Creating consumer-based technology has been a popular trend in recent years; developers have noticed success with their products by tailoring them to fit with consumer needs and trends. A perfect example of this is the Google search engine, known for its usability. The reason Google has been so successful is because the engineers who design the functionality behind the search engine do so in response to consumer needs. It is evident that technological innovation is being motivated by consumer trends, but what does this mean for technology on a higher level? Here are some thoughts:
Consumer-based technology has created a stronger market for independent developers because consumerist technology favors the creative. Proof of this is the recent onslaught of user-generated content. Small and independent development groups create some of the most popular apps for the iPhone and mobile-based devices. If you want to build an app to tell you which restaurant is the best in your city, you no longer have to look to Microsoft or Apple for the answer. Instead, you can look to the coding expert who works in your office.
Because consumers drive the technological market, technology has been developed with user friendliness in mind. Remember Windows 97? Had Microsoft not updated each version of its operating system with more user-friendly features, they may not have maintained their status as a leading OS developer. Consumer-based technology has motivated developers to design easy-to-use products, which has affected the direction of technological innovation.
Consumers have gotten tired of sitting around all day communicating with their technology by typing or pointing or clicking. Devices have now become more diverse in how users can interact with them. Voice search, motion capture and capacitive touch technologies are all examples of how the consumer’s need to interact has affected the development of technology. Nintendo first implemented interactive gaming via movement with its Wii console, but Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect took this idea further. True, you can now control a video game by moving your hand in front of a screen, but you can also select a movie on Netflix, send an email or browse the Internet all without ever touching a device.
Because consumers supply the demand for technology, consumers will direct the growth of technology. Many of these advancements may seem trite or simple, but the key to determining their worth is looking to the future of how they will be implemented. What would it mean if doctors could customize body scans from patient to patient, or if writing program code were so easy that anyone could do it, or if motion capture technology could help you evaluate your workout routine? Consumer-based technological advancement isn’t a bad thing, it’s the future.
To see some specific ways consumer technology is being implemented practically, take a look at this article.
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