There hasn’t been a new post on Computer Realm for over three years so instead of giving a reason for this, I decided I am going to talk about five randomly picked yet important trends that have taken place over the past three and a half years.
There have been plenty of great things that have happened over the years; for example, Justin Bieber is no longer a hot trend any more which is always a good thing but the list below is actually more of a cautionary tale of where we are heading rather than looking at the bright side of things. So let’s have it:
- Snap Chat
Snap Chat has seen tremendous growth and is currently one of the fastest growing social networks. One important factor here is that the majority of users of snapchat are teens who have just discovered that they are capable of experiencing certain feelings that they couldn’t a few years ago. While the growth is impressive and the fact that it is valued in billions and run by 24 year old Evan Spiegel is even more impressive, you start to wonder what purpose of communication it primarily serves when the premise of the mobile app is to send a video or image that can only be viewed for 10 seconds or played once and then deleted. Yep, you guessed right.
While Snap Chat’s growth means that teens have a more efficient medium of communicating, the problem is that we also have to get used to seeing trending articles with titles like this more often:
- The iPhone
No list about historical trends is complete without talking about the almighty iPhone. The iPhone 4S saw tremendous sales when it was released towards the end of October in 2011. Since then the iPhone 5, 5C, 5S, 6 and 6 Plus have come out. It almost seems as if they are using different suffixes after the number to spice things up a little. I am guessing they will introduce a new letter for the iPhone 7 (the iPhone 7x ?) and also perhaps a word (the iPhone 7 Ripoff ?).
Over these last several models, while they have finally decided to buff up and match the trend of large displays, not much has changed. The iPhone 6 Plus sports an 8 megapixel camera just like the iPhone 4S. Perhaps the only difference is a little better processor and of course a whopping 0.9 megapixel increase on their front camera which will improve the quality of your selfies.
Yet, despite this, the iPhone 6 first week sales beat that of the iPhone 5’s first week of sales. This only goes to show that the countless characters and content on the internet wasted on rational people who haven’t bought in to the Apple craze venting away needs to stop, because people are going to keep buying stuff as long as they Apple logo is on it, whether it is a $12,000 Apple Watch or the 2015 Macbook that has no standard USB port.
- Google Glass
Google Glass took the tech world by storm back in 2012 and gained a ton of buzz. Everyone seemed to have an opinion on the technology and Time even has an article covering celebrities wearing the product. Most people were impressed by what can be accomplished with Google Glass but there was also a lot of negativity in terms of its practicality. I personally think it is an intrusive technology that we are supposed to adopt in to our daily lives and while it is not going to gain traction right away, similar technology will eventually be adopted in to our lives, whether it is Google Glass or an alternative.
During the end of last year, Google announced that it has discontinued its Google Glass project as a Labs project, which lead to a landslide of feedback from people who didn’t like the idea. This was soon compensated by more feedback to set the record straight that Google Glass is in fact very much alive.
I have no doubt that Google Glass will be back, but I’d expect to see a lot of changes in terms of its design and features.
- The Selfie
I need to make a little disclaimer here, I’m not a selfie or photo guy so I may have a little bias against the idea of a selfie but to be honest, I really don’t have anything against the idea of a selfie. What bothers me is that people are now more engrossed and excited about the idea of taking a selfie to post it on whatever social network that their social circles are on that they miss what’s happening around them and don’t really get to experience what’s really going on.
I’d rather not see the selfie stick become a thing but at least I haven’t reached a level of tolerance that equates to the following comic when it comes to selfie sticks yet:
- Flappy Bird
You’ve all heard of it. This side scrolling poorly-crafted game for your mobile became one of the most addictive, popular games that took the world by storm. Virtually millions of hours of productivity was probably killed due to the addictive nature of the app leading to the lucky (understatement) creator eventually pulling it out of the app stores. According to the developer it was created to be something that was to be played at leisure for a short period of time but it soon became a way of life for some people that it soon warranted a scientific explanation.
On announcing that the app was to be removed, the developer started receiving death and suicide threats. However, the purpose was lost as he ended the app so that people won’t be able to play it any more but sure enough there are dozens of clones available on the market.
This goes to show that if you want to be a profitable game developer; graphics, gameplay, AI or anything else that game developers put millions into doesn’t matter. You just need something addictive and you could be making $50,000 a day.
With the next three and a half years poised to bring about plenty more trends, we hope they are more hopeful than some of those above.