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2012 saw a lot of existing technologies gain more traction, like smart phone applications and a boom in social media in the advertising and marketing medium. It’s fun to try and predict what the new year will bring and there are lots of eager forecasters out there, looking to track web trends in the new year. Based on our personal experiences from this year, here are the disciplines we see growing into 2013.

HTML5

We’ve only just written an article on HTML5, so we won’t go into too much detail here except to say that it’s application in real life scenarios and projects will start to shine. We look forward to utilising it in a wide range of applications including as a Flash substitution, media and audio streaming and web app development. Read November’s article to see how versatile an often forgotten technology HTML is.

NFC

NFC is the acronym for Near Field Communication and the technology has been used for a while now in everyday application. Tap to Pay is just a recent example of how it can be implemented to streamline in store payments. However there are more applications than just POS. NFC is going to see it’s next phase of development over the next few years as smartphones dominant communication portals. Think tourism hotspots, shop windows, business cards and public transport. The advantage of NFC technology over QR codes for scanning is that it doesn’t require the phone to download an app, the phone just has to be NFC compatible.

A real life example of how this can be embraced is in a busy tourist area, The Rocks, Sydney. Using a series of stickers with built in NFC technology the NSW Government is opting to trial the technology so tourists can follow a Historic Walking tour of the area, tapping their smartphones on designated points to reveal videos, maps, guides and websites linked to the areas. Interactivity, links, guides, maps and additional resources are within ready reach for the average tourist. Interactive portals and websites can be regularly updated and linked to other campaigns, sites and portals for maximum exposure and interactivity.

Digital Wallets

First there was the Google Wallet, now Apple is getting in on the game with their Passbook, offered on iOS6 iPhones. The application will allow the beholder to redeem vouchers, buy movie tickets, store boarding passes and hold loyalty cards on their smartphones. Using QR codes and NFC as mentioned above, the phone can be used to scan codes and verify information like a credit card chip. Whether this is about the revolutionise mobile and eCommerce is yet to be seen, but its a trend to be watched.

It’s still in it’s infancy, with retailers and service providers required to sign up to it, but it’s a big market that provides not just payment solutions that rival the credit card but also marketing opportunities. Think about upgrade offers sent via text that can be activated via phone before you reach your destination or cross promotions between an airline and a car hire company, all done through your not so humble smart phone.

Social Media

Facebook has announced its mobile strategy should be in full flight in 2013, which will make many developers very happy. At the moment, Facebook isn’t optimised for mobile use and apps have been created to view Facebook on the smartphone and tablets seamlessly. However Facebook has communicated it is developing a mobile friendly strategy in the coming year, meaning developers can work natively with mobile technologies.

The Pinterest API is due for release in 2013, which a lot of developers have been waiting for. Having an API will standardise development practices.

NFC and QR codes will also play a part in social media in the coming year, with tap-it and scanning technology allowing users to like, view or enter an app from billboards, POS, sales posters, packaging and dockets. Understanding how these technologies can complement each other to create a comprehensive marketing campaign will surely keep the best marketing minds busy and innovating in the near future.

Mobile Apps

Whether you are developing native iOS, native Android, social media or cross platform HTML5, apps are taking the online community by storm.

While they have been growing in the past few years, we’ve not seen as much of an uptake in any previous year as we saw in 2012 and we expect this trend to only explode into 2013. Where mobile and tablet applications used to come along with every 3rd or 4th campaign, they are now attached to nearly all campaigns, if not leading them! Literally from month to month, the requests and interest in apps is increasing. Everyone from the pizza company to government departments have an app for smartphone, tablet or TV. Plus apps are always changing, evolving and being replaced, so nothing is going stale in this industry.

If you’ve not had a chance to offer this to your clients yet then 2013 is your year. Speak to us and we can help you create a strategy to enter this growing market and better understand what type of applications you can offer to your clients.

Augmented Reality

Not every client or campaign has the budget for augmented reality but when it’s done right and for the right reasons it can really add the wow factor to a campaign. It’s application can be found from design right through to retail, engineering and training. It’s one of those technologies that is only really limited by the creativity and budget of the design team and client. If you think you have a great idea for augmented reality or you just want to know more about it, we can help you work out the time / cost implications so you can better pitch to your client.

Responsive Design

High resolution responsive design, is the next evolution of responsive design. Being able to scale down is one of its applications but there is also a growing need for a site design to be able to scale up to meet the medium it is being viewed on. As the quality and size of the home monitor is getting larger, not to mention smart TV’s being rolled out across homes in the next few years, being able to meet this demand from users will be something to consider. While it might not be an urgent consideration for everyone, high end brands will most likely be keen to consider this, as consistency in quality across their branding key to their success. They want to look just as good on a TV screen as a mobile phone!

SmartTV and Windows 8 apps

As just mentioned, apps and sites are not just about the desktop or even the mobile anymore, scaling for new mediums is now becoming increasingly important. SmartTV apps and similar apps are growing in popularity. With the rollout of the NBN, high speed broadband will soon be commonplace in homes across the country and once the medium for delivering the speed and reliability is there, the technology will follow. It is expected that far from being a one way communication medium, the humble television will become an interactive device.

We are also getting more enquiries for Windows 8 apps to suit the new smartphones and tablets being released by Microsoft, adding another dimension to mobile media. If you would like an example of a Windows 8 app let us know and we can give you a tour.

mCommerce

There is nothing quite like a new buzzword and mCommerce might just be it. The jury is still out as to whether 2013 will be the year of mobile commerce, it is set to grow month by month, as companies accept that their user base is expecting a mobile presence. It’s more likely that mobile commerce will really shine in 2014 / 2015 but that doesn’t mean that it won’t start to make strong headway and forge new directions this coming year.

mCommerce isn’t all about a mobile online shop, it’s about the collective shopping and window shopping experience that people are moving from the desktop to their handheld devices. Most companies will most likely start to test the waters with mcommerce-like functionality, without necessarily diving into a full mcommerce site. Perhaps an extension of their existing desktop site or some limited mobile functionality. Some might just choose to create a compare / review site or price checking system. NFC will also play a part in mCommerce functionality for in store use.

The breadth and growth possibilities of mCommerce can’t be summed up in a couple of paragraphs, as it’s an entirely new medium. However we are covering it from February to May in a three part mCommerce newsletter series to give you some ideas of how to transition into it.

We’d like to thank you for reading our newsletters and we hope that you enjoyed reading them as much as we enjoyed writing them. Hopefully as well as being interesting they were also a catalyst for some client pitches and assisted in the development of new digital directions. Everyone at Hambo would like to wish you and your team a Merry Christmas and a nice break over the New Year.

See our Hambo News for our actual Christmas break times. We will be back in January with our first newsletter about Digital Strategy and it’s importance in the marketing world. Knowing about these technologies is one of the keys to success but being able to integrate them into an existing marketing plan to leverage their ability to attract, retain and build consumers, fans and clients is the next step.

If you have any questions about our experience, skills or what we can offer your clients please feel free to give Steven a call. He is always happy to talk to current and future clients about what we offer and how we can help drive your digital strategy.

We look forward to continuing and expanding our digital partnerships, pushing boundaries and delivering on new trends and technologies in the New Year!

Sources

 

http://www.switched.com/2010/06/21/in-a-nutshell-what-are-qr-codes/
http://theconversation.edu.au/will-apples-passbook-be-a-pocket-rocket-in-the-digital-wallet-wars-9524
http://www.tapit.com.au/tapit-work