WHAT MAKES TECH TICK?

HWM (Singapore) - - ED'S NOTE - Zachary Chan EDI­TOR

Tech­nol­ogy had per­me­ated the ev­ery­day prod­ucts that we use, but I of­ten find that we still have a very limited view of how it de­fines th­ese very gad­gets. Take for in­stance the dig­i­tal cam­era. The progress and in­no­va­tion in dig­i­tal imag­ing over the past decade is noth­ing short of stunning. And yet, con­sumer per­cep­tion of per­for­mance re­mains fix­ated by the one fea­ture that, in my opin­ion, has the least ef­fect on im­age qual­ity in any mod­ern cam­era. Yes, I’m talk­ing about those darn megapix­els.

Cam­eras are a clas­sic ex­am­ple, but other prod­ucts have their share of suc­cess and fail­ures in ‘break­ing the mold’ so to speak.

TVs are known for res­o­lu­tion and size, but it al­ready is at a limit. 4K TVs have be­come stan­dard and 8K is around the cor­ner, but still to the dearth of any ac­tual 4K con­tent. To this end, man­u­fac­tur­ers have been try­ing very hard to as­so­ciate the TV ex­pe­ri­ence with other fea­tures such as 3D, smart con­nec­tiv­ity and most re­cently curved screens.

Au­dio is one that’s in­ter­est­ing to watch. On one hand, we’ve tran­scended phys­i­cal me­dia with High Res­o­lu­tion Au­dio and wire­less stream­ing. The CD is as good as dead. On the other hand, the vinyl resur­gence is mak­ing a killing.

Mi­cro­pro­ces­sors suc­ceeded the mega­hertz race with the ad­vent of multi-core and multi-threaded com­put­ing. To­day, it’s all about ef­fi­ciency in do­ing more while con­sum­ing less power rather than raw speed and huge heat sinks.

And mo­bile phones rep­re­sent the most dy­namic in­dus­try that tech­nol­ogy has ever pro­duced. The smart­phone to­day is a cam­era, a screen, an au­dio player and com­puter all rolled into one. Of course, it’s a phone too, but that seems sec­ondary th­ese days.

What I’m re­ally try­ing to say, is that if you think tech gad­gets have be­come repet­i­tive or for­mu­laic, there’s a lot go­ing on than that one big fea­ture or num­ber that mar­keters con­tin­u­ally bom­bard you with. A cam­era is more than its megapix­els, a TV is more than a screen and a smart­phone is more than just Ap­ple vs An­droid.

And I just hap­pen to know the only tech mag you can get your monthly geek on. You’re al­ready hold­ing it.

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