Technologicalforecastingand scenarios matter
Research into the use of information andcommunication technology in the homeenvironment in 2010
H. Bouwman and P. van der Duin
H. Bouwman (H.Bouwman@tbm.tudelft.nl) is Assistant Professor in the Information and Communication Technology Department and P. van der Duin (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Research Fellow in the Technology, Strategy and Entrepreneurship Department, both at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.
Forecasting, Technology led strategy, Information,Communication, Development
Information and communication technology (ICT) is increasingly being used in the home environment, making it a very important and interesting research topic for communication scientists. Future developments will influence the way and the extent to which ICT will be used in the home environment and therefore the way people look for information, communicate,make use of entertainment services and carry out transactions.However, it is still very difficult to make meaningful and accurate forecasts with regard to the possible future use and acceptance of ICT in people’s homes. Important reasons are, for example,that more and more market parties are involved in the development of innovative ICT products and services. This makes developments more complex and the outcomes more uncertain. Furthermore, consumers play an important role in the development of new ICT-based information, communication,transaction and entertainment services. Since a precise prediction of the possible use of ICT in domestic environments in 2010 is hard to make, other methods of futures research must be used. Combining technological forecasting with scenario thinking is such a research method, whereon, technological forecasting shows the major trends in the specific technology domain, while scenarios cover the possible future worlds. By giving end-users a central place in these scenarios, the diversity of the use and acceptance of innovative products and services is captured. Thus, the addition of scenarios to the technology trends gives insight into the possibilities (and impossibilities) of new ICT-technologies and the way they may be used in the home environment.
nformation and communication technology (ICT) plays animportant role in our society. Technologies aredeveloping at a fast pace and will increasingly influenceour lives in the near future. No company, entrepreneur,media company, school or hospital can do withoutcomputers. These computers are more and more linked byprivate or public networks. In households in particular, ICT,such as new multimedia-enabled mobile phones, digitaltelevisions and PCs are being used with comparatively littleknowledge on the part of the scientific community as to howthey are being used, who has access to them and what theeffects and consequences are with regard to social andmedia behaviour. The PC and its portable variety the laptopcomputer occupy an important place in everyday life, notonly as far as the working environment is concerned, but alsowith regard to leisure, i.e. computer games, access toarchives of television programmes, downloading mp3 ± anddvd ± files. Viewers can use an intelligent box (the set-topbox) to access interactive digital information using theirtelevision sets. The telephone has evolved from a simpleapparatus in the hall into something that is apparently so
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MCB UP Limited, 1463-6689, DOI 10.1108/14636680310494717