Are hardware companies innovating as much as they used to?
That's the question posed by Huffington Post contributor and Silicon Valley product designer Gil Laroya in a recent article. While it is true that we are increasingly surrounded by advanced technology, Laroya argues that innovation has stalled in recent years, with industry leaders settling for making similar iterations of leading products.
Ultimately, Laroya believes our last era of ground-breaking innovation ended with the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
"Steve was a pioneer in so many things technology," he writes. "Devices and innovations that the world takes for granted nowadays would not be in existence if not for the work of Steve and Apple."
However, these days Laroya feels that technology companies are failing to live up to Jobs's legacy.
"We are used to seeing updates and upgrades, as technology improves under the same device generation," he adds. "But what is troubling is the trend of introducing updated and upgraded devices as 'new' devices. This is a technology cop-out that does a huge disservice to technology consumers."
Laroya's criticism may not be entirely fair. Though it is true, for example, that smartphones have undergone more muted changes since the first iPhone was released, and that tablets have changed little since the iPad was introduced, this is largely because the rest of the industry needed time to catch up and offer their own products.
This happens any time a revolutionary technology takes the world by storm, and it will happen again. Maybe Apple won't be behind the next big thing—Maybe Google Glass will captivate us, or some other wearable item. But it will happen. Steve Jobs may have been an excellent designer, but there are others who are more than willing to follow in his footsteps.
At Sozo Design, we have designed a number of products for crucial industries, like medicine. Our clients' desires for new products has not changed, nor has our commitment to innovation.