Authoring tools will speak Tin Can. Data from the learning penumbra, such as content views, job performance, and social interactions will be turned into Tin Can statements. Data will flow into Learning Record Stores, but what will the dynamics of that ecosystem be?
Organization needs will be met modularly, without complicated configuration or data translation.
One possible future features symbiotic specialization. A Learning Record Store has peerless insight into its internals; no tool without direct access to the data will be as fast or as capable. However, the Tin Can API makes it easy for Learning Record Stores to synchronize their data. An organization with learning needs can easily add a further LRS in order to support new insights, connections, and other capabilities.
In the future, an organization might have one LRS aimed at evaluating instructors, and another that uses certification data to monitor compliance, and another that identifies learner problem areas. Adding a new capability would be a matter of signing up or installing the LRS, then pointing it at an existing LRS and awaiting synchronization. Organization needs will be met modularly, without complicated configuration or data translation.
This symbiotic ecosystem is one possible future with Tin Can. The actual future remains a grand experiment, but I believe the enthusiasm and widespread adoption by authoring tools we are already seeing will make it rich and useful.