Category Archives: anything and everything

Where has Casio gone missing?

As I browse through new gadgets and products at CES 2014, I wonder where has Casio gone missing?

This year CES 14 is being dominated by wearable computing devices. Right from fitness bands to social watches to eye wear, there are new and striking products in the wearable category. Almost all of them are focusing on social net connectivity, fitness and wellbeing data and live information relay.

Seeing them, I am reminded of Casio watches nearly a decade back, when they had introduced sensors to measure your heart beat and blood pressure in their watches or calculators in their watches. Those watches were certainly ahead of their time, but now as the world rapidly moves to wearable device category; question is why is Casio not in the fore front? They have an extremely high hold on digital technology (given their watches and calculators and other computing devices) and they have had a head start on sensory technologies embedded in watches. Then why are they missing? If Sony can enter the space then why not Casio? If only they dad they exploited their expertise now, perhaps they would have been leaders in this space.

Is it Japanese conservatism that is preventing them to re-enter the space that they did not see much success earlier? Japanese companies have been pinnacle of innovation for decades but off late they are no notable consumer products from them (barring Sony to some extent and Nintendo with Wii for a couple years). They seem to be losing the race to their Asian neighbors in China and South Korea.

I have been a “made-in-japan” product fan and I hope the innovation wave hits the nation again to develop world class consumer products that we used to so proudly own in the past.

Does Imagination have a shelf life?

Today’s news on extreme weather conditions in US due to Polar Vortex makes you think if imagination has a shelf life before it is no longer imagination, but is reality !

Looking at the frozen Michigan lake with the backdrop of Chicago skyline reminds me of the Roland Emmerich’s 2004 disaster movie “The day after tomorrow”. I remember, when the movie was released people were wondering can such a thing happen and today Polar Vortex has turned that imagination into reality.

There are scores of such examples especially in the sci-fi genre, where what was considered as a figment of imagination of the writer, author or movie maker is now reality. Remember Arthur C. Clarke’s path breaking 2001: space odyssey where he had imagined space travel beyond the realms of Moon and today we have probes like Voyager entering the interstellar space. Remember Star Wars and Star Trek having holographic virtual images of people taking to each other and today we have Tele presence gear in meetings

So what explains this? Should we say that authors/writers/movie makers are far sighted and are seeing things that can be turned into reality or is it just happenstance. My view is that in case of nature, perhaps there are phenomenon that we are beginning to unravel and that is helping us weave an imagination that could be reality someday. However, in case of scientific invention and discovery, it is perhaps the ubiquitous nature of human endeavor to make the impossible, possible that is helping us turn imagination to reality. Others are welcome to share their views