Recent years have seen an explosion of consumer-based technology: devices and processes designed for the general public by means of user-friendly functions and practical implications. The most used example of this is the Google search engine, a service that is constantly reshaping its construction in response to user needs and trends. How will this recent trend of consumer-based technology shape the future of technology as a whole? Here are some ideas:
Creating content, like apps, to work with more complex pieces of technology, like the iPhone, is now a process that has been opened up to independent developers. While independent programing has always been available, recent consumer-based technology has created a greater need for more specialized content. Because of this, you no longer have to look to big companies like Microsoft or Apple if you’re in the market for a new app. User-generated content is a valuable aspect of technology because there is a consumer need for it.User-Friendly Applications
Any market reliant on consumers will inevitably adapt to the ability of those consumers. Basically, this means that a company must provide an easy to use product in order to survive. Consumer-based technology is no different. As technology has progressed, it has become more user friendly. Compare Linux to Windows 7, the improvements made between the two operating systems is a direct result of consumer trends favoring products that are easy to use. Technology has become a part of our every day lives because of the innovation behind it is consumer-based.User Involvement
With recent generations growing up with advanced technology, current consumers now want to interact on deeper levels with their technologies. Those products that allow greater interaction between user and device are quickly becoming the most successful. For example, the Xbox Kinect is a gaming system that allows the user to move independently of a handheld device in order to interact with the game. As demand increases, Microsoft has already found more innovative applications for this. With a wave of a hand you can browse movies on Netflix, send a message by email, and navigate the web.
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 analyze your regular 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.