An article in last weeks Sunday Times, commenting on the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (definitely on my Bucket List by the way!) raised the question – has true innovation dried up? It raised the point that the game changers from Apple – the ipod, iphone and ipad – are actually quite old in technology terms and if you look at Twitter – well being around for in excess of 5 years makes it truly geriatric.
Since then there has been very little, if anything, which can be truly described as game changing – hence the question. It’s an interesting point – but is it valid?
Of course these sort of questions have been raised before – at the beginning of the 20th century scientists genuinely believed that everything that could be discovered, had been discovered and we know how that turned out. But the pace of change has been so fast in the last ten years or so, is it realistic to assume that that pace can continue?
Probably not but it doesn’t mean that innovation has dried up. Whilst the hardware hasn’t changed that much, the software has certainly continued to provide exciting possibilities. Apple have not changed the look of the their latest iphone, the 4s, but the introduction of IOS5 has exponentially moved the goal posts. iCloud and airplay are game changing technologies and will no doubt provide the basis for much more.
The next big advances are, no doubt, going to be in the way we watch TV. Being restricted to the schedules and timings laid down by the TV companies is rapidly becoming outmoded. TV programmes are going to be viewed when the consumer wants and on the equipment that they want to use. The internet, as with most things, will become the medium of choice for transmitting and viewing and the technology is going to adapt to meet that challenge.
So – has innovation reached a plateau? I don’t think so – its probably just catching it’s breath.