Notifications - the soul of the future smartphones (IT)
iOS for years had a very outdated notification system. I think, Apple tried very hard to find another effective, elegant and simple notification system that is not similar to Android's. But they failed. Yes, I know that Android notification system is alike WebOS but that is not the point. Notification Center in Mac OS X I guess was a byproduct from those years of analyzing various notification systems mockups. Why byproduct? I guess that Apple understood, what Google knew very long time ago. Gazillion of apps is not the answer. Cook: "the average customer now is using over 100 apps". It is insanity. Customers will definitely start looking for solutions how to simplify such mess. Google understood (or copy implementation from WebOS) this from the beginning.
Classic notification system
So what does it do? It elegantly and efficiently shows you important information in real time. I think that eventually most of apps most of the time will become just dumb pipes which will deliver information to the notifications system. Nobody will use "over 100 apps" except games. Usually you will just open notification system and look through data that interests you. Also you could customize almost every aspect of what kind of data would like to see in notification system and how it should be displayed. It's like Gmail or Youtube. They have interface to interact with data but also they are just dumb pipes.
Ok, so Google knew these long time ago. But what's next?
Context-aware notification system
While Apple was finally implementing functional classic notification system, Google was working on new generation of notifications systems. Context-aware. Google Now. Classic: "I will show you data that you want". Context-ware "Maybe you would like to see or use this data?" So if you have JB you have both classic and context-aware notification system. Google+ could join them more tightly.
How Google Now could evolve? Many magical and revolutionaries solutions. "I see you are looking at photos of iOS 5 maps fiasco. Should I look for such material?" (you could be not searching such images, just looking at photos in your social stream but Google Now identifies what that picture means) Answers "Now" "Later" "Now and Later" "Other Data". "Now" - Google Now not only showing but also organizing photos: displaying first those that are most viewed in different websites, most comment, retweeted and so on. And you can at any time "Later" so that only new data will be organized and showed to you later. If you tap and hold - you can go to original source of data, you can view where it got posted in various blogs, news or view only the most recommended comments aggregated in one place from different sources.
Also a context-aware system could recommend how you could customize you classic system, what data (users) you should add. "Later" could mean that it will be display in classic notifications. And there are many different ways how context-aware could evolve and integrate with classic notifications system.
I think it will be one of the most important future battlegrounds in IT sphere. Data miners will be in high demand, so Google and IBM with their engineers and data mining culture will be far ahead others. And of course, you will need data. As much data about everything as possible. So Apple is building their map solutions. MS still pumping money into Bing. Everyone will try to convince you to upload your various data to cloud.
Hardware implementations of context-aware notification systems
Of course, it is Google Glass. Now it seems that it will be the first real implementation of context-aware notifications system. But how to control it? With touch? With voice? With head movement? I guess the answer would be easier to find if you would look into Google Glass as implementation of context-aware notification system, not as a separate product. So, how to control? Mostly you won't need. It could be enough to have only 1 way to say "Yes". Everything else should do context-notification systems. "Don't you think that this scenery is worth capturing?" "Look at this beautiful girl or dat ass, maybe you would like an image as a memory?" (or just set an option to capture every ass of girls or boys). "Now you are going home?" "I guess you are looking for a birthday present for your girlfriend, could I suggest you some variants?" "I see you look looking for a long time at this dress, should I look when this shop usually decreases prices?" "your ex girlfriend 5 minutes ago posted that she broke with her boyfriend, should I update notifications about her to VIP status?" "You have an exam tomorrow, you should stop playing Halo 15, I have prepared for you a plan what you should review from your class" "Now news are streaming real time video about shooting in x school, wanna watch it". And so on. Eric Schmidt (2010): "we know where you are, we know what you like". Now Google is trying to find ways how to show this knowledge in such way that costumers won't be afraid. And Google Glass is the perfect product for that. Who wants constantly speak to your glasses or touch them? And you won't need. If you want to be prepared for the magical and revolutionary Google Glass, start using Google Now, Gmail, Google+.. and invite all your family there. Now. You must build a large amount of data. Without data about you and your context, I think, Google Glass will be gimmicky for you. You don't trust Google? Of course, you will have other solutions, but now it seems that Google will be ahead of others, like Apple was ahead with iPhone.
And ultimate implementation of context-aware notifications systems will be naturally Skynet.
So notifications will be the soul of future IT. Notifications as elegant, efficient, personal interface to physical and digital world. Google was the first big IT company to cracked this mystery. "Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful" - it is the best description and receipt how to build the best context-aware notification system.