Sure, there’s this saying “There’s an App for that”. That may soon be changing into “There’s a Gadget for that”?
Before we had Apps (that’s only 5 years ago), we used to have all those separate devices for each purpose. For example, a camera for taking photos, an alarm clock for waking up and CD-player for playing music. Initially, camera become a feature of the high-end phones. Camera is now one of the key features for the phones. We also use the phone as the alarm clock. And we’re also playing music with our phones. But for how many uses can you actually use your phone? For many yes, but not necessarily at the same time.
Instagram’s camera App (which I originally never really liked) become very popular, a threat for Facebook IPO and Facebook ended up buying it for the famous 1 Billion Dollars. At the same time the traditional camera-makerPolaroid (which Instagram had as a role model) filed for Chapter 11 bankrupt protection. Strange world.
Now the circle is closing as Instagram is supposedly turning their App into a real camera. In this world where creating and producing hardware is increasingly becoming easier, it’s a smart move. Quite often selling Real Stuff can actually be easier than selling just Apps. Sure, there are many things that are more difficult with the hardware. It just may still be easier to sell something concrete to consumers, something you can pick up from the store shelf and just take into use.
If we take this idea further, which other Apps could become real devices in the future?
An obvious candidate would be for example Spotify. Spotify is already now “embedded” in some devices but selling Cloud-Connected Spotify device would be easy-to-use device giving you access to all music in the world. It would have its own user interface but you could still use your smartphone as a user interface.
Taking this even further we meet the idea ofInternet of Things. Soon we might have various kinds of devices, sensors and accessories at our home, car and elsewhere. Common for all of these would be that they are Single Purpose, Cloud-Connected, Simple-To-Use … and cheap. Your smartphone would probably be a central hub for these, or one of those $100 Android Tablets that are entering the market.
So is the next gold rush to make all possible gadgets for all possible uses? If we take a look of the early adapters at Kickstarter, there for sure is a trend like that. I just hope that somebody will invent also a way to make those battery-operated devices energy efficient. Just imagine what otherwise happens with all those 30 different gadgets at your home and batteries running out every few months. Or even weeks.