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[2013 trends] It's all Hype(r)

Colloquially, the word hyper is often used to convey over-the-top or excessive behaviour - as in "those blue Smarties made my child/dog/girlfriend really hyper". Additionally, over the last three or four decades, it has also come to mean linked.
Indeed, it is the H in HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) and HTML (Hyper Text Markup language) that has enabled roughly a third of earthlings to bluelink our planet - in pursuit of info, old friends and likeminded sundries. It's all been hypercool, really.

For the purposes of trend prediction, I will go out on a limb and predict that, from 2013, hyper will replace mega, uber and even inter as an urban prefix of choice.
  1. Hyperdrive, hyperspace, hyperspeed

    Yes, 2013 will be the year that the word hyper goes into hyperdrive - the old Greek word also means spatial or beyond. Maybe it's an excess of abovementioned blue Smarties that goes some way to explaining why our kids relentlessly pursue separate and adjacent dimensions or hyperspaces via their gaming cultures.

    Could these virtual worlds in reality be anticipating the ability to link, teleport or apparate [in Harry Potter speak] to regions beyond or parallel to our known one through hypergates or wormholes at faster-than-light or hyperspeeds, enabling them - like the fax, the email and the TV image before them - to arrive at their destinations much more quickly than expected by standard models of physics of their day?

    Could they [the gamers] be foreshadowing a much wider hyperlinking than we currently know? Goodbye Facebook, hello Hyperspacebook.

  2. Hyperparenting

    A relatively new term - to describe the oldest, most exhausted parent group in the history of mankind, applying the same strategic micro-management technique to their kids as they do to climbing the corporate ladder - with arguable degrees of success.

    The results of hyperparenting will manifest over the next decade or two, when the kids leave to do their gap years in parallel dimensions. There's even a book which you can read called which advises how to avoid the pitfalls of hyperparenting.

  3. Hypermaths, hyperphysics etc

    To which end the most hyperintelligent of the little darlings will be needing to apply hypermath where they might study hyperpowers, hyperplanes and hypersurfaces, which enable them to unravel concepts, such as the controversial string theory - which seeks the possibility of a multidimensional universe by replacing atoms with strings in order to knit a timeless, one-size-fits-all jumpsuit for the universe using strings instead of particles - having realized, in another Eureka moment, that you can't knit anything with a particle.

    If you're interested in these things, you can follow hyperbrains such as, who is described as the new Stephen Hawkins, and Leonard Susskind, professor of theoretical physics at Stanford University, among others.

  4. Enter the hypergates

    To say that this author is no sci-fi boff would be the understatement of several millennia, but even I am beginning to realise that the genre may not be just the figments of deranged minds looking for escapist entertainment, as I had previously thought, and that we may well be standing at the very hypergates of futures as foretold in Star Gate, Star Trek and by the Hitchhiker guy - Arthur, wasn't it? - where hyperbeacons that enable instantaneous hypergalactic hypercommunications via hyperwave transceivers begin to sound disconcertingly do-able.

  5. The Hypernet?

    Which brings us to our current planetary comms network, which in the light of the above we could describe as earth's own intranet.

    Now, two far-out guys,, are redefining the internet model, calling it the Hypernet and the Hyperweb, arguing that, as Apple has shown via app tech, it has been the addition of cellular and wifi tech that have been the gamechangers in web-based consumption and that, therefore, value differentiators on the net will be in new forms of delivery that will sort the media users from the losers going forward.

    If it weren't for Apple, say they, we might still all be looking at green ASCII text against the standard issue pre-1984 black background.

    Prove the Mayans right, by watching why everything that mattered for the last eight years won't matter anymore for some new frontier thinking, or follow them at @Hypernet.

  6. Hypermedia

    In a nutshell the difference in dimensions between multimedia and hypermedia is the ability to link. The internet is a hypermedium, whereas a feature film, being non-linking, is not.

    However, new hypermedia systems may soon allow just this, linking objects in video via snazzy tech such as voice command and other brave new features, which will lead to increased levels of hypercrastination - or the act of linking to every social media channel known to humankind for updates, instead of actually getting anything done.

  7. Hyperlocal

    Describes the extreme niche content made possible by the marriage of GPS location and mobile tech to provide hyperspecific geographical information.

    Examples such as Google Maps and Foursquare have changed the way consumers consume and will, according to the fundis in these matters, continue to do so.

  8. Hypergrowth

    Also known as onboarding. What you will have to anticipate if you get all the above right. Refers to the kinds of extreme upscaling required to motivate, move and manage companies to Googlesque or Amazonian proportions.

    How to head-hunt, hire, house and head-up upsize teams will require new hyperlative management skills.

  9. The hyperhistory

    The terms "hypertext" and "hypermedia" were apparently coined in the heady days of the 1960s by IT pioneer Ted Nelson, having been inspired by an essay by someone called Vannevar Bush entitled "As We May Think", which described a machine which could link and loop pages of related information.

    Although it is Douglas Engelbart who is independently credited with the first hyperlinking documents and with patenting the first computer mouse - which was quaintly described in the patent application as an "X-Y position indicator for a display system". Which I guess is exactly what it is!

    A 1987 Apple Macintosh released the HyperCard that allowed hyperlinking between various pages within a document.

    HTML itself was refined in 1991 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, creator and founder of what came to be known as the World Wide Web - or the ability to share info using those ol' hyperlinks, HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol), by giving every web page on the planet a unique address or URL (Uniform Resource Locator). Bloody brilliant!
So, yes, it's the year or maybe even the decade of superhyperactivity - expect to get your head around and even invest in hyperclouds, hypergaming, hypercraft, hyperblade48, hyperdash, hyperdesks, hypernature, hyperintegers, hyperD and even hyperTwitter!

You have been hyperwarned.

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About Terry Levin

Founder of multi-disciplinary agency OfftheShelf. Talk to us about case studies of growing legacy African brands for the future. We are Afrophiles offering strategic brand design and architecture, brand content, standout activations and more. Currently acting as creative director at large. Email , follow @terrylevin on Twitter, view her photos on Instagram, connect on or LinkedIn.