Industry

IDC has released its IDC Retail Insights' Predictions for 2012 via it’s annual predictions conference call.  This was a global predictions call and was focused broadly on all types of financial services.  There are also other calls coming up that focus on regional predictions in both Europe and Asia as well as calls specific to sub-industries within Financial Services.   

Leading this conference call was Bob Parker Group Vice President.  Other IDC Retail Insights team members on the call were

Summary

According to IDC Retail Insights, the economic indicators are strong going into 2012.  IDC believes that year to year spending growths for Retail Industry segments will range from a low of 3.9% for for Home Furnishing to a high of 5.6% for Drug Stores.  Spending will grow the fastest in the software at 5.8% year to year, while services growth will be lowest at 3.5%.  Asia Pacific is poised to grow the fastest at 4.8% while Western Europe will only row at 3.6%.

The IDC Retail Insights team also confirmed four major IT trends that are reshaping the industry:  Cloud Computing, Social Computing, Mobile Computing, and Analytics.

The Ten Predictions

The 2012 predictions list below was sourced from the conference call slides.

  1. Growth Strategy. “Consumers, not products or channels, create the basis for growth strategies.”
  2. New Retail IT Model. “The Omni-Channel Consumer directs a new Retail IT model for the industry – O3.” 
  3. Innovative & Efficient. “Retailers will race to innovate and will operate more efficiently.”
  4. Synchronicity. “Retailers will synchronize the supply chain with the clock speed of their customers.”
  5. Brand Experiences. “Retailers will create great brand experiences by enabling engaged employee experiences.”
  6. Customer Engagement. “Planning paradigms will begin to evolve to support genuine customer brand engagement strategies.”
  7. Assortment Planning. “Continuous assortment planning (AP) orchestrated for space becomes the planning hub.”
  8. Store Evolution. “The store evolves – welcome to the Omnichannel Store.”
  9. Social Conversations. “Customer experience improvements that boost online conversion will go beyond the web store.”
  10. Delivery Models. “eCommerce delivery models will fragment.” 

For More Information

IBM Relaunches Smarter City Initiative With An Innovative Portal

IBM has relaunched it's Smarter City initiative and the website portal is something you should visit to experience.  It is truly an immersive, interactive experience designed to show how cities all over the world are using advanced technology to help address some of the biggest problems facing our planet.  

 Smarter City Portal
It is a fact…our cities are getting larger and larger.  With that growth comes significant challenges for city leaders.  Increasingly, city operations are being digitized, creating brand new data points.  With the greater digitization of its core systems and the use of advanced analytic capabilities, cities can enhance decision-making and improve urban planning.

The Smarter City portal allows you to explore and experience how Smarter Technology can have an impact on making a city more sustainable, more intelligent, and simply better places to live and work.  At the portal, you have options to learn more about how technology can impact all areas of a Smarter City, including Transportation (all forms of transportation), Public Safety, Communications, Energy & Utilities, Healthcare, Social Services, Education,  Retail, Economic Development and other critical operations that make up a large urban city today. 

I suggest you give it a visit and explore this innovative portal at www.thesmartercity.com

IBM SOA Newsletter: Innovative Ideas From The Smart Work Jam

IBM SOA Newletter I subscribe to the IBM Smart SOA Newsletter, a monthly e-newsletter sent out by IBM.   The newsletter always provides interesting articles on current information in Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and related trends in Business Process Management (BPM).  

Today I opened the most recent newsletter in my in-basket. This article has an interesting lead article on Smart Work that I thought you’d enjoy.   You can see the full online version at IBM Smart SOA Newletter.  Here’s a list of the articles in the current issue:

Lead Article: 

  • Ideas for innovation from the Smart Work Jam:   On September 16-18, 2009, IBM hosted the Smart Work Jam, engaging industry and university thought leaders, clients, Business Partners and IBMers to discuss how we can work smarter together. For 72 hours, more than 2,000 participants from 68 countries “jammed” with nearly 5,000 posts across seven topics.  The Smart Work Jam Report, which details the results of that conversation, is now available.   Access the article here Ideas for innovation from the Smart Work Jam

Other Articles Include:

  • Impact 2010:  Impact is a great conference for both business and IT leaders. It will be held May 2-5 in Las Vegas.  Read article here.
  • BPM BlueWorks Adds Resources For Process Improvement:  How organizations in 90 countries are jump starting Business Process management   Read article here
  • An Approach For Working Smarter in Retail:  Use it to improve supply chains, customer loyalty and margins.  Read article here
  • Proven Practices:  Enhancing performance of business rules projects  Read Redpaper here.
  • Business Process Management Software News:  IBM closes its acquisition of Lombardi Software.  Read article here.
  • New Electronic Support:  New consolidated, customizable online tools for full technical info.  Access a webcast series describing the new features.  Read article here

If you are interested in SOA and BPM topics, you’d enjoy the newsletter.  The newsletter has been delivered monthly since January 2007 and is full of the latest information, best practices, technical tips, resources and more, on service oriented architecture (SOA).

To access the online newsletter http://www.ibm.com/vrm/newsletter/10481 .  To access all previous issues of this newsletter, check out the archives.  To subscribe to the IBM Smart SOA e-newsletter, go to manage your subscriptions.  You’ll need to register and sign in with your email.  And then you can manage all your subscriptions from IBM. 

AdAge: 5 Mobile Advertising Trends To Watch In 2010

ad age_logo Mobile is such a megatrend.  Mobile technologies, applications and services will be big a big story in 2010 and this shift in computing will impact our lives forever.  That is a fact we can not deny.   So I have my radar tuned to any content that helps me understand the underlying drivers and trends.

AdAge recently had an article titled Five Mobile Trends for 2010 that caught my eye.  It provides us with a perspective of the mobile megatrend from those in the advertising industry.  The two authors Dan Neumann (Organic) and Allison Mooney (MobileBehavior) have been focusing on the mobility trend and the impact it will have on advertising.  The article provides their thoughts on the key trends.

Here’s my summary of the five trends they see…

  1. Local Advertising.  Mobile will completely revolutionize the way local advertisers can connect with potential customers.  Mobile search and location based services will allow small local retailers and service providers to reach consumers like they’ve never
  2. Shopping Applications.  The growth in adoption of mobile shopping applications (apps such as price comparison, user product reviews, coupons) will continue to alter in-store consumer behavior. 
  3. Branded Apps and Display Media.   The authors expect that brands and agencies will continue to build their own branded apps.  However thanks to Google, they will also have more attractive display media options.  The authors say to watch out for Google as it attempts to one-up the iPhone app experience.
  4. Outdoor Advertising.   The authors give a few examples of where mobile users can now interact with outdoor ads and signage, opening up a whole new set of opportunities for advertisers.
  5. Social Provides Instant Feedback.  Social technologies give users the ability to express their opinions anywhere, anytime.   Companies need to figure out how to embrace this as part of their marketing process, encouraging and acting on the real-time feedback.

Some interesting trends along with a unique perspective from the advertising industry.  I think it is safe to say that Google has an iron-clad plan to grab their share of the mobile advertising market. 

IDC Insights: Retail Industry Predictions for 2010

IDC Retail 2010 Predictions IDC held its "IDC Insights Predictions 2010: Retail" web briefing last Wednesday, January 13, 2010.  Leading the call were IDC Retail Insights analysts Leslie Hand, Ivano Ortis, and Group Vice President Bob Parker.

The conference call provided insights into current driving forces impacting retailers (including Sustainability, POS systems and RFID, and customer experience) and important IT investment trends for 2010 in the area of supply chain, demand planning, merchandising, and point-of-sale (POS) business initiatives.

Certainly, the economy had a big impact on retail in 2009 and that trend is expected to continue in 2010.  However, retail will begin emerging in 2010 with new business models and perhaps new industry leaders.

Here’s a summary of the 10 predictions IDC provided on the conference call.

  1. Growth Strategies:  IDC says that in 2010, retailers will seek growth strategies based on “Same Shopper” sales and first time buyers.
  2. New IT Investment Strategies:  IDC predicts retailers will launch aggressive technology investment programs to support new business models while reducing traditional IT costs.
  3. Getting More Value From Supply Chains:  Retailers will extract more value from their supply chains, responding adeptly to customer, supplier, and regulatory influences.
  4. Devil is in the Details:  IDC says that retailers reach nirvana where PLM information informs intelligent automation
  5. Customer Experience:  Retailers will focus on customer experience solutions convergence. CRM, SCM, and BI applications on a single source of demand information.
  6. Mobile Shopping:  IDC expects retailers will drive mobile consumer interaction and this will usher in the open shopping era.
  7. Demand Information To Drive Customer Loyalty:  Retailers will work on building customer intimacy and loyalty while improving brand performance.
  8. Harvesting Intelligence:  IDC says that in 2010, retail investment in demand intelligence and BI will be driven by a need to lower inventory costs and be more customer centric.
  9. Sustainability Initiatives:  IDC predicts retailers will build sustainable lean enterprises
  10. Social Commerce:  IDC cleverly states that traditional retailers are on the Titanic and the approaching iceberg is online social commerce.

The formal part of the call ended with the IDC team reviewing their four pillars of investment for retailers.  Here’s a summary of the four pillars.

  • Drive IT Infrastructure savings
  • Harvest Demand Intelligence
  • Drive Improved Customer Experience
  • Improve The Supply Network

The four pillars seem pretty obvious when I look at them…and you could make the case that those pillars have been important for decades and will still be important for many more decades to come.

For more information

IBM Weighs in on “The Future of the Consumer Products Industry”

cpbanner_hero IBM recently released a new Institute for Business Value whitepaper titled, "The Future of the Consumer Products Industry" which identifies the powerful macroeconomic, demographic and social trends that are driving deep changes across the CP industry.

For most of the 20th century, the CP industry grew largely by improving its ability to develop and sell products to a relatively affluent, homogenous market of shoppers, who responded in familiar and predictable ways to the traditional 4 Ps of price, product, place(ment) and promotion.

The CP industry of the future will be led by those companies willing to take bold, innovative steps to define the markets they serve, re-imagine the channels they use, and transform current business models, while executing flawlessly against six capabilities:

  • Globalization – Balancing market demands for localization with global/standard operating efficiencies
  • Differentiation – Deploying assets and processes to create sustainable differentiation
  • Integrated information – Integrating information to drive the business through insight
  • Innovation – Create and deliver offerings that go beyond consumer expectations
  • Consumer-centricity – Finding new ways to connect with consumers
  • Corporate responsibility – Integrating corporate responsibility into the organization's DNA.

In conjunction with the release of “The Future of the Consumer Products Industry”, IBM recently released the results of a research study that found Americans at all income levels are refusing to sacrifice quality, value and nutrition to save money on food, despite difficult financial conditions.

The study also revealed that the current economy has led U.S. shoppers to reassess the brands they purchase, the stores they patronize and their preferred packaging – all with an eye toward finding ways to save money. Respondents said that this in-store spending strategy would last beyond the recession.

The study was based on interviews with 4,000 U.S. residents across all income levels. Among the findings:

  • 72 percent of respondents are more concerned with quality than price while food shopping.
  • 90 percent of respondents said that value and nutrition will be of equal or greater importance when the recession ends.
  • 68 percent say nutrition is the most important consideration when food shopping.
  • 49 percent are shopping at multiple stores to get the best deals.
  • 35 percent of respondents said that they have changed grocery stores to save money.
  • 52 percent of consumers are reducing the volume of food they purchase from the grocery store.

For more informatoin

Trendwatching: Six Consumer Trends for 2009

Every so often I like to read up on consumer related trends.  I have always felt this is important in the B2B world because consumers are at the very heart of what makes every economy tick.  And as the Internet has made the consumer a much more relevant and powerful force in the economy, keeping an eye on consumer trends can help us understand our clients wants and needs.

Trendwatching.com is one source I use to keep up on consumer trends.  It can be an annoying site as it is rather splashy with bold colors, pictures all over, and fancy names for trends.  However, underneath all that are usually some important trends.  I am on their newsletter list and they report on new trends regularly, so I am always getting an update on something new. 

So Trendwatching recently came out with their annual Trends report.  I don't have a budget to buy the report, so I have not seen it yet.  However, Trendwatching does provide us with their top six trends in their December 2008 briefing.   Here is a summary of those trends (check out those fancy names!)

  1. Nichetributes.  This trend is all about companies adding new attributes / features / additions to existing products, making them more practical for specific user groups (niches).  In doing so companies would be signaling to those users that the brand 'gets it’, that it cares, and in some cases even pays tribute to their lifestyle.
  2. Luxyoury.  While luxury is traditionally associated with the scarcity of a good/product, in 2009, Trendwatching says luxury providers will search for those products that are becoming little too affordable, too accessible, or just too well-known.  Then they will introduce something very different (if not the opposite), appealing to the in-crowds.
  3. Feedback 3.0.  This will be all about companies joining the Web 2.0 conversation, if only to get their side of the story in front of the mass audience that now scans reviews.  Expect smart companies to be increasingly able (and to increasingly demand) to post their apologies and solutions, preferably directly alongside reviews from unhappy customers.
  4. Econocierges.  Trendwatching says to expect a rise in firms and services dedicated to helping households go green in any possible way.  Some of this activity will result from cash-strapped consumers looking to make money by being green (example: generate and sell excess power to the power 'grid').
  5. Mapmainia.  Trendwatching expects 2009 to be a year in which everything will be plotted on online maps.  These new services will be embraced by eager consumer masses who will flock to anything from friend-finders to lowest-gas-price-locators.
  6. Happy ending.  Consumers will start to focus more on what truly makes them happy…and many will realize that does not mean shopping.  Successful companies will show consumers they care (examples include listening to real-time needs and wants, helping people to save money while being green, etc).

For more information on these specific trends, visit the Trendwatching briefing website here or download a shiny, bright PDF here.

IBM’s Next 5 in 5

Last week, IBM published the third annual "IBM Next Five in Five" list.  This is becoming an annual list (check out the 2007 list here) that describes innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and play over the next five years.  The Next Five in Five list is based on market and societal trends expected to transform our lives, as well as emerging technologies from IBM’s Labs around the world that can make these innovations possible.  

Here is IBM's 2008 list

  1. Energy saving solar technology will be built into asphalt, paint and windows.  The enabling technology for this will be “thin-film” solar cells, a new type of cost-efficient solar cell that can be 100 times thinner than silicon-wafer cells and produced at a lower cost. 
  2. You will have a crystal ball for your health.  In the next five years, your doctor will be able to provide you with a genetic map that tells you what health risks you are likely to face in your lifetime and the specific things you can do to prevent them, based on your specific DNA – all for less than $200
  3. You will have your own digital shopping assistants.  In the next five years, shoppers will increasingly rely on themselves – and the opinions of each other – to make purchasing decisions rather than wait for help from in-store sales associates.
  4. Forgetting will become a distant memory.  In the next five years, it will become much easier to remember what to buy at the grocery store, which errands need to be run, who you spoke with at a conference, where and when you agreed to meet a friend, or what product you saw advertised at the airport. That's because such details of everyday life will be recorded, stored, analyzed, and provided at the appropriate time and place by both portable and stationary smart appliances.
  5. You will talk to the Web…and the Web will talk back.  In the future, you will be able to surf the Internet, hands-free, by using your voice – therefore eliminating the need for visuals or keypads. New technology will change how people create, build and interact with information and e-commerce websites – using speech instead of text

As I have been researching and analyzing the cloud computing topic this year, I believe all five of these opportunities above will be enabled by the cloud.  All the data required by these services will be stored in the cloud and the services themselves will be cloud services. 

For more information, check out the IBM press kit Next 5 in 5 online press kit – 2008 where you can also download pdfs on each of the 'Five'.  You can also watch a Next 5 in 5 video on YouTube.

Consumer Electronics: Five Technologies to Watch in 2009


The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) recently released the 2009 edition of their "Five Technology Trends to Watch   publication.  CEA analysts predict consumer electronics devices of tomorrow will be personalized and far more powerful than today's products.

The Five Trends…

The five sections to this years report are:

  1. Control Freaks? Technologies Change How We Interact with Consumer Electronics:  How do we use command and control technologies to interact with our Consumer Electronics?  In the first section, the publication takes a look at the command and control technologies that allow people to more naturally interact with consumer electronics.  From real-world products to prototypes still in the lab, this section examines some of the cutting-edge control mechanisms that may soon impact the human-machine relationship.  What do you think…Are we a control freak society?
  2. Ingredients for the Kitchen of Tomorrow: Power – Connectivity – Control:   Many pieces of the technology for the kitchen of ‘the future’ is available today.   This section looks into the kitchen of tomorrow, full of everything from flat-panel displays and Internet connectivity on refrigerators to appliances that manage energy efficiency and decide when to run.  The report forecasts that the kitchen may be the hub of the house, with the ability to control the consumption and management of energy throughout the house.
  3. Displays: A Look at the Next Wave of Innovation:  With the transition from analog to digital television nearing the final stages, a host of new display technologies will reach markets sooner than many realize.  Four areas of development worth watching closely include energy efficiency, enhanced experience and form factor, nonliving room uses and connectivity.
  4. The Future has Already Arrived: The Localization of the Internet:  As the world moves toward Web 3.0, the trend of Web-based applications like Amazon.com or software business tools such as salesforce.com will continue to have more personalized functionality directed at the end-user.  And further exploring the Web theme, in the contextual Web 3.0, devices will do much of the sorting, filtering, contextualizing and connecting of data currently done by individuals.  Devices will begin to provide data in context with other available information residing elsewhere on the Internet.
  5. The Contextual Web:  The final section looks at how consumer technology is being used to further medical advances and diagnosis, the trend toward more efficient, energy-saving devices and even using video games to fight disease. 

About the CEA's Five Technology Trends To Watch Publication 

Produced by the Consumer Electronic's Association's market research analysts, Five Technology Trends To Watch, reviews the business of consumer technologies, software, retailing, expanding GPS services, the future of radio, and a special future section highlighting CE products on the horizon.

Geared toward industry professionals, the publication provides analysis of each of the five trends as well as market forecasts for the upcoming year.  Other topics covered for each trend include consumer perspectives, partnerships, key players and public policy issues.

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