Gadgets are everywhere in the technology world, and despite the economic downturn that most countries are facing, it’s amazing to see how creative (and sometimes crazy) researchers can be. I would have thought that since most people are tightening their belts, those gadgets wouldn’t even make their way into the market – but it seems that some gadgets have proved me wrong.
I have some interest in digital photography, and for the last year, it’s amazed me that big brands have continued to unveil new camera models: at every show that these new models are first showcased, fans and brand-lovers can’t help but desire these new products – and a lot of people actually buy them.
Last week took place the Birmingham Gadget Show Live. When I look at the website of the event, I’m amazed by the way they invite people to “upgrade” to the latest gadgets out there via their “Recycle your Gadgets and get some Cash!” campaign. In the IT industry, it is common for gadgets to easily become obsolete, so offering to recycle “old” gadgets for cash is quite an interesting approach since this will push users to buy the new ones. And this actually works: just look around you – how many people will have traded their iPad 1 for the iPad 2 – and soon will trade that for the new iPad three? I’m sure you know a bunch of people who have done just that. While the iPad 1 was a major hit, it didn’t take much time to see the new wave of iPad 2 fanatics, making the iPad 1 owners look almost ‘old hat’.
Whenever you join those tech/gadget events, you can’t help but be amazed by the new models that most major brands are presenting, making you feel like you need to own that latest model. While marketing plays a key role in convincing customers to buy the latest model, there is also another key ingredient that is becoming more and more predominant for enabling such a quick replacement, and this is the cloud.
Before the cloud, whenever a customer decided to replace their current gadget with the newest model, they had to face the inevitable task of transitioning. That transitioning process was a painful one, with the backup and transfer process to go through. Most technology vendors understand this and since they want you, the customer, to buy to the new models, they had to find some way to ease that transition process, and this is where cloud-based services come in.
Just think about it: most computer or smartphone vendors now offer some cloud-based services where you can synchronize your data almost in real-time. This is a good idea, since if you ever lose your laptop/smartphone, you are not losing your data- and that’s a huge value-added service the cloud is offering to most manufacturers.
In fact, those value-added services can be seen as gadget, but those who are inclined could use them strategically. For example, most users now have more than two devices they work with: a home-PC, their work laptop and a smartphone. The cloud makes it possible to keep all those devices synced. In this specific case, from being a gadget, the cloud actually becomes a solution to an actual need.