Friday, October 18, 2013

Disruptive Technologies: Mobiles Vs The Rest

Now, I just wrote about how mobiles could kill the watch brands. With Samsung Galaxy Gear, the battle for the wrist is official. If Apple gets in, it will be more interesting. If this was not enough, Adidas has launched a smart watch while Nike already has one.

Now the other day, I was watching TV and saw Priyanka Chopra, the former Miss World, movie star and a favorite for brands in India, promoting two different brands with conflicting interests. In one ad, she is promoting Nikon. In the other, she speaks of Nokia as a listening brand and how the camera in Lumia allows one to take pictures in the low light.

Strange isn't it? Or at least that is what I thought. I posted my opinion about this conflict on my Facebook status. Interestingly, few friends felt that Priyanka was not professional. But that was not the point. She is quite fine in pocketing the money offered by the brands. It should have been the brands' responsibility to ensure that there are no conflict of interest.

Conflict of interest?

On the Facebook status, some felt that there was no conflict of interest. They said one was a mobile phone that has a good camera and the other was a camera brand. Why am I seeing a conflict? Because I saw a sign of disruption. How? First Canon, then Olympus and Fuji exited the low-end camera business.

So, Nokia Lumia 1020 will come with a 41 mega pixel camera. How long before the mobile industry brings cameras that are more sophisticated and capable? Now that is disruption for you. Like classic example of computers replacing typewriters. Emails and electronic transfers have hit the humble neighborhood post office. Telegraph is already history.

As I had said, if Gear and similar devices make watches irrelevant, then there is every possibility that Cameras will also be eaten by mobiles. Going by the looks of it, in future, any device that doesn't multitask is likely to face a death. So, TV can no more be TV, it has to be smart. Gaming Console is not just gaming console, they have to help us watch movies, organize our pictures and listen to music. Watch is not a time observing device, it has to help us read messages, take calls, shoot pictures. Or as Nike and Adidas want it, be our health monitoring device.

While it seems easier for technology companies to diversify, would it be possible for traditional one-category brands to diversify into the technology sphere and stay relevant. Say, would Swatch and Titan start making watches that can be a smartphone? They currently rule the wrists but will it be easier to transform themselves into a technology brands? Will Canon start making phones with much better camera than Samsung or Nokia?

Let me take the risk of predicting the future, here. I think it will be the technology brands that will win the battle. Why? It is the world of Digital Natives who are exposed to technology brands from very early on. Once they grow and find their beloved brands offer more, they are more likely to continue patronizing them. On the other hand, Watch or Cameras come later. Think about it. Children start taking pictures using mobiles and pads much before they are handed over a camera.

The era of technology brands is ushering in, I suppose. Time for other brands to watch out and take steps to evolve and protect their territories.

Oh, by the way, did you read about Google's self-driving cars
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