Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Tech Slowdown?

Have we hit a tech slowdown?  Maybe.  It seemed throughout the 80's, 90's and the beginning of the 00's that tech completely changed every year.  Phones changed shapes and no company could dominate the market because things changed so much.  CPU's were gaining cores, new names and seemed to double in speed every two months.  Video game consoles were being released every few years and the games looked more astounding with every new version.  It seemed like technology was on an endless rocket ride to future tech we couldn't even imagine yet.

Then it all seemed to slow down.  I call it the 'mobile wall'.  When the smartphone came out and we finally merged the PDA, phone and computer into one device something happened.  Instead of creating new and wonderful inventions we turned to creating a more marketable mobile device.  Better mobile chips, more features and of course bigger screens.  This of course led to the tablet which was just a big phone.  Nothing new. 

Computer technology has continued to improve in the background.  However it does seem that the i7 has been around for a long time.  Doesn't it?  Yes it's gotten faster but we're still sitting at 4 cores.  AMD put out the hexa-core but that didn't do very well.  Eight core processors are out there but unless the machine and software are designed to utilize it the extra cores are useless.  Not practical for everyday computing.  The way things were shooting upwards I thought we'd be rocking eight cores running at 8ghz each in our personal computers.  I guess not.  The fact that I'm still using a computer setup barely different than what I had 15 years ago says something.   It's immensely more powerful but the technology is basically the same. 

There is hope on the horizon though.  We've seemed to crack some sort of magic code when it comes to storage.  Micro SD cards are smaller than my fingernail and hold mind boggling amounts of data.  A terabyte hard drive was a thing of pure fiction but now it's standard.  If I wanted I could buy a few five terabyte hard drives right now and plug them into my system.  Then there's the fact that the solid-state drive exists and has no moving parts.  NO MOVING PARTS!  Insane.

Virtual reality also seems to be finally becoming a real thing for the masses.  It has potential and could really take off.  Possibly the first new tech advancement in years outside the mobile market.  Hopefully it works well and becomes the 'next step' in computer evolution. 

Anyway.  Maybe it's because I haven't been paying attention and I'm out of the loop on things.  Maybe things haven't slowed down as much as I think.  I hope so.  It seems the mobile market has hit a point where it doesn't really know what to do next.  Tablets are evolving back into laptops again.  The race is on to build a viable flexible screen to take the mobile device into the future.  It looks like we're trying to figure out what the next big thing will be.  The smartphone wasn't useful enough and a powerful computer still isn't mobile enough.  Maybe we'll realize we need multiple devices in our lives to do all the things we want.  There won't be any ultimate tech device that solves all our problems.  Not yet at least.  Just don't be fooled by the hype when the next mediocre attempt comes on the market.  If it still looks like a phone...it's still just a phone.

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