I make no excuse this week in filling this column up with a book review. A slim little volume of just 52 pages and only twice the size of a smartphone. ‘2016: Beyond the Horizon’ is published by media agency PHD’s London office. Mark Holden is the lead author but seven others have helped write this book. The reason I have singled out this particular book is that I feel it is important for anyone involved in marketing, advertising or media to read it. The brave writers have dared stick their necks out and predict what technology will be interacting with us in the coming five years (it was published in 2011) and how this will change our lives.

The first chapter section titled “Where are we?” reminds us of the world in which we live today. For instance, we are told the IBM 1401, now in a museum, could perform back in 1959, 4,000 complex computations every single second. The computer in the average smartphone which we now have in our pocket chews out 1,000,000,000 computations every second! One in four of us in the developed world carries this powerful tool.

Chapter 2 moves on to “What’s coming?”. This is the meat of the book. Internet speeds with fibre penetration, cloud computing for everything including gaming, connected TV (3D is a non-starter, they say) augmented reality, OLED technology, are all subject to scrutiny by this switched-on team of writers. “Society” is the heading and subject for Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 looks at what communications agencies will be able to offer in the future.

This book is an amazing overview of the technological changes in our industry as well as society today. Each page is full of interesting facts. This book is a valuable guide to the areas we need to watch in the coming years.

It costs just 15.99 pounds with all the proceeds going to UNICEF. Buy a copy. You will learn a lot and at the same time help a child do the same.

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