next big thingThose of us who have been around ecommerce for a few years can probably remember hearing or reading about the ‘next big thing’. Whether that next big thing was handwriting recognition software, the ‘netbook’, server virtualization, or internet TV, it’s been a little hit or miss. That’s to be expected; things move quickly in this hyperconnected world, and technology never stands still.

I’ve read a lot lately about topics touted as the next ‘next big thing’. Some are well on their way to general acceptance, while others are nascent innovations that just popped up on the collective radar. Smartphones obviously are ‘there’ already, the ‘cloud’ is now a part of the vernacular and seems to be on its way, RFID is finally gaining momentum, and various payment systems (Square, Google Wallet, etc.) are fighting it out to become THE new way of making payments. Apple and Google Android keep rolling out apps, and mobile ecommerce continues to grow in usage and sophistication.

So, what have you seen lately that you think is ‘killer’? What's new that’s really cool? How are these new ‘next big things’ transforming your personal and business lives? Since I’m retired and have no business life, from a personal standpoint I was really impressed with a tabletop kiosk, called the Ziosk, being tested in a Chili’s restaurant in Evanston, IL. It uses a touch interface that’s similar to an IPhone’s, you can look at specials, menu items, place orders, close out your check, and pay from your table with a credit card. Although we didn’t try the ordering piece, we did use it to close out our ticket so we could make the start of the movie showing down the street. It worked perfectly!

I’m not saying a restaurant kiosk is the ‘next big thing’, but it’s an example of how technology continues to provide options to improve the user experience. Let’s hear about what you’ve seen!

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