From high-definition television to social media and smartphones, technology has drastically changed the way we receive and share information. Just think – ten years ago, iPhones®, Facebook® and Twitter® didn’t even exist. Nobody knew of ‘status updates’ or the concept of hashtags. To get directions, many of us printed them from MapQuest®, right? These days, it’s hard to imagine life without social networking or mobile phones turned GPS device. We live in an information-driven world, and Americans want their information in the most accessible way possible. This is the perfect time for all you technology dreamers out there to develop the next big thing. Here’s the catch: you have to know your dream is original.
“It’s harder these days to be innovative,” said Justin Denton, Rasmussen College School of Technology and Design Program Coordinator. “We were living in the 70’s of technology. You could create anything you wanted without concerns. Now, we have to double check every step we take to make sure our idea is original.” Take the historic patent battle between Apple and Samsung, for example. Two of the world’s largest makers of mobile phones accused each other of infringing on software and design patents. Apple® recently won a $1.05 billion verdict in the U.S. when a California judge found Samsung® had infringed on six of its patents, including software features like double-tap zooming and scrolling. Apple lost, however, a patent lawsuit in Japan related to Apple’s invention for synchronizing music and video data with servers.
“These lawsuits highlight the fact there are patents out there for the smallest piece of technology,” said Denton. “Kodak® is currently selling a patent on how a camera takes a picture. Apple owns the patent for the swipe bar at the bottom of its iPhone. You need to watch what you’re developing, so you don’t get caught up in a legal battle down the line.” So, how do you create the next big thing, without infringing on other inventions? Denton says, do your research.
“You have to stay up on what the competition is doing,” said Denton. “Many companies will hire execs from its competitors, so when they do market a product it’s not too similar to something else.” Denton also says a quick Internet search will show you what patents are out there. You can also check government websites like the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
What may seem discouraging to some, Denton says, should motivate innovators even more.
“New technology can be developed – software that one day Apple wishes it had,” said Denton. “It’s going to take hard work, but that’s what innovation is all about.” If you love to solve problems and come up with ideas completely off the wall, a degree in software application development might be for you. The degree will also help you turn those ideas into original technology.
“You will learn how to develop a unique and quality product that is all ready to go,” said Denton.
To learn more about a degree in software application development, read our recent blog post There’s a Degree for that: Software Application Development.
Apple and iPhone are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.
Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc.
Twitter is a registered trademark of Twitter, Inc.
Mapquest is a registered trademark of Mapquest, Inc.
Kodak is a registered trademark of Eastman Kodak Company.
Samsung is a registered trademark of Samsung Electronics Co.