Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sony buying out Ericsson reminds me of the Walkman and Camcorder

Image courtesy wiretotheear.com
 
A few technology firms have been at the forefront of innovation in the personal electronics industry. Sony is one of them. Years ago when I first bought a Sony Walkman, that was a really small tape player that can fit in your pocket that was novel idea at a time when radios are as big as a 24 inch box. The Sony portable Walkman was hip. Later Sony came out again with the camcorder. A simple video recorder that can fit into a 5 inch bag. You do no longer need to carry lights or be a professional videographer to operate the camcorder. For a few decades many gadgets were a direct adaptation two concepts. Then came the cell phone era that became dominated by Nokia and  Apple's iPod and the music store. The Walkman, as a cassette player, is today totally obsolete thanks to the invention of better more durable storage devices, the flash disk, SD MicroSD cards etc and thanks to Apple’s successful integration of these devices in its iPod and iTunes. Sony has since struggled to get into the smartphone and portable music player market now dominated by Apple and Apple inspired products and devices. It has tried to use the fame of the walkman and its audiovisual technologies as a differentiator to carve a niche in the market but that has not won consumers over in droves. SonyEricsson phones still have very good audio players than any in the market. Recently they have tried to build a smartphone with the Bravia display engine. But none of that has been a hit. The smartphone and tablet market is still a Samsung and Apple market. This is why it's exciting that Sony its buying out SonyEricsson and intending to move into that space. If Sony remains true to tradition as a leading innovator in the consumer electronics industry then I can expect more innovation in the market

I'm looking at a concept of a retractable display for the tablet. A foldable screen. A portable screen will be a big hit any day. Given that a 10’’ screen for a tablet is still an inconvenience to carry it is almost as good as carrying a netbook. I will like to put my hand in my pocket and draw out a cellphone sized-device which I can unfold into a 10 inch display, for instance, with all my apps for business, personal organizer, a diary, my notebook and another thing I care about. After working I can quickly re-fold or retract the display and tuck it back into my pocket and have my hands-free for other things. Meanwhile when I get a phone call I can put my hand in my pocket and draw out the same device and without unfolding it I can take my call conveniently.  For all I care most tablets are still not as portable as a cellphone and cellphone displays are much too small and very less capable than a tablet.

 

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