Friday, November 7, 2014

Brand recognition and advancements in technology

Everyone knows this picture, as it has become a meme of sorts.

Two major points:
* that "The iPhone introduced the smartphone to the world, and the iPad the tablet computer."


* And the opposite argument claiming that 'the HUD [headgear] technology predates Star Trek: Deeep Space Nine by decades in theory and by many years as science fact.'


Even if Google Glass-like devices might have been in use well before Google came out with its own product, then in all actuality they might have been deployed in only sequestered (military, intelligence) and/or niche environments (specific businesses).

If you go to a library an read a 1980's book or major magazine about future computing devices and gadgets, then the headgear is there already. At least I remember on such book when I was younger.

Very often the point is, that some technologies are not acknowledged as being widely in existence until a reasonably affordable, well-branded, and easy-to-use product is successfully introduced into consumer space and gains major mindshare from the press and then the public at large.

The smartphone was there long before the iPhone (IBM, Nokia), ditto the tablet computer (Microsoft's thingy from 2000 was a rather half-hearted attempt, btw), and videoconferencing. There were video capabilities in instant messaging programs long before Skype.

Only that major brands recognized by most people are major only because of very effective promotion in one otherwise backwards (if you will) or underdeveloped, but rather powerful market compared to the rest of the world. That's iPhone in the U.S.

There are other reasons:
* One is that mainstream technology journalism has been dominated by U.S. outlets;
* The other is that they are usually rather partial to Apple. Almost all of them;
* And that the tech press of the U.S. — and by extension its public — were, IMO, in a very desperate need for a fancy product that was ostensibly innovated in United States, marketed by a major brand native to the U.S., and of which every person would want to have a piece of.
* Never mind that actual product was made in China, where industrialisation and labour conditions are historically comparable to those of 19th century Britain. (Yes, there have been some improvements.)

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