At a time when consumer gadgets become old the very next day, there are some gadgets that are way ahead of their time while there are those that are released without adequate testing in this highly competitive world.
If we look at Google, it made its name through the world of online search, Android, Gmail and quite a few other products and solutions that are used by billions around the world. While the company has made a name for itself because of such products, there are quite a few others including Google Glass that didn’t create the buzz and were lost in oblivion.
Samsung is the number one smartphone vendor in the world with shipments in tune of millions of phones every year. Its main competitor is Apple and while it has become a tradition that every year around July and August both the companies release their flagships, Samsung ensures that it releases its new flagship well before Apple releases its own. However, this time around the Galaxy Note 7 turned out to be a disaster with its batteries exploding while in use. Samsung counted several such incidents across the globe (over 90 Galaxy Note 7 smartphones owners in the US reported overheating). Amid conspiracy theories, a global recall of 2.5 million devices was announced quickly and faster replacements were guaranteed. The damage: Over $1 billion till date, as estimated by industry analysts.
So what exactly went wrong with two recent much-hyped devices: Google Glass and Samsung Galaxy Note 7? While these two devices can’t be pegged as failures, Google Glass was way ahead of its times and people aren’t still ready for such a technology. Note 7 on the other hand wasn’t way ahead of its time, but was rather released way too early – seemingly without adequate testing and this cost the company too much money.
In a damage-control mode, Samsung has unveiled a new website to let Galaxy Note 7 owners know if their device is safe or not. The south Korean giant is also launching a dedicated media campaign to allay fears and win back trust.
Note 7 is one of the best smartphones today with ton of new features, but because there was a need to ship out as many Note 7 devices as possible before iPhone 7 was launched left a few issues in the production line and eventually ending up in a disaster of sorts.
The world of technology, however, is not easy to comprehend as a device touted as the “next big thing” can finally land up in the junkyard.
Remember Hoverboard? The portable two-wheeled, battery-powered board or scooter got off to a promising start last year but owing to faulty lithium-ion batteries and cases of explosion, some of the products were taken off the shelves.
The eye-wearable augmented reality (AR) device Google Glass was introduced with much fanfare in 2014. At $1,500, it promised a new, bold era for information. People, however, realised the device was not yet ready to be part of their lives. There were safety and health concerns. The built-in camera raised privacy and piracy issues too. Google later withdrew the eye-wearable device from the market in 2015.
But all is not lost for Google Glass. Two years down the line, the eye-wearable device is helping doctors, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics save lives.
Scientists at Tomsk Polytechnic University in Russia have developed a diagnosis system based on Glass that may help in the early detection of various neuro-degenerative disorders, including multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson`s disease.
Using Google Glass, a team of researchers at Drexel University in the US is developing a “smart” portable system that will use functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to measure a person`s brain activity on the go. The augmented-reality headset is being used by paramedics and EMTs assessing patients and them consult with surgeons and doctors at the hospital in real time at the University of Massachusetts` Medical School (UMMS).
Note 7 can’t be pegged as failure, but rather a lesson learnt in a bad way for Samsung. The company now needs to prove to the world that it is serious about protecting its consumers.