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 examples:
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.
User-Friendly Applications 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.
User Involvement 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 piece of equipment.
Many of these consumer-based technological advancements may seem to only consider the pleasure of the user and have little sensible implications. It’s important to consider how these new technologies will affect the future. User-generated and friendly content could one day allow hospitals the ability to develop personalized monitoring programs for each patient; code writing and development could be accessible to everyone. User involvement has endless implications for the development of new devices. Though consumer-based technology is motivated by profit, the possibilities for future technologies are still valuable to society as a whole.