As the year 2013 ends, it is time to reflect and write down some thoughts and highlights for the year.
This year I spent most of my time working on Telco stuff, specifically on a supply chain orchestration SaaS platform and private marketplace, and Intellectual Property, that helps Telcos manage, buy and sell IP services — all around the Telephone Number. During this time I learned quite a bit about all the gory details, role and life-cycle of telephone numbers, and how to help bring Telcos to the new world of Cloud Computing and Services (OTT); see The Evolving Role of the Telephone Number in the Growth of Mobile (Cloud Computing Magazine). It also was interesting to see something that many of us have been talking about for a long time – the state of “voice services and apps” — all moving to IP and the Cloud. Technologies such as WebRTC made a lot of noise in 2013 and will continue throughout 2014.
All the above triggered a number of thoughts including the ones captured on a piece that I wrote titled On Voice Apps (2013). Another related piece of interest is Enabling Voice Communication on Android Apps, which was the focus of a presentation I gave at Google I/O Austin. Related to the above I recommend that you read my friend Chetan Sharma’s book Mobile Future Forward Mobile 4th Wave.
On the prediction side of things, a number of things have materialized in 2013:
- As predicted back in 2011, Microsoft acquired Nokia. Nokia should have gone the Android way back in 2011 but ego got in the way; enough said;
- As predicted in 2010, Visors! as exemplified by Google Glass, Meta and companies like Austin’s Pristine.io;
- Predicted in 2010 (and earlier), Mobile devices as the personal sensor gateway to the Internet – this has been exemplified by many; mentioning some Austin companies: MapMyFitness, Atlas Wristband;
- The role of the Mobile Context – this has been exemplified with Google Now, and my friend’s Raj company TempoAI;
- One thing that I have been telling folks in 2013, is that Mobile has peaked. And coincidentally today, I saw a blog from Furry titled “Christmas Continues To Set App Download Records In Spite Of Slowing Growth and Globalization of App Market” with data that shows what I have been saying. This doesn’t mean Mobile is really going down, but that we have entered a new phase of Mobile. This also means that if you are in the (crowded) space of mobile development services/consulting, you need to start thinking “Products”.
- Being an NFC aficionado and proponent, I must include something on such topic for 2013. OK, my predictions around NFC have not fully materialized yet. NFC still has not taken off. Yes, ISIS (and Google Wallet) happened, but NFC has not really taken off, not yet. But its support on Android means that it is not totally dead in the global market — its adoption has taken forever and I am starting to lose faith it will ever happen. But let’s not forget that NFC is not only about payments but also about interactions. I do believe that once (if) Apple decides to pick it up, then it will bring new life to NFC (in the USA);
- And being a Space aficionado (and an ex-Space Shuttle coder), it is great to see my prediction from 2008 materialize — The future of the USA space program is the private sector, as exemplified by SpaceX.
On the publishing side of things, it was cool to see my Android in Action 3rd edition book translated to Portuguese, and I recently contributed to Rudy De Waele’s shift 2020 book, together with many other like-minded global technologists. I also contributed blog content to Safari Online Books on the topic of Android. And of course, I continued writing on my/this About Mobility blog.
On my spare time, I continued my Mobile-related endeavors: Mobile Monday Austin and Android Dev Austin, and the Texas Wireless Summit. While Mobile Monday Austin was a bit slow in 2013, the plan for 2014 is to make it very active again with socials and events. I also gave advice to a number of ventures or startups, including my friend’s Ajit and his UK-based Feynlabs educational venture.
Something very cool I helped with on my spare time was Kloc Developers. Kloc Developers is a new, very cool visual-and social way for Developers to promote themselves, and discover and connect to/with like-minded people and content. Kloc answers the need for better ways for developers to tell their coding experience and story. The evolution of Kloc.me has been pretty cool, and as the year ends, the Kloc team is happy to release a new version of Kloc Developers Beta — sign up, use it, let the Kloc team know what you think.
Last but not least, 2013 reunited me with my favorite sport of all time (and with old friends): Frisbee Freestyle. After watching a local announcement on TV about the Austin Freestyle Disc Club tournament (the first one after a decade), I joined the group, which is home to a couple of world champions, made new friends and re-united with old ones, and have been enjoying jamming a whole lot, and hope to continue doing so. In 2014, we are bringing to Austin the American Freestyle Open, which will bring players from all over the world – stay tuned.
I am thankful for everything: my wife and family, my friends, Austin, what the year 2013 brought, and everyone and everything else that I left out from this blog. Love you all.
I wish you an awesome and prosperous 2014 year…