Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tech Predictions for 2008

Sup. Still building a PDP-11 for Ontario Power Generation. I also have DRC Computer with an FPGA and a webcam doing image recognition and motion tracking. We're recruiting people for Catalyst Accelerated Computing if you want to have some fun.

Here are my Tech Predictions for 2008

1) P2P Live Video Streaming Goes HD. A cheap dongle will connect your HDMI TV to the internet: "vendors of copyrighted material" will rush to this space in 2008 (like Netflix, and Apple TV), but video-phoning and pirates will ultimately be the norm. The Pirate Party will start to make an impact in the Swedish Election but the legal issue about information ownership will be continue to waste paper. We've already been playing with our own P2P streaming model for a while, but similar technology is near to taking over BitTorrent. Combined with the Writer's Strike, this technology will end the old media market model. Arr.

2) Software Defined Radio (SDR) -- Google's efforts to free the 700 MHz spectrum are the beginning of a transition in RF policy. The rest of the spectrum will slowly transition to "best-effort" spectrum sharing protocols (ethernet) with SDR chips allowing software programmable frequency selection and data decoding.

3) Accelerated Computing Moves (closer to) Mainstream. In December of last year, AMD named a VP Accelerated Computing and there's a new video about their initiative from CES. An AMD VP is a signal that startups are going to swarm this market now. FPGA and GPU co-processor integration will still suck well into 2009, but people who have mastered this black-art will be in high demand to retool Wall Street and other HPC niches where GOPs and dollars are strongly correlated.

4) Gestural Control and Motion Tracking. iPhone multitouch will still have that magic effect for a few more years, but now you can do it with a WiiMote. Webcam hand tracking will start to catch on in 2008. We've been having fun with this on our DRC box. Full Body DDR will be a major video-game product in 2008 and play off the Rock Band phenomena to give new meaning to the words: "so you think you can dance?"

5) Social Networking goes Botnet. MySpace sucks. Facebook sucks less. Social Networking is a buzz-word past it's prime. People will realize that a social network and a Botnet are roughly the same, with the computational components generally replaced by protein. Aggregation will pick up and distributed content caching will start to make more sense. We've been experimenting with distributed computation using Javascript. Combined with some photo-sharing/recognizing Amazon Mechanical Turk thing we can use the buzzword Web 3.0 to brand the resulting distributed intelligence. Maybe people won't be so creeped out when they realize they are being datamined by Facebook (and everyone else who wants to datamine social network data).