NJ Panelists Look into Their Crystal Balls at Top Trends Event


In the 2012 Presidential election, the candidate with the best mobile get-out-the-vote strategy will win. In the next 12 to 24 months, we’ll see a massive increase in electric vehicles, both for sale and on the road. The increased market for these vehicles will not be driven by higher gas prices or better payback from gas savings but by many new options from the likes of BMW, Mercedes, Nissan, Chevy, Toyota, Tesla and others—and the cars will be cooler, faster and lower in price than today’s electric models. Genetic testing is going to be a bigger industry than it already is, spurred by one-to-one targeting of diseases. More than 50 percent of all consumers will make mobile payments via smartphones.

These were just some of the predictions made at the New Jersey Technology Council (NJTC) Top Ten Technology Trends event last week in Bridgewater. A panel of experts, including James Erik Abels, CEO of Three Minute Media LLC (New York); Darren Hammell, co-founder and executive VP of Princeton Power Systems Inc. (Princeton); Tom Penn of MVP Capital Partners (Radnor, Pa.); Aaron Price of DFJ Gotham Ventures (Hoboken and New York); and Jo Ann Saitta of PDI Inc. (Parsippany), discussed and debated the top trends expected in the next 12 to 24 months.

The election prediction, by Price, who also founded NJ Tech Meetup and CrafterMania.com, won the audience choice award; many of the tech experts in the audience agreed that using mobile social media to get out the vote will be crucial in the next election.

Abels’s first predictions centered on video production technology. He forecast that in the next 12 to 24 months we’ll see a large increase in the volume of professionally created Internet video, with more production companies going directly to the Internet.

Abels later said there will be an increase in the number and use of Platform as a Service (PaaS) applications. This form of cloud computing will allow developers of all sizes to assemble software from Internet-based data services rather than creating them from scratch. As a result, these software engines will become more valuable than the applications that rely on them, he predicted.

Paradoxically, Abels added, this could change the structure of the technology business. On the one hand, it may allow more people to build sophisticated software. On the other, it may greatly lower the value of companies whose worth is based on software applications.

Princeton Power Systems’s Hammell, the author of the electric car prediction, said the deployment of vehicle charging stations, including advanced energy storage, throughout the electrical distribution system will allow access to fast charging and support the aging electric grid infrastructure. These systems are essentially the link between the smart grid and electric vehicle markets and can pave the way for the success of both, he noted.

In a prediction involving the use of social media and digital intelligence, Saitta feared a more Big Brother-like role for intelligence. “Digital content management information will be the vehicle for promoting and monitoring behavior,” she said. She also forecast a stronger business-to-business (B2B) role for social media between suppliers and clients, bosses and employees and physicians and patients, for example.

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