PR Fish Bowl

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January 3, 2013

TGIF: PR Crystal Ball

Popular Mechanics, the venerable bible for science and tech geeks for over 100 years, has made some predictions about the coming 100. Some of the most startling are actually near-term predictions, and many have interesting ramifications for the PR world. Let’s take a closer look.

People will be fluent in every language. With Google and DARPA (The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the US Military, which “prevents strategic surprise from negatively impacting U.S. national security and creates strategic surprise for U.S. adversaries by maintaining technological superiority”) racing to perfect instant translation, PR firms will be able to tackle many more international client projects from product launches to crises, in a more nimble fashion – as well as steal that “strategic surprise” language for their next proposal!

Scrolls will replace tablets. Just as a 2012 study suggests that almost half of Americans believe tablets will replace laptops, there’s an even newer player on the horizon to replace tablets. Scrolls (thin plastic digital displays) are being touted as the next screen. For PR pros, this means more portability and versatility on the job. It may also mean more reading given the lightweight nature of the technology.

Passwords will be obsolete. Apple and Google are designing face-recognition software. Others are looking into retinal scans, voiceprints, and heartbeats! What does this mean in the PR biz? New products mean new clients. Leaving behind passwords for everything from monitoring sites to shared files will free up precious time for “real” work.

Data will be measured in zettabytes. Zettabytes? If each byte of data were a grain of sand, the sum total by the end of this year would total 400 Hoover Dams. If this makes your brain hurt, I am sorry to tell you the Popular Mechanics brains do not have a prediction regarding storage for all this data!

All 130 million books on the planet will be digitized. OK, we will all be really, really smart, but maybe someone will invent a new spin on speed reading.
Got any predictions you’d like to share? Let us know.

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