I think the future of computers and its marketing strategies have three big chapters; The Touch, cloud, and virtual reality.
Computers, phones, and tablets are getting closer.
Computers incorporate some elements from the phones and tablets.
Microsoft makes touch screens. Its computers are close to tablets and evolve in that direction.
Apple puts touch in their keyboard. They have created the "Touch Bar" that substitutes the keys function. Makes the trackpad huge and gives it more functionality. It was gestures and gives you the feeling of a click.
Laptops and desktops will become more specialized and expensive products for some tasks and some professions.
Phones and tablets are becoming more powerful and useful. They evolve faster than computers. They are substituting them in many fields.
Time horizon: Now
2. Cloud, software, and privacy.
Chips are evolving slower each time. Mid and long-term innovation will not come from computation power. Software and the Cloud could be the new frontier.
Google wants to get as much information as possible from users. Machines can learn when they have a lot of data. Then, they can offer products and services tailored to each person. Google has done that for many years. They have a distinct advantage over their competitors.
The information that users give to Google is anonymous, of course. However, it is clear that the process has security implications. Google gives you free, excellent services. In exchange, you must give Google your private personal data. You also have to stand for an ugly and confusing advertising. It is a trade-off: privacy for convenience and price.
On the other side, Apple makes security its priority. They will not store your information in the cloud. In fact, they do not have access to it. They develop software in your device to process your data. We will have to wait and see if they can get the same results.
Apple offers most of his services for free. But you have to buy their expensive hardware and keep in their closed ecosystem to take full advantage of it.
Time horizon: Near future
3. Augmented reality and virtual reality
In the far future, there are a lot of promising technologies. Augmented reality and virtual reality have more chances to become useful. A lot of firms have presented products in that field. By now, they are far from solving any real problem. They cannot substitute laptops, desktops, phones or tablets. They are all working on this. No one knows how it will evolve.
Time horizon: Far future
4. Keyboards, touch and voice.
I introduce a fourth element that could be complementary to the other three. It is the way we give information to the machine.
- Keyboards with less travel. Apple has led that evolution, and everybody followed. In each of the iteration, the keyboards are smaller, and the keys have less travel than before. Keyboards with clicking sound are specialized products.
- Trackpad and pencil are substituting the mouse.
Trackpads are bigger each time. They incorporate new possibilities with technologies like Force Touch and gestures.
The pencil is making design easier. It could be a way to take notes faster, too.
- Voice assistants. Siri, Cortana, Google, and Alexa are substituting keyboards as the way to introduce information. It is just the beginning of a long process.
Time horizon: Now and far future.
This is part of a series dedicated to the future of computers. For more detailed information see the other posts: