Department heads gaze into their crystal balls and find Intel's future paved with gold.

Intel predicts the big trends for 2012

Intel has released a set of prediction for the upcoming year in a 2012 Trends report. claiming that imagination, and not technology, will be the limiting factor from now on.

"We‘re at a very significant point in time," said Intel CTO Justin Rattner. "It‘s a time when technology is no longer the limiting factor. What limits us today is really our own imagination."

The 2012 Predictions Factsheet (pdf) then quotes a number of leaders of Intel’s various business units making statements the growth of various trends that oh so coincidentally happen to be exactly what they’re doing at Intel. It’s a trifle embarrassing but there are one or two interesting tidbits.

Intel’s Netbook and tablet unit boss Doug Davis stated outright that "expectations are high for Windows 8," claiming that it will blend a love of legacy apps with touch experiences.

Or people might decide it’s a load of old rubbish and stick to their mobile OS-based tablets instead, but unsurprisingly Intel didn’t make any such predictions. Naturally they said ultrabooks would be just huuugee don’t you know?

With a little more credibility, Intel’s ‘futurist’ Brian David Johnson said that 2012 would represent a ‘screenification’ of computational power. Johnson essentially believes that any place where the consumer can envisage a screen. computing devices will follow and said that this would give rise to ‘even more form factors’ but didn’t say what those might be.

Buried in the middle of the report is an interesting comment by self-described cultural anthropologist Genevieve Bell. "2012 is the year when consumers’ desire to make things goes mainstream," said Bell who also doubles as Intel’s boss of interaction and experience research.

"Rather than the gamefication of things, we can talk about the Etsy-ifcation of things. Creating, DIY, making," she said. Etsy is an online marketing place where users sell handmade products. Bell might have been referring to the ‘hackerspace’ or ‘maker’ revolution in enthusiast electronics but the Etsy mention might have been an attempt to broaden the claim of a greater DIY trend.

Intel also said that "social, search and community-building" will be big in marketing in 2012. We rather think it was in 2009 but presumably when Intel’s marketing chief Deborah Conrad says that she’s actually talking about Intel’s marketing.

"Clutter will be cut 50 percent, content updated in minutes instead of days and users can more
easily search or browse for content," said Conrad.

So that’ll be a new Intel website then.

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