In “32 Undeniable Truths For Mature Humans,” one of the author’s laments is, “Can’t we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blu-ray? I don’t want to have to restart my collection …again.”
Unfortunately, my friends, the answer is no. The digital world is constantly evolving.
While we like the familiar, we can’t afford to cling to it. We’ve seen how DVDs gave way to downloads, which gave way to streaming. The past decade has taught us that we can’t focus too much on today’s Big Thing, because today’s Big Thing will soon yield to what’s coming next.
I’d bet my scratched DVD collection on it.
Because of this constant evolution, we can’t design our content around a specific device. That’s why we need to become platform-agnostic, a snobby sounding word for freeing your content to show up everywhere and anywhere.
Devices are changing and evolving at hyper-speed. It’s just too time-consuming to develop different sites for mobile and desktop and tablet and whatever is coming next.
There is just no getting around changing patterns of content consumption. A user may “pshaw” in disgust if they get to your “mobile site” and it lacks the information they were seeking.
Your web content should be like Play-Doh. It needs to be flexible enough to take on the shape of its surroundings. iPhone? Sure. Laptop? No problem. Nifty computer watch, a la James Bond? Of course.
The idea of divorcing content from format is taking hold, because we have realized that we can’t lock ourselves into what’s here; we need to be thinking about what will be here. And making sure our content will be able to adjust accordingly. We talked about these ideas in our book reviews for Content Strategy for Mobile and Content Everywhere.
What to Expect from Smartphone Technology
So, what is the next big thing? (Hint: Those computer watches weren’t a joke).
1. Subphones. Smartphone technology will pop up in devices that look nothing like smartphones.
2. Wearable phones. The hardware will be flexible so you can fold it up and wear it, like a bracelet or wristwatch.
3. Near field communication (NFC).This allows you to exchange data on your smartphone by touching your phone to an object or another phone. The Android “Ice Cream Sandwich” phone uses NFC technology.
4. Augmented reality. Think of it like a GPS on steroids. Point the phone at your surroundings, and it will tell you where you can find nearby landmarks, tourist attractions and even bathrooms.
5. Sensors. Our phones are full of sensors already (GPS, for example), but they will become even more intelligent and personalized. Imagine a heart rate sensor, or a sensor to evaluate your perspiration while you exercise. As the sensors become more and more sensitive, they will learn our phone-use patterns and adjust operations accordingly.
Thinking about where we’re going to be is exhausting. Thinking about where we are is the best place to start.
Pay attention to what every expert is saying: You must divorce your content from display and be platform-agnostic. That way, once the future arrives, you’ll be ready for it.