Technological growth is now motivated by consumer trends. Companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft are all growing because of the innovations being made in line with consumer demands. These consumer-based technologies are providing fantastic advancements and creating deeper levels of practical implication. A wonderful example of this is the Google search engine. At the core of Google’s success is its ability to develop technology in response to consumer trends. It is obvious that most modern technology is consumer-based, but how has this trend affected technology as a whole?
Here are some good examples:
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.
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.
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.
As for most things in this world, a big motivation for technological advancement is profit. The profitability of any technology is dependent on the consumer, and as such, we have seen a tremendous uptick in consumer-based technology. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as these advancements have amazing possibilities. Doctors could one day customize a program to accurately diagnose diseases from patient to patient; program code could soon be so user friendly that anyone could become a web developer; and the technology behind user involvement could lead to all kinds of advanced motion capturing devices. The value inherit to natural technological evolution is vast and important for society as a whole.
To see some specific ways consumer technology is being implemented practically, take a look at this article.