Computers are a funny thing. Constantly changing in shape and size, all whilst getting faster and more efficient. In order to better examine where this next iteration is going to lead us, follow me as we look through past and present iterations of the different everyday computers.
In the beginning, computers took up entire office floors in order to process information, but nowadays we’re more used to being able to pull out a device the same size as a wallet in most cases.This reduction in required size has led to some truly astonishing advancements in the way we use our personal computers.
Whereas twenty years ago most people were limited to bulky towers and even bulkier monitors, now people possess all sorts of devices. These devices are becoming ever more advance in their tasks too; from checking the weather on a smartwatch to potentially saving your life with cars fitted with the latest safety features built into on-board computers.
The way devices interact with each other has also changed dramatically in recent years. Phones now sync to cars, consoles sync to computers… it’s all very integrated. This integration is something which is shaping the future of our devices and homes.
Microsoft has already taken the leap into moulding the integrated device of the future with its aptly named “Space of the Future” from as far back as 2013. Even now tech companies strive to bring their different platforms together in new innovative ways. Google’s own Chrome browser syncs data across all devices capable of supporting it and Microsoft have upped the game with integration from its Windows OS to Xbox One’s OS and even to apps on Apple’s iPhones and iPads with Smartglass app.
The reason some companies are putting such an emphasis on this new way of bringing devices together is not only due to its gimmick of task sharing across the home, it also means consumers are more willing to stay with that company in the future. One of the reasons why the Xbox One didn’t completely fall off the side of the earth was people wanted to bring over their Gamerscore from the 360 iteration.
However the main driving force behind what devices we see are unsurprisingly due primarily to what devices catch on with consumers either due to their new innovative ways of performing tasks of filling the consumers needs. A perfect example of new devices finding new ways to do things would be the Oculus Rift, a Virtual Reality headset. The device has birthed a new way to enjoy many different formats of media, whether that be 3D videos or games.
It isn’t just VR either, AR or Augmented Reality, is set to boom into the limelight with innovations such as the HoloLens from Microsoft. Tech demos for the Lens, including one where it rendered an entire Minecraft world onto a table, look promising for the future. But as well as finding new ways of doing things, devices are fulfilling the needs of modern day living.
With the world’s roads getting busier day after day it’s inevitable that we will eventually need to find alternate methods of controlling traffic. That’s where the driverless car comes in. The market, currently led by Google, is primarily still in development phases but look out for driverless cars in the near future.
Driverless cars aren’t the only new vehicle on the horizon. Amazon has been investing heavily into its new drone courier service with it being rolled out in parts of the States. The concept means that you are able to receive packages even quicker due to drones avoiding traffic by utilising the sky.
Regardless of what corner of the industry you follow, the diversity is growing at a rapid and unique way. This year will be a big one in terms of what to expect, with Oculus and its competitor Vive set for release, and other innovations coming to market, it’ll be interesting to watch exactly what happens in the coming year(s).