In a time where especially mobile computing has driven the entire technology industry into a ecosystem type of broad thinking, the general focus seems to have been shifted – quite naturally – from plain software to developing the hardware in harmony by its side as well.
Much of this paradigm shift is due to Cupertino’s giant, that has taken the design aspect into its core even more so in the post-iPhone era.
As most large ships tend to turn slowly, riding the tidal wave of this new era of physical design are interestingly small companies – especially start-ups. The new technologies with 3D-printing in the frontline enable these small starting businesess to produce new and innovative ideas as concrete testable and usable products through trial and error to great imaginative extents, which would have been impossible before due to cost effects involved. Thus, what has been earlier mainly the property of a few large, multinational R&D hogs, has now been claimed by many and by the results, the power seems to be in the numbers.
However not everything has changed in the world since the introduction of these new prototyping and production methods as Hosain Rahman, C.E.O of modern speaker system producing company Jawbone accurately describes: ”the scaling and supply chain, marketing and distribution is still quite hard.”.
What could this all mean in the not too distant future then? We might see an even bigger boom of small businesses focused on producing mind boggling products that can top our imaginations, but the effect will most likely be even more visible in the courtesies of our private homes. Therefore the probably most interesting aspect will be to see how the big dogs will analyze the situation and enhance their strategies to better match the arising new era.
The ongoing IR and design patent legal struggles might find a solution for certain key players from this lose-lose battles – more and more potential new buyouts, as the design is slowly but surely let into the top floor and the board room of all relevant players wanting to accept and embrace the inevitable change that is ahead.