Tech world eyes digital life beyond the smartphone

Tech World

The smartphone revolutionized how people live and work, but the technology world is now struggling to see what comes next.

As smartphone sales have peaked in most major markets, Apple, Samsung and others are being forced to rethink their business models to keep growing and connecting with consumers.

The trend in smartphones appears to follow similar peaks in tablet sales and personal computers, said Bob O’Donnell, chief analyst at Technalysis Research.

“We are clearly entering a new era where growth of traditional devices has ended and you have to think differently,” O’Donnell said.

It’s not clear what will be the “next big thing” in technology or even if there is one, and that is troubling for an industry that has been living off growth from smartphones and their ecosystems of Android and Apple iOS applications.

John Curran, managing director of Accenture’s communications, media, and technology group, said that in a maturing smartphone market, consumers are not hesitating about new purchases.

“Consumers are basically satisfied with their current devices,” said Curran.

Curran said the Internet of Things appears to be a promising market but that no single device has proved compelling so far.

“We’re seeing a broad range of devices, smartwatches, home automation, drones and the like,” Curran said.

“But these are not taking off (because) people don’t see the personal value in their lives yet.”

An Accenture survey released in January, based on polls in 28 countries, found declines in purchase intent for new smartphones and other big-ticket electronics devices.

Only a relative small number of consumers expressed interest in new Internet of Things devices such as smartwatches or drones — expressing concerns over cost, security and complexity of use.

Curran said the smartphone became wildly popular because it addressed a key problem of communications for people on the go, but that the next big thing is not clear.

“Consumers are looking for things that solve practical, tangible problems,” he said.

“They want to see things that make their lives easier, that delight and amaze them.”

– Looking for integration –

Ramon Llamas, analyst at the research firm IDC, said consumers want to see how all their new gadgets and services can be interconnected.

“The smartphone will still have a privileged place in our lives, but it needs to connect to all our other devices,” he said.

“You want your smartphone to talk to your home security system and your wearable device.”

Global smartphone sales in the first quarter showed their slowest growth on record of 0.2 percent, according to IDC. A separate report by Juniper Research was even more gloomy, saying global sales fell nearly six percent.

The market for devices such as smartwatches, fitness bands and smart home technology is growing, but in a more disjointed fashion, with a number of competing operating systems that can often confuse consumers.

“In all of those environments, you will need some level of computing or connectivity, so the companies that can deliver those kinds of things will be better positioned,” O’Donnell said.

With no single important device dominating, O’Donnell said the future tech landscape will see players emerge that can combine hardware, software, virtual reality and artificial intelligence. That could open the door to important roles for Facebook, Amazon, Intel and other players.

– Devices ‘fade away’ –

Some look to a landscape where technology and artificial intelligence permeate all aspects of life, where the “device” may become almost irrelevant.

“Looking to the future, the next big step will be for the very concept of the ‘device’ to fade away,” says Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Alphabet unit Google, in a recent blog post.

“Over time, the computer itself — whatever its form factor — will be an intelligent assistant helping you through your day. We will move from mobile first to an AI (artificial intelligence) first world.”

Samsung, the world’s biggest smartphone maker, said it too is looking at a different future of connected things.

“We are already imagining the next step beyond the smartphone,” Samsung Electronics mobile communications business president Dongjin Koh told the company’s developer conference in California.

Samsung wants to integrate software and services using its Tizen platform in the belief that “everywhere you go, there will be opportunities to bring devices and people together,” Koh said.

Intel, the company known for PC chips and failing to recognize the shift to mobile devices, last month unveiled a major restructuring, with a view to the “Internet of Things.” Some reports said Intel’s new structure abandons the smartphone in favor of emerging devices and services.

“The biggest opportunity in the Internet of Things is that it encompasses just about everything in our lives today,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich in a blog post.

“From our shoes and clothes to our homes and cars — the Internet of Things is transforming everything and every experience.”

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  1. Avatar nyangwara July 8th, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Poleni sana..May God be your guide at this difficult moment

  2. Avatar Philip July 8th, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    I can’t believe that this is happening at my former school. My condolences to Sarah’s family and the USIU community

    1. Avatar Mercy W Nkirote Kimathi July 9th, 2012 at 4:54 am

      @ Philip it should not happen to any particular individual ….. i reckon that was a slip of tongue.

  3. Avatar Joe Jay July 8th, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    its in deed sad. Evil Evil Evil. i can’t wait to hear wat is happening in our universities. Martin luther king once said “universities will turn out to be the greatest gates of hell where many students labor day n night not focusing on academics but other weird devilish activities” This is a key evil that the king must have had in mind. As we pray for security issues in our country, lets also remember our institutions of higher learning. I believe in the power of prayer. If it has worked before, it can n will in deed work today. RIP Sarah n rest in peace till the morning of resurrection.

  4. Avatar flo July 8th, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    This is so painfull

  5. Avatar Mwansa Mary Kaweme July 9th, 2012 at 2:55 am

    God knows why this had to happen…so many hearts are broken n its hard to believe you’re gone, but we thank the Lord for the life you had. R.I.P Serah…xx

  6. Avatar Bee July 9th, 2012 at 7:58 am

    This is so sad!! USIU and the police, please do something.

  7. Avatar Michael July 9th, 2012 at 8:44 am

    May Gods Love be with her family in this had time..

  8. Avatar Mercy T. July 9th, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Too sad, may her soul rest in eternal peace.

  9. Avatar Bonchez July 9th, 2012 at 9:56 am

    very painful story…… heartfelt condolences to her family and friends

  10. Avatar mwas July 9th, 2012 at 10:01 am

    This is inhumane act these beasts should not be set free.

  11. Avatar Mazzdark July 9th, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Capital you should post their pix here we know them…Policeneed to style up….

  12. Avatar Sherlock Holmes July 9th, 2012 at 10:25 am

    There is something the girls family is hiding,its quite clear she went raving on sartuday then her so called savannah boyfriend then plotted to have her kidnapped in thika,but the question is why kill her so quickly instead of waiting for the ransom,i bet the 100,000k was a debt that she refused to pay,and what was she doing flirting with a dude who is clearly way out of her league interms of maturity,there is something that is being hidden by the family,USIU chicks think that life is all about shoes and partying with rich married men,,this is a lesson to her and to other chicks in campus, If u plant a pumpkin,you are not going to reap strawberry’s.

    1. Avatar Dan July 9th, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      Please, please if you have to comment, you dont have to be cruel here. U have no facts about what happened, you have no right at all to speculate on anything here. let te girl rest in peace, and please dont cause the family more pain by commenting stupidly and ignorantly about a case you nothing of. I know the girls boyfriend so please I beg that you desist from such comments.
      Why do capital allow such comments anyway??

    2. Avatar The Merchant July 9th, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      Sherlock, I wont call you stupid!

    3. Avatar jeff murage July 9th, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      Reallly sherlock realllly waht kind of Narcortics are you on now?? Dude you need hobby !!!!!!!!

    4. Avatar George Best July 9th, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      Sherlock Holmes,you are entitled to your opinions but they should be laced with manners.Do you know the pain the bereaved family is going through?
      I condole mama Sarah for the death of her daughter in the hands of kidnappers.If that is what you must go through now,i pray God to give you energy to go through it

    5. Avatar shazapril July 9th, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      This Sherlock person is speaking with too much bile…the kind of bile you unleash when you know more about the story. Why don’t you reveal yourself to the police and help them with investigations since you know so much rather than displaying your detective skills here?

    6. Avatar marie July 9th, 2012 at 7:23 pm

      you’re clearly no Sherlock. If you knew her (which I did) then you’d know this is not true. You’ve turned a very sad event to a personal vendetta against usiu mamis. Mungu akuonekanie

  13. Avatar may July 9th, 2012 at 10:35 am

    sad indeed

  14. Avatar Kim Wabz July 9th, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Its sad to here the University admin is not doing anything, SAC please do something about the students welfare. RIP Serah!! and may those horrible people who did this be found and charged heavily.

  15. Avatar mariam carol July 9th, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Very sad indeeed

  16. Avatar cleo July 9th, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    we are saddened by the lose it is sad in deed

  17. Avatar Mayor Maya July 9th, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Its very unfortunate for a family to loose a daughter because of some people evil deeds. They should be punished heavily to share the same fate. Condolences to the family.

  18. Avatar Supreme July 9th, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    This is absolutely tragic!
    Students are in school to Study! How dare they murder a fellow student for money! (or any other reason!)

    My deepest condolences to the family for their loss. May Sarah R.I.P.

  19. Avatar Abbott Okello July 9th, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    This is very sad,i think the university is as capable as the kidnappers.What had they done to stop this wave of crime in their campus ? It seems to me like they never took any serious steps even when students from the same campus were kidnapped again and again.To hear the mother say that the university did not assist when they went to ask about the names of the suspected students,is being insensitive to the welfare of the student and the emotions of the grieving family.The Police need to do thorough investigations in this matter so that apart from just taking the suspects to court there is a water tight case.Court too needs to send an equivocal clear message that such acts will not be tolerate in a civilized society.If this is happening in our higher learning institution,one wonders what kind of leader we will have in future.Justice for Sarah,Justice for Sarah…….

  20. Avatar Steve Muga July 10th, 2012 at 7:49 am

    RIP Serah!! So sad that it hard to be this way!

  21. Avatar Stella W. July 17th, 2012 at 12:51 am

    RIP Sarah.

  22. Avatar Dave Fishpond July 21st, 2012 at 1:56 am

    This is absolutely sad, very sad. Why? always the question. young, beautiful ambitious young women who had a bright future ahead of her just snatched away by evil creatures living in our society and for what? my prayers to the family.

  23. Avatar Ogomoditse July 30th, 2012 at 11:11 am

    they shuld rot in jail and reveal all the others. God will punish them all…..


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