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Topic Title: E&T magazine - Debate - What is driving innovation in wireless technology?
Topic Summary: Will innovation in wireless technology be driven by hardware or software?
Created On: 18 June 2014 10:48 AM
Status: Post and Reply
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 18 June 2014 10:48 AM
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jpwilson

Posts: 65
Joined: 16 May 2007

For:
Innovation in wireless technology will be driven by hardware, not software.

Against:
Innovation in wireless technology will not be driven by hardware, it will be driven by software.

The argument for:
I don't want to say that hardware is more important than software because what you need is an integration of both skillsets. The future clearly isn't just about hardware innovation, because important developments any of the fields ahead will come via breakthroughs in software algorithms, just as there will be breakthroughs in plastics, nano-conductors and sensors.

The big change we are seeing is in wearable technology, where innovations that were once restricted to the smartphone space are migrating into the wearable space. A good example is in optics that will allow people to simultaneously see the real world and superimposed information. Something like Google Glass is dependent on physical things such as optics, which is a non-trivial science, by any degree. This means a lot of physics and engineering at that level, rather than just figuring out algorithms.

So, overall, I would say that here are many reasons why the hardware field is set to explode. Of course, there is software involved, but our future innovation does rely on physical world enhancements to take it to a new level.

The argument against:
Real innovation will happen in the services delivered through the wireless connection with humans, while hardware will fade out to become as unimportant as the clothes we wear. Of course, there is innovation in technology in fashion terms, but most developments of note will come from the virtual software world. It will be in the services delivered to objects and not in the objects themselves.The company I've been working with for the past 15 years, Bango, is about enabling people to pay for things easily. Our focus is in areas such as music and entertainment, and I think that's a perfect example of the value shifting to services where the hardware is a means to an end.

Just in the way that we are spreading our DNA we are also on the track to creating the kind of memories that were not possible before. But, more interestingly, because we currently access the virtual world via hardware there are all kinds of privacy and security concerns. As we start to create our virtual selves, these will fade away.
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