The need for consumer-based technology

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 technicians 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:

User-Generated Content

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 area, 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

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.

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.

To see some specific ways consumer technology is being implemented practically, take a look at this article.