Tech has been dominated by some pretty heavyweight players in 2009. And you can bet that come 2010 the people behind out beloved gadgets will be dominating the headlines once again. So here’s our line up of this year’s top ten tech personalities and ten more to watch out for in 2010.
Anthony Rose, Head of Digital Media Technology, BBC
Anthony Rose’s lengthy job title can be easily translated into “head of BBC iPlayer.” Rose has singlehandedly taken the iPlayer to new heights in 2009, with Auntie’s on-demand service dominating on the PS3, kicking it on the Wii and preparing itself for a very cool new BBC iPlayer iPhone app to boot. 2009 has seen the world’s best VOD service truly evolve.
Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey, co-founders of Twitter
Twitter might have been about since 2006, but it’s truly taken off in 2009. Dorsey and Stone are the brains behind the social network, taking it from niche media plaything, to vital information tool. Twitter’s become so important that the White House asked it postpone overnight maintenance so Iranian protesters could continue to tweet back in June 2009.
Dr Hosoo Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of the Media Solution Center, Samsung
A Samsung exec might not seem a likely inclusion, but Dr Hosoo Lee heads up Samsung Bada, the Korean giant’s new mobile OS, primed to take apps to the masses. His creation will let developers build add-ons for basic phones as well as smarties. Devs can even access a phone’s sensors, unlike the iPhone, letting them create weather-based apps.
Martin Lewis, Founder of moneysavingexpert
His work with moneysavingexpert has been a guiding light in the recession. But with Tunechecker, Martin Lewis has brought his thrifty magic to music. His new offering lets punters compare download prices and should have the likes of iTunes panicked. Lewis continues to fight for the best deals, whether you want a new telly or just the latest X Factor caterwauling.
Sir Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony
Stringer’s single-minded determination to bring Sony products together has seen the Big S’s best gadgets look far more unified in 2009. From the XMB interface cropping up on Sony Ericsson phones, the PS3 Slim and the latest Blu-ray players, to his plans for Sony 3D TV, Stringer has once again been at the forefront.
James Dyson, Founder of Dyson
Just when you thought James Dyson couldn’t top the ace air blade hand drier, he rolled up with the Dyson Air Multiplier. The bladeless fan has divided gadget lovers, but his single-minded approach means this British inventor has been one of 2009′s leading tech lights. Here’s hoping for more leftfield treats in 2010.
Daniel Ek, founder of Spotify
Daniel Ek has taken Sweden’s finest export from a web-savvy musos plaything to the hottest property in music in less than a year. Overwhelming demand has seen invites reintroduced, with the Spotify iPhone app surprising everyone by getting the thumbs up from Apple. Android and Symbian versions have shown the days of owning your own tunes are over.
Andre Bosman, Executive Director Operation and Production, The Impossible Project
Andre Bosman used to work for Polaroid and was charged with closing the instant snapper’s plant in Holland. Instead, he headed up The Impossible Project, announcing plans to revive the analogue format. He’s been so successful that Polaroid has had to gorge on humble pie, going into business with The Impossible Project with plans for new film and cameras in 2010.
Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple
Jobs may not have overseen any revolutionary new gadgets in 2009, but his Lazarus like return to Apple after a liver transplant has been nothing short of astounding. The Cupertino CEO was all over the headlines at the start of the year, but his heartwarming return at 2009′s iPod unveiling showed he hadn’t lost any of his bite, baiting his tech rivals just like the old days.
Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook
Twitter has given Facebook the biggest challenge of it short life in 2009. So more power to its founder Mark Zuckerberg for moulding Facebook to suit users. It gave punters the chance to have a say on new terms and conditions and didn’t stand in the way of cross posting with Twitter, bringing @ tags to the party too.
And the Top 10 tech personalities to watch in 2010
Hartmut Neven, Google Visual Search Product Manager
Hartmut Neven’s company, Neven Vision, was bought by Google in 2006. And now he works for the Big G, his name is one you’ll hear a lot in 2010. See, he’s the man behind Google Visual Search, the new tool which is set to let you look for info just by taking a picture. Snap a book cover and Google will come back with results on the title and the author.
Jack Dorsey, Founder, Square
Dorsey was known in 2009 for Twitter. But it’s his latest start-up, Square, which is set to grab headlines in 2010. The idea is simple. Square will sell a small card swiping device that slips into a 3.5mm jack which you use to accept payments from clients and friends on your phone via a dedicated app. It even has photo verification software so you’re protected from fraud.
Jonny Ive, Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple
2009 was a quiet year for Jonny Ive, with Apple’s new lineup getting a tweak rather than a wholesale refresh. But expect Essex’s finest to be in fine fettle in 2010, with plans for a spanking new iPhone and, more excitingly, the revolutionary Apple tablet. The latter should show that Ive remains the very best in the business.
Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO, Nokia
2010 will be a big year for Kallasvuo and Nokia. After a shaky 2009, he needs to lead his team of Finnish mobile mavens to new success. Kallasvuo must ensure the new look Symbian lands on time and that some fresh products, like a Maemo 6-packing tablet and Nokia Locate Sensor, arrive and remind everyone why his company is still relevant.
Brian Sullivan, Managing Director, Sky Customer Group
It’s Brian Sullivan’s job to ensure the pay TV types at Sky deliver the much-vaunted Sky 3D channel on time. It’s due to land during 2010, but Murdoch’s men will want it out early in order to trump Sony’s plans to show the World Cup in 3D. See, Sky can’t air the greatest show on earth. Either way, Sullivan is at the forefront of one of 2010′s biggest tech stories
Jeff Hayzlett, Vice President, Kodak
Jeff Hayzlett is the man in charge of unleashing Kodak’s “revolutionary” new camera concept. It’s due to be shown off at CES with sources telling us it’s a real game changer. Few details are known, but Kodak needs something fresh to wow the shutterbugs currently spoilt for choice with HD-capable SLRs and micro four thirds super-compacts. Hayzlett could well be the leading light in the world of cameras come 2010.
Bill Nguyen, Founder of Lala
Lala has been bought up by Apple. But that doesn’t mean Bill Nguyen is now irrelevant. Far from it. His companies MO, using a credit-based system that lets you listen to tracks offline, could pave the way for iTunes streaming in 2010. Apple will still need to negotiate deals with the labels, but the Cupertino company has clearly nabbed Lala for its skilled founder alone.
Kudo Tsunoda, Microsoft
Tsunoda is the Lebowski-alike dude who heads up Microsoft’s Project Natal. Sure, Natal made waves in 2009, but 2010 will see it hit the shelves and with it, Tsunoda’s work will very much be in the limelight. He’s been hands on in developing new games for the controller-free system and is definitely a name to look out for in the new year.
Avner Ronen, CEO, Boxee
Boxee is set for a huge year in 2010. As is its CEO Avner Ronen. After all, he’s the one who set up the media centre app in the first place and now he’ll be answering questions about why the likes of Apple and Microsoft are so panicked about the new Boxee interface and D-Link backed Boxee box, due next summer.
Lord Mandelson, First Secretary
Peter Mandelson has already said he wants to disconnect illegal filesharers by 2011. But his views on the matter will be big news in the tech community as May’s General Election draws ever closer. Will he try and push it through? Or will he use it a stick to beat the Tories with? Either way, the main man’s views will be critical in 2010.