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BLOG: Why tablet market growth will drop off in three years

Steven Max Patterson | Dec. 5, 2013
Speech recognition and screen casting could explain tablet growth's predicted stall in 2017.

Qualcomm is working on a standard for peer-to-peer networking named AllJoyn. It is a development framework for building proximate networks with device discovery, trust and security so that the heterogeneous devices that are carried or worn can use nearby devices. AllJoyn is designed so that personal and wearable devices know "the fact that you have a wireless speaker in the room that you just walked into or the projector in the office actually has the ability to stream your PowerPoint slides without you having to plug a VGA cable in," Rob Chandhok, President of Qualcomm Interactive Platforms, explained at a recent GigaOM event.

A formidable amount of integration lies ahead, combining the personal cloud of smartphones and wearables, the proximate network of intelligent devices in the room or building, and backend cloud services. Advanced speech recognition that scales across smart devices and yet-to-become smart devices won't happen overnight. But when it does, it will seem like it and put downward pressure on tablet shipments.

Predicting change is hard; predicting exactly when change will occur is nearly impossible. After a decade of failed attempts to produce a consumer tablet, no one could have predicted that tablet shipments would suddenly explode from 17 million in 2010 to 221 million, as expected by IDC in 2013. Likewise, it is hard to predict exactly when advanced speech recognition will become the primary means of computer-human interaction, though the recent developments in the industry reassure that a breakthrough of computers consistently understanding the intent of speech is on the horizon.

One almost certain prediction is that tablets won't disappear because people will still need them to read books.

Source: Network World


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