The most frightening—and fun—thing about social networking and retail integration is the speed with which it changes. That means that retailers must have a fine-tuned crystal ball into what's a year or two down the road so it can launch and take advantage of trends before they've died out. A wonderful opinion column in Mashable details several interesting technologies that may form some nearterm online innovations. One good example is where Twitter might be headed.
"It has allowed one man to create a device attached to a chair that tweets at the presence of noxious natural gasses (ahem), another uses Arduino to monitor when his cats are inside the house or out, and a small bakery and cafe in East London is now able to tweet what’s fresh from their oven. This may all seem like pretty pointless stuff, but the pointlessness is the point." Oddly enough, they're absolutely right. Well worth a read if you need to plot out where E-Commerce is headed.