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Epic predictions for 2013 – how did we do?

Woman using multiple devices phone laptop and tablet lying in a wood bench in a parkAt Epic, we spend most of our time making the most appropriate use of today’s technologies to help people learn.

We also keep an eye on emerging technology, so we are well placed to advise our clients on how to integrate it into their learning strategy if and when it becomes appropriate. That’s how we were in a position to help clients move to mobile with our gomo authoring tool from 2010 onwards, as mobile devices became robust enough to make valuable learning support tools.

So what is coming next?

In 2013 we blogged about a number of emerging technologies – including wearable performance support, especially Google Glass, as well as interaction and gestural technology and the quantified self apps that help people measure and then change their behaviour.


google glass apps at enterprise virtual classroom person uses a tablet

All of these, in different ways, offer closer integration between people and technology, either by making the interaction with technology more fluid and natural (Kinect and Leap Motion) or by integrating technology more closely with our mobile lives (smartphones do this already – wearable technology takes it a step further). You may have heard of this phenomenon referred to as ubiquitous technology. Closer integration between people and technology also offers new opportunities for learning in context, as well as for integrating learning better into our busy working lives.

In 2013 Epic’s innovation group further investigated Leap Motion and Kinect as well as examining the potential of the Oculus Rift headset, and in early 2014 Epic took delivery of our very own Google Glass which we are testing today – so we definitely don’t think that the trend towards more integrated technology is going away. Having said that, 2013 was a disappointing year for technology-enhanced watches, which haven’t yet lived up to their initial promise.

So what do we envisage for 2014? We’ll obviously be taking a closer look at Google Glass (watch this space) as well as continuing to investigate gestural motion.

We also expect to see organisations moving to deliver content in ways which more closely integrate with working schedules. That will involve offering more context sensitive just-in-time performance support, as well as creating bite-size resources to accompany longer courses, giving people more flexibility in how they fit longer courses of study into busy schedules. And we don’t think the many behavioural apps are going away either: increasingly people are gathering data on their activities and using that information to guide future decisions. Tin Can and related technologies offer the potential to do that for learning and in 2013 Epic built our first learning record store (LRS) for a client, something we except to be doing more of in 2014.

We think 2014 is going to be an exciting year!

This blog was written by Imogen Casebourne and first appeared on the Epic website on 15th January 2014.