The demise of an invention

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                                      The incandescent bulb born 130 years ago is on now its deathbed.  


Very soon it will disappear from shops across the world. It has almost disappeared from Australia and Brazil, and in the very near future will make its final bow in Britain as well. Production has halted in Japan and the United States phasing it out and will soon burn out forever. In India, these bulbs are still available in many of our electrical stores, but by 2014, for sure it will not be produced in the world any more.


So if you are an antique collector, time is now.  


Most of us know the reasons for retiring our venerable incandescent light bulb; it consumes too much of electrical power and is not energy efficient; 90 per cent of the energy it generates goes into producing wasted heat. There are many successors in wait to replace the good old light bulb. With the great strides made in LED lighting technology, there are going to be many new types of configurations of shapes and sizes  that can fit into our homes and workplaces.


Now comes the question - What is the main difference between inventors in the past and today?


Thomas Edison or Marconi were mainly excited about the scientific breakthroughs and not worried about the longevity of their inventions or products.


But today’s inventors think of “Planned obsolescence”, right in the beginning.  The retirement date of a technology or a product is pre-determined. Planned obsolescence stimulates demand by encouraging purchasers to buy sooner if they still want a functioning product. Built-in obsolescence is used in many different products, from vehicles to light bulbs, from buildings to proprietary software.


Predicting success of a technology is more difficult than predicting share prices. Also there is a striking similarity between movies and technologies. Some of the movies produced with top directors, actors, stories, great locations with lots and lots of money flop miserably, while some low budget simple movies (example – Sankarabaranam) become a great hit. So is the case with technologies.


Most talked about technologies like Alta vista, Digital diaries, PDAs, Netscape navigator, Windows Vista and satellite radios have failed to take off.  Secure shell (SSH)  has succeeded in the area of  data security. iPod seems to be doing well, for now.


There is also an active debate as to which technology will succeed better– the Push technology or the Pull technology?


Push:   These technologies deliver information to the user so all they have to do is receive it. Radio, television, and email are push technologies.


Pull:    These technologies require the user to actively go and retrieve the information. A library, the Web, and the Usenet newsgroups  are pull technologies, requiring active participation of a human being to retrieve the information.


It is predicted  that the emerging “Cloud Computing”  technology is going to present a new dimension to the business world.


To test if a technology will succeed or not, Microsoft uses a strategy of “throw it against the wall and see what sticks”. 




  1. October 31, 2011

    Mohan G

    Let us understand that India and Indians have very little say in the design of the event. It is a private event of Formula Once Association, which is a private body controlled by F 1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone. This year seeing the growth of the car industry in India and to make the sport ( entertainment?) popular in India they have chosen India as one of the 19 centres in which the Grand Prix is held. This is no different from Donald Trump controlled Miss Universe pageants being held in different centres.

    For the F-1 teams, drivers and constructors and the die-hard 3000 odd F-1 spectators who go from GP to GP, Lady Gaga is a far bigger draw than any of our own artistes.

    Anyway, the popular Indian artistes which Narayan Sir mentions suffer from overexposure performing in one award function after the other.

    I am very happy to see that your heart beats for India so much, though you live in Dubai.


  2. July 9, 2011


    Thank you  Babu, Raamesh, Piyush, Mohammad Hadi  for your comments.


    The concept of   “Genopersistation”  was introduced by Dean and Unal  in 1992. It is recursive concept, which aims at  designing and estimating the cost of large systems. The verb “genopersist” was derived by combining the words “genesis” and “persist.” To genopersist an object means to bring forth, sustain, and retire that object. This is a much needed area of research, which is in an embryonic stage.

  3. July 8, 2011

    Mohammad Hadi

    Technology is a thing, we can never ever think it has any end. It is a continuous betterment of Ideas made by thinking brains….. Scientific knowledge is important for progress in technology and that same technology leads us to do more effective research work in field of Science (both are interrelated to each other). The things which seems very illogical is made logical in the future by the developed technologies !!

    By the starting of 20th century, Science was quite enough developed which led to the inventions of many handy tools and devices during that period which were earlier thought to be magical or wondrous. That was a revolutionary period where we had many scientists who were really dedicated to science but now a days many people hardly knows the recent research’s made in different fields of science and been awarded noble prizes for that year after year ……

    Now it has become a matter of reputation for Top Institutes like Hayward University and IIT’s which motivates em’ do research work or publish research papers for the sake of their repute !!

    These days, we can’t find a person very easily who is desperately Interested In science or in doing Research and has a desire to contribute a little in Science ! Thats the real difference in research made now and in older days ! for money is the ultimate thing for todays researchers which makes em’ do research work !! 

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