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November 24, 2016

The Great Tech Pause Continues

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

Well! What’s going on in the field of high tech? Which exciting technologies are about to unfold? What do you have to look forward to? Certainly, the brilliant, highly-paid minds that dwell at the core of the digital universe tease us with myriad delights looming on the horizon?

Actually, not.

Welcome to the Great Tech Pause. I’ve followed the computer/technology industry for a long time now. It’s been years since the latest wizbang technology has come down the pike. Such a prospect is dreadful, but understandable.

Consider the State of the Industry: What is it that drives technology forward today?

Certainly, robotics is coming forward, though at a glacial pace. The problem with this aspect of the high tech industry is low demand. When businesses transformed from typewriters and calculators to computers, the demand was intense. Paralleling that demand were great advances in technology. Because robots aren’t in demand anywhere by anyone, adoption is nil.

Drones are fun, but they aren’t high-tech. They’re toys. You can do only so much with a drone, and most of those legitimate tasks imitate or improve upon services already available.

Phones are dull. The technology is leveling out. Aside from minor improvements and newer apps, your smartphone today does the same thing that the original iPhone did almost 10 years ago.

The smartwatch? Meh.

Internet TV isn’t really a technology, but it does mark a paradigm shift. For the first time ever, video content is in the hands of the viewer. This portion of the industry is exploding, though it’s merely a new delivery system for the existing entertainment industry.

Given the potential for technology to leap forward, and for everyone from investors to users to benefit, what’s the problem? What technology driver has caused technology driving to stop?

Advertising.

Consider the tech giants: Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft. Their focus in recent years hasn’t been on exciting new technology, but rather on advertising revenue.

These tech titans use technology to craft a customer database and then to sell to them. The purpose of everything, from the Android OS to the Apple Watch and Windows 10 is to provide a platform that gathers marketing information and delivers advertising.

Traditional advertising was the domain of newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. Those industries have been replaced — gutted, actually — by technology companies that once provided other services. Further, because the tech companies have shifted their mission statement, there are no successors to continue innovation.

As long as the goal of high tech is to gather customer data and deliver ads, the industry will stagnate. Not only that, as the Great Tech Pause continues, new technology that would have otherwise come to the forefront will languish and the public won’t benefit.

If I can figure out what can be done to break this pause, I’ll post it here.

2 Comments

  1. Hmmm, I think the problem is the hardware/software as there was a stagnation for a few years peole had to get with the software clever extra out it. Now the hardware has caught up the bottle neck is removed, meaning the software has to advance again. At the same time the vertices in 1/2 Life looking a bit better won’t persuade people something has happened. Leading as you say to the big boys looking for other streams of income, companies that may have taken over the mantle have been either bought out or folded. Every thing these days seems to streaming, Amazon for instance are not putting up the entire Grand Tour Series despite having all the episodes in the can but drip feeding them to audience weekly (like the old BBC Top Gear!). So it’s case of whats old is new again, the only ‘new’ tech I can think of is VR (you might want to look at FooVR if you haven’t already)

    Comment by glennp — November 24, 2016 @ 6:19 am

  2. I don’t believe software has caught up with hardware. That, too, has stagnated. Even back with the 80386 chip, the software merely exploited the speed, and not the internal features of the chip. The Pentium was even more complex. Software just runs quickly and doesn’t dig deep into the processor’s structure to improve performance in other ways. If I had the time (item 686 on my list), I’d love to brush upon the Intel Core processor manuals and see exactly what’s going on inside those marvelous chips.

    I believe VR will put a dent into everything, of course. If the robots don’t get us, then VR will.

    Comment by admin — November 24, 2016 @ 8:20 am

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