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January 2, 2013
Trend prediction agencies specialise in future forecasting for brands and businesses. We asked three of the best for their top tips for 2013 across technology, design, lifestyle and health...
David Mattin is lead strategist at trendwatching.com
East meets West
"The rise of the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) is an on-going story, but in 2013, the combined GDPs of the emerging markets is predicted to exceed that of the developed world.
"It's a really significant moment in world history. Influence follows money, so in the last century, the US dominated not just economically but also culturally.
But from next year, instead of a lust for Gucci in Shanghai, we'll see Western consumers wanting to buy into the life and style of those BRIC nations. To take just one example, China's first luxury fashion brand NE-Tiger premiered at Milan Fashion Week in September last year..."
"Crowd-funding using websites like kickstarter.com gives creatives the resources to get their project off the ground, and consumers the opportunity to influence the product as it's being designed - it's how the new "smart" watch, the Pebble, was made.
"We expect the approach to revolutionise start-ups in 2013."
The internet of things
"It's going to feel increasingly weird that you can't control everything in your house remotely. Our entire homes will be connected, from the milk jug in the fridge to the thermostat controlling the heating.
"Connected clothing isn't far behind - Oakley already make skiing goggles which augment reality with added digital information. Imagine how useful that would be looking for sale bargains in the West End..."
The quantified self
"Smart devices and their attendant apps will make it possible to record every detail of your physical self from blood sugar levels to calories consumed. Our thirst for knowledge about ourselves is insatiable, so we predict few health-conscious individuals will be able tor resist..."
Joanna Tulej is visual editor at lsnglobal.com
At-home replication and design
"The 3-D printer is not a new concept but makerbot.com brings it within the reach of the ordinary consumer. Download digital files from a sharing website like Pirate Bay for a chair, plate or set of knives and forks and the robotic arm of the printer will build them by depositing layer after layer of silicon plastic - just as a 2-D printer does.
"Or download the Chihuly app to your iphone and 'glass-blow' your own masterpieces in homage to the artist Dale Chihuly. The app allows you to blow through the bottom of the iphone to mould your design, which can then be sent to a designer to create in the real world."
Space squatting and collaboration
"Collaborations between brands and creative areas will become fundamental, instead of tokenistic. In practice, given our limited resources and requirement to be flexible, that means multi-use spaces like The Seagrass in Islington. By day, it's a pie and mash shop, but by night it's transformed into a fine dining restaurant."
"We're a little out of love with mega-systems like Facebook, Google and Amazon (and the recent tax controversy hasn't helped).
"We anticipate that people will start to switch off their social media so that their personal data can no longer be monetised by business - what's called the 'personal information economy'.
"Apps like Ghostery even allow you to laugh in the face of brands and mask yourself on line, first detecting the hidden activity of data collection companies, and then giving you the opportunity to opt out."
Julia Fowler is the co-founder of editd.com
"New tools like the Arduino microcontroller and the Raspberry Pi basic computer have made using electronics in creative projects much more accessible. It's now relatively simple for people to craft their own hardware, and in 2013, this will start a digital product arts and crafts movement."
The television renaissance
"Television has already had a content-rich flowering of talent, with Hollywood actors signing up for TV series, amazing series like Mad Men and the death of reality TV. Now that so many people use their iPads, smartphones or laptops as a second screen in front of the television, true interaction with live TV will become mainstream."
The mainstreaming of electric cars
"They perform better, pollute less, and are just as convenient as petrol cars. Tesla has a 2-year waiting list, and for those in the know the company's cars are way cooler than most traditional sports cars. Their charger network across the US will mirror how petrol stations rolled out a hundred years ago."
"Just as airbnb.com's global network of private houses for rent revolutionised travel, so in 2013 the new generation of food website will alter the humble takeaway beyond recognition.
"housebites.com connects you with local chefs, letting you order food cooked and delivered from their own home, while hellofresh.co.uk sends you weekly packages of groceries and recipes to cook yourself in 30 minutes."
"Use your phone to 'self-checkout', and wave goodbye to queuing up at the till.
This major big retail trend will also allow you to sync purchases across your phone, computer, TV and in store, with the same returns and delivery options on every device."