Tuesday January 14 2014

Technology that will affect us in 2014

By Joyce Kyeyune Tonda

While we are all anxious to be wowed (Now that it is a new year) we are more likely to bask in the refinement of existing technologies that will be brought to maturity, fine-tuned for faster mainstream adoption.

Some brands take their new year seriously and after a stormy 2013 flawed by drop dead sales, a CEO exit, a bungled $4.7b (about Shs12t) takeover, BlackBerry decided to fight back and turn a new leaf-by doing among other things, firing (or parting ways with) Alicia Keys, who was the BlackBerry Global Creative Director.

(Yes, we also discovered both facts in the same breath.) Of course, it could have something to do with Alicia being caught tapping away at her iPhone sometime during the year or producing less than stellar results.

But if you are one of the couple of thousands of BlackBerry users in Uganda, take heart; plan for a replacement later than sooner-we have seen successful comebacks before.

Samsung will continue its swift ascent to the smartphone stockpile following its immensely successful Galaxy S4 and subsequent release of Galaxy Gear designed for a tug of war with high end brand, Apple’s iPhone 5. Consumers will be motivated to upgrade to smartphones due to the entry of less pricey new comer rugs to riches brands like the Windows Phone. It has already assumed the number three spot in global smartphone sales thanks to Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia. It will be absolutely essential to have a smartphone in 2014.

And if you thought social media was a fad fast fading and you were one of those who quit the rat-race of frequently tweeting or LinkedIn posting your deeply philosophical adages, news flash; social media is here to stay.

Fortunately, it will become less fickle (I ate cornflakes for breakfast) and more concrete (value adding) as both personal brands and companies wake to the realisation that traditional push marketing in bricks and glass is not improving the bottom line like it used to. Every marketing department worth its salt will do well to amass social media case studies in one hand and keep a finger on the ‘Share’ button.

Made in Uganda will continue to flourish in the gamut of apps developed by the university breed but a mass production leading to mass adoption system must be established. As long as we pride ourselves in being innovative without directly solving common problems with our apps, we will continue to sound like broken records. A business fuelled with research and development innovation centre, where the brightest minds are paid to develop will bring us closer to appropriate technology that meets the real needs of our communities in 2014.

Still at home, assuming Google’s Project Link does not suffer the curse of all previous Internet Service Providers, Metropolitan Kampala should prepare for cheaper, reliable Internet.

Without moderation though, 24 hour internet will increase societal disconnection as more people exchange physical interaction for anonymous online virtual amusement. We will not even talk about the spike in cybercrime.

As computer sales drop, and tablets and smart phones assume a larger than life computing role, cloud storage will gain prominence as these smaller computing devices lack the storage capacity of traditional PCs.

Of course, in nations 20 years ahead of us, wearable technology, flexible bendable screens, 3D printing, robotics and other unimaginables will be making the rounds, we will be content with getting the hang of the easier stuff.
The author is the Managing Editor Enterprise Technology, and Director, The Knowledge Management, E-mail: jonaiga@gmail.com