Thursday, March 10, 2016

LoRa

LoRa feels like a big deal to me. In general, hardware-lead innovations tend to jumpstart software design into interesting places, moreso than software-lead innovations drag hardware design into interesting places.

With software driving hardware innovation, the results tend to be of the bigger, faster, cheaper variety. All good things but not this-changes-everything type moments.

With hardware driving software innovation however, software game changers seem to come along sometimes.

Telephone exchanges -> Erlang -> Elixer.
Packet switching -> TCP/IP -> Sockets

BGP Routers -> Multihoming
VR Headsets -> Immersive 3D worlds

etc.

I have noticed that things tend to come full circle though. Sooner or later, the any hardware bits that can themselves be replaced by software bits, are replaced:-)

This loopback trend is kicking into a higher gear at the moment because of 3D printing. I.e. a hardware device is conceived of. In order to build the device, the device is simulated in software to drive the 3D printer.  Any such devices that *could* remain purely software, do so eventually.

A good example is audio recording. A modern DAW like ProTools or Reaper now provides pure digital emulators for pretty much any piece of audio hardware kit you can think of: EQs, pre-amps, compressors, reverbs etc.

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