It’s Time for New Industry Innovations

by Tim Bajarin   |   July 9th, 2012

First I wanted to thank the many folks who through Facebook, twitter and other social media found out that I had a heart attack that led to a triple bypass. So many of you sent get well notes and notes of prayers and good thoughts and they were all greatly appreciated. The doctors told me I was 30 minutes from a major stroke and 60 minutes from losing 50% of my heart muscle. I am glad I listened to my body and went to emergency and that saved me.
I am now in serious healing mode and am told I will be good as new by Sept . That is why I have not written any columns here at Tech.pinions for about 6 weeks. Only now am I getting my strength back to start writing again.

One interesting by product of this is the fact that for 2 weeks I was completely disconnected. I suppose if you keep a guy on morphine you can keep him disconnected. So once I was switched to a regular room the first thing I asked for was my iPad and Macbook Air. It took me a week to catch up and when I got home I devoured as much industry info I need to do my job.

Although a lot of news passed under the bridge, to be fair, I found nothing earth shattering. Even more disappointing was as I perused the products from Computex and they all seemed the same. Most of what I saw was just some type of variation on the same theme. This was played out later in the week when Microsoft introduced their Surface Computer. It too was a variation of things already done albeit with their version with their unique touches to it.

It seems to me that the industry is at a standstill. Where is the innovation going to come from? Where is the next iPad that revolutionizes personal computing? Where is the new user interface that change how we interact with our computer? Where are the flexible screens that would change the way we view things? When does the network become the computer?

It appears to me that Apple leads and then the industry spends the next 5 years catching up. That has been good for Apple but devastating for competitors. At some point, the industry needs to step up and make some bold steps of innovation on its own. HP has one of the richest labs known to man. They need to commercialize some of their great technology. Xerox PARC is known for their technology and mostly for things that got away such as Postscript, The Mouse and the graphical User Interface. They have great stuff Inside. In fact, nearly all of the OEM’s have innovation labs of their own and it is time for them to dig deep and start innovating from within.

I expect Apple to continue to innovate and lead, but for this industry to really make some strides and start changing the compute landscape dramatically, it is going to take more then Apple to make it happen. I am normally an industry optimist but those two weeks away from everything has made it clear that we are kind of stuck in a circle. Apple innovates and the rest of the industry spends the next 5 years playing catch up. Apple should innovate but the rest of the industry needs to innovate as well and at warp speed. If they do, the future of personal computing can be bright. If not, it will only be bright for Apple.

Tim Bajarin

Tim Bajarin is the President of Creative Strategies, Inc. He is recognized as one of the leading industry consultants, analysts and futurists covering the field of personal computers and consumer technology. Mr. Bajarin has been with Creative Strategies since 1981 and has served as a consultant to most of the leading hardware and software vendors in the industry including IBM, Apple, Xerox, Compaq, Dell, AT&T, Microsoft, Polaroid, Lotus, Epson, Toshiba and numerous others.
  • FalKirk

    First, my condolences on your recent health issue and my very best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery.

    I look at things the other way around. I think that the tablet (including tablet phones) is a brand new category of computer that, when combined with the various App stores, is breathing new life into computing. The iPhone is only 5 years old and the iPad is only two years old and their run at transforming computing, and the world we live in, may easily last another dozen years or more.

    I don’t think we’re at the end of innovation, I think we’re at the beginning. The tablet is going to take the computer into new areas (third world countries, standing, walking, leaning back, etc) and new, as of yet unthought of tasks that have never been touched by the power of computing before.

    Further, even if the hardware stagnated (which isn’t going to happen) the tablet and the app stores are the bedrock foundation of the rebirth of software innovation. We haven’t even begun to begin to see the kinds of programs that the combination of easy to do programming, easy access, low costs and instant distribution will wrought. The sky’s the limit. There will be brand new, never before seen generic programs purchased by tens of millions of users and tens of millions of tiny, little, entity and company specific programs, used by small groups of individuals. Both types of program will help to transform our world in very broad and very personal ways.

    And that’s not even counting the “next big thing”.

    No, I’m not concerned about innovation or the future of computing. I think that we’re living in a second golden age, the second coming of the personal computing revolution. I intend to enjoy the ride.

  • shockme

    Best wishes on your recovery, Tim.

    I think advancement will have to come with applications for new sensors and materials. Perhaps roll-up displays and electro-fluidic keyboards over the touch screen? Also wearable computers like Google Glass for Augmented Reality applications like security and maintenance where even a tablet is too big for the job.

    I think we will also see advances in battery life that will bring a whole new raft of applications as these devices get long battery life and lighter weight especially networked arrays of sensors distributed geographically.

  • Rhea Galsim

    Get better first!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_G6VVWF2ONHKQ6S26IQUWWTOMWA Wolfgang Mozart

    Tim, I am so glad you are alright. You have been a voice of reason in tech for so long, I can’t even remember that far back.