This evening was Google Sydney’s holiday party – a get together for the journalists to glean a few stories, or at least grab some business cards for future interviews. Both Google Maps and Google Wave have their primary developer base here, amongst 350 staff. And it’s clear that Google will have a huge 2010.

Some of the evolving trends we’ll want to watch include…
• Further development and uptake of the Chrome browser
• Release of the Chrome OS and the inevitable uptake of Netbooks that will use it
Android and the Google mobile phone
• Full public release of Google Wave and corporate Gadgets to enable business process collaboration
• Google Apps and innovations within the Google Web Toolkit
• Geolocation services more integrated into Maps and the monetisation of ‘local’ search
Real time search more significant due to Wave and Twitter and other social media
• Multi-language search using Google translate on results pages with translated click-throughs
Google Micropayments to save the content industries from the declining advertising revenues
• Augmented reality on mobile through location aware and OCR technologies such as Google Goggles
• Stealth services that let Google gather more sophisticated user patterns by providing more excellent freebies

With the types of Google projects in development at the moment, 2010 seems as though it will be chock full of cloud computing, mobile and geospatial, and collaborative business and social web services. And I suspect that micropayments will be the big surprise area. The challenges those things bring upon Search and the way it delivers ‘relevance’ will be massive. And amongst the Wave team at Google it was also clear that they have high ambitions for it to evolve way beyond its current implementation to enable a significant evolution of the web.

At the party there was plenty of technical chat and an competition of the main 10 search terms of 2009 – which bizarrely some journalists got disqualified from – by writing the correct sequence that Google had printed onto the table candles wrappers! Google maps had also rather bizarrely (hilariously?) plotted all of the toilet shots that street view have taken, with a call for submissions of new ones found.

Scott David leads User Experience strategy and design at the World Economic Forum, across their digital platforms for data-driven knowledge and communities of global leadership.

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