Marc Andreessen’s precise observation that “software eats the world” has been popular (and true) for more than half a decade now, but I have come to find it, only describes the development of the industry Of the technology in part. While applications such as WhatsApp, Snapchat and Uber turn startups into multi-billion dollar projects, there is still a hardware component underlying all of them. As the battle for future mobile users passes into the domain of personal assistants and machine learning automation, there is always a physical object on which all this software works.
As a technology reviewer, I have always been more interested in the physical device. What is the size of the glasses all over the screen? Is a USB port at the end plane and polished or is it cut in my palm? And does the thing have a headphone jack? Regarding how technology fans have responded to recent news, I am inclined to think that I am among the majority on this issue. The software is of paramount importance and, in most cases, that’s why we fall in love with this gadget, but ultimately it’s the material we love.
The ghost encourages the feelings that we then associate with the shell.
Five years ago, Microsoft was the architect of the most popular and profitable operating system and desktop software in the world, but it was loved only by tribal fanboys. His Xbox, on the other hand, had a more widespread appreciation, but it was only after that Microsoft turned into an appropriate hardware manufacturer – producing Surface Pro, Surface Book, Surface Studio and, more recently, The Laptop Surface – that it has become universal cherished. Microsoft is now one of the most exciting companies in technology, partly because it is transformed into a rejected, but also because it pushes the boundaries of industrial design with new and unique new hardware.
Samsung has undergone a similar transformation. He was the cheap copier Apple, but he recognized the value of an attractive design and high quality to attract long-term loyalty from the user, and now it is also among the world’s favorite technology companies. There are legitimate fans and without Samsung predators now.
Sony and HTC are also useful examples, since none of them have been a leader among the phone makers for years, but both have always followed passionately according to their previous products. There is no denying that HTC led the world when it came to a refined the design smart phone and Sony brought an innovation in hardware history. It is only because they have provided their followers a physical thing to channel their love so that these two brands still know a loyalty so long lasting.
Turn to pure software companies, on the other hand, and you will see a distinctly different image. Facebook is used daily by something close to 1.3 billion people and has recently crossed the mark of 2 billion users, but some will say they like it. Uber has become an essential service in Silicon Valley, but most of its riders use it while struggling against a sense of doubt. Even Amazon has been crucial to the lives of many people for years, has benefited greatly from the introduction of the Kindle and later the speaker of Echo as the home of his voice assistant Alexa.
At Google I/O last week, I had another affirmation of this belief that the material is what pulls the eyes and affection most easily. Google basically did not. All that is happening in Mountain View these days is to merge artificial intelligence and machine learning into daily tools and services, and there was not a new Google Home speaker as there was Last year to give a bodily manifestation to these efforts. I do not doubt that the work that Google will do now will prove fruitful and will make future Android and Chrome OS devices more attractive – but in the short term, people have been a bit disappointed by the lack of new Google gadgets to understand and consider.
Physical things anchor our lust gadget in the real world and ultimately absorb any good will that the software these gadgets engender. Yes, people have their favorite apps, but appreciating the quality of an application rarely translates into his love for his creator. With hardware, on the other hand, an excellent user experience is almost always converted into brand loyalty. This is part of Apple’s big success, it’s the catalyst for the growing fan appreciation for Microsoft and Amazon, and that’s what made the Google IO a bit boring.