ImageFirst week back at work last week was an inbox culling. I unsubscribed from the newsletters and the blogs which no longer interested me and made room for this years interests.

As always I enjoy reading Digital Predictions for the year, many are based on the visions and strategies of the companies writing them. More a self full filling prophecy as opposed to some eerie talent of predicting whats going to happen in the next twelve months.

One that caught my attention was Millward Browns Digital and Media Predictions 2013 ,specifically No 3, Emergence of ‘Mobile Remotes’ Make It A Central Pillar Of Smart Communication Plans. See here

Focus is on Smart phones. ‘With increased power and capabilities, our mobile devices become the remote controls of our lives, allowing not only active control of electronics, but seamless integration of the world around us. With mobile as the hub, information gathering becomes more centralised as consumers trade personal information for convenience and access to events, offers and premium content. While the milieu described above may be a few years off, we can already see the evolution of mobile in the way we live.’

I found this particularly interesting as remote technology is already being used to simplify lives, access content and ad value but it’s not based on only on mobiles, it’s based on Radio Frequency ID. The added benefit to consumers is that data access can be given for a set period and then revoked. Mobile data is gold and consumers are aware of its value if only because digital experts keep stressing that the future is mobile!. They are aware networks are stockpiling mobile profiles and numbers ready to sell by the thousands to advertisers. We are all dreading an onslaught of unwanted advertising to our phones. I like the idea of giving the consumer more control.

RFID is being currently used by festival organisers to provide their audiences with wristbands that carry their data and real cash values. Wristbands that can locate friends in a sea of strangers, allow the wearer to buy Tshirts, burgers, drinks without a wallet and activate complimentary photo booths which post to social media sites automatically so mobile batteries aren’t worn down and time wasted loading content.

Last year Work Club a London based agency used RFID to create a digital bottle cap which when opened remote controlled the atmosphere in a bar in Budapest. Each time a bottle of Strongbow was opened tracks played, music started and glitter bombs erupted.

TNS predict a boom in online video for the UK – which I agree with. Though it could be relabelled as a revolution in Social Media. I’m currently working on a project which will give everyone the ability to film and deliver video content using any device they choose with an internet connection, camera and mic. The focus isn’t on creating more complex social media noise. The focus is on promoting structured content focused on real communication. Content which can be used to give greater insight. Qualitative, scalable data which includes tone, body language and facial expressions. Real people talking to brands. More about this in March.

TNS DigitalLife always worth a look – especially for international trends. Today’s Top Trends Versus Tomorrows Here.

I’ve also got my eye on the emergence of Personal Branding as a service and a practice. Digital communication is becoming more prevalent in work. Linkedin, Twitter and Skype are regularly used in business.  The need to crystallise our values, characters and objectives is paramount. The focus will shift from worrying about what profile picture to post to ensuring we stay on message. Jennifer Holloway will be publishing Personal Branding for Brits this year, definitely on my reading list. Find more about personal branding on her site here. I’ll be inviting her up to Aberdeen this year to host a Personal Branding workshop for executives. (Please drop me a line if you’re interested)