At the Consumer Electronic Showcase (CES) in Las Vegas, an innovative device from a technology inclined Chinese company was delivered and it left the crowd in awe. It seemed to be the next step in the new age smartphones.
Meet the Changhong H2, a device that comes with a molecular scanner, which has the ability to analyse the properties of food, liquid and body metrics.
This ultra-modern device supposedly give consumers new ways to improve their personal wellness. It is like having a personal dietitian on your phone.
Can it work in any country?
For developed countries who already have a good foundation in technology, it will thrive and there would be great sales recorded upon introduction. This is because the country has what it takes for it to work, and this is not just about the internet access and consistent electricity, it also involves the understanding of individuals on what technology is. With all this in check, the device would have a great sell out when introduced.
However, if we flip this coin and look into developing and under-developed countries, who do not have a strong push towards technology, the device may not thrive. The majority of people in these countries may still believe that technology is just for the young or enjoy the manual way and this is detrimental to technological advancement.
Therefore, while this phone may be phenomenal in China, it is important to ask if Nigeria/ Africa is ready for this kind of technological advancement?
Can the Changhong H2 make groundbreaking sales in Africa?
Let's take Nigeria, the 'giant of Africa' as a case study, will it work here? Can we maintain it?
Imagine being in a market and while buying oranges, you whip out your Changhong H2 to scan the fruit. Of course, the seller will become unhappy with this and this may lead to other unpleasant consequences. Flashing around a phone also has its other downsides - it may be stolen before you can say Changhong. This device will have a low survival rate in Nigeria considering the present state of security in the country.
This device will have a low survival rate in Nigeria considering the present state of security, limited data and low technological advancement.
Is there a way out?
Dike N. Kalu of the Vanguard once challenged Nigerians to use technology as a tool for development.
"I subscribe to the view that if one is aware of the power of science and technology in promoting development, one is obligated to continue to implore the Nigerian government and the public to do what most of the advanced nations have done for centuries, and that is, to translate science into productive technologies and use the latter to fuel the development of their country" - Dike N. Kalu
Some believe that our present technological misfortunes rest largely on our government and that it can only be reversed by the implementation of effective policies. However,
It is agreeable that Nigeria is a hostile environment plagued by corruption, ineffectual policies and politicians. This has stifled the growth of technology in the country.
The government has to create an enabling environment and while prioritising science and technology education and development.
The older generation need to move from a point of saying "it's for your generation" to "teach me how you did that." A shift from paper records to network systems is needed for government parastatals. Everyone has to be a part of it, giving room for technological advancement in thoughts, action and interaction. Without these, we would not allow our technological market take the next step in relation to the movement of the world.
When we have become technologically inclined as individuals and as a nation, then we will be more receptive of innovations.