For years I’ve been writing about and implementing a multi-channel, multi-device, n-tier architecture and often would say “I don’t know what the next device is going to be, but I’m sure there’s going to be one, and this architecture will allow us to be prepared”. Well, I think that era is upon us now and I’m ready to predict what the next device will be: It’s your car. New cars these days are equipped with multiple computers, multifunction touch screens, voice recognition, GPS, and much more. So where are we prepared for this, and where will we need to think differently?
Architecturally (if we have done things right in the past) we should be ready now for this new device in our end-to-end solutions. But there are clear distinctions that need to be made to support the device, especially in the interaction model. For example, what functions should we allow a driver to do? What other safety concerns are there? How do we design the new user interaction models?
Another major issue will be access to the device. Today, most access is controlled by dedicated networks such as OnStar. In the near future, will that change to 4G and other mobile networks? What will location and presence mean when you’re in a moving car?
I’m pretty sure that all of these issues will not get resolved for the industry at large in 2013, but expect to see the emergence of some new applications on your dashboard this year.
[Editor’s Note: This post is part of the annual “Cutter Predicts …” series.]