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With no physical packaging, streaming content services promise to free up bookshelves and cupboards for the items they were intended to store.

 

1. Ubiquitous computing

The nine trends we’ve identified so far see entertainment, communication and technology combine into an amazing year ahead, all made possible by one thing: ubiquitous computing.

It’s a fancy way of saying that computers – or information processing systems – are no longer big grey boxes in the study. They’re everywhere. They’ve been everywhere for the last three or four years, but until now our mobile computers have played second fiddle to the ‘real’ machine in the office. That’s changing, and changing fast: just think about the power of quad-core smartphones and TVs equipped with powerful CPUs to run everything from 3D to apps.

 

Computers everywhere? It's already happening

 

Ubiquitous computing will make 2013 a more connected year, and yes we’ll need to learn new skills to protect our privacy and defend against incessant 24-hour marketing. But the possibilities are huge, and for some the ability to live a modern life with little more than a slim smartphone and a bank account will be attractive indeed.

Here’s to 2013, an exciting year for entertainment and technology both.