Is Hardware The “New Black”?

oculusIn my early days at Engineering school I was so obsessed with assembling, understanding and reassembling computers, I wanted to learn what made this machine behave the way it did, this was in 2009.

It was fascinating but once I learnt how the different Hardware interconnected, it wasn’t exciting anymore and this time I wanted to take on something that would force me to think of something new and so I jumped onto the software bandwagon. Like many of my fellow engineers I wanted to build the next “Big Thing” like Facebook or Google or even Apple with the iTunes but for the already existing Hardware.

Fast forward the year is 2014 and these are the headlines, Facebook buys Oculus, Google aquires Nest and the most recent one Apple buys Beats by Dre. Now I don’t know about you and what you think about the future of computing in the next 20 years but I will tell you what I have learnt about the trends in the Tech Industry.

In the beginning there was Hardware with a little software, then along came Steve Jobs and Bill Gates who were all about having better software and beautiful Hardware, this gave birth to the Mac Computers and Windows OS. One thing lead to another but this time on the software side, from HTML we got a better internet, from a better Internet we got Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter and you can add your small software company to this list.

Today we have software doing just about anything but running on the same hardware, and you shouldn’t be surprised to see all these acquisitions by the software/internet giants, this makes me rethink everything about computing because I think it has seized being a game of how to build a cool app or hardware, to a question of when to build.

Sergey Brin mentioned in his interview with Khosla that he is focusing on atoms and not bits in his work at Google X. Google X is a part of Google which has put out products like Driverless cars, Google Glass and other products.

Finally, I personally think a mix of Hardware and software has always provided great results, but for now venturing in hardware which is not very easy seems to be paying off for companies doing it right. Hardware still remains the start of a lot of software innovations which are always written on top of the hardware.


Nicholas Kamanzi

Computer Engineer and Tech Reviewer.
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