Are The Blind Leading The Vision-Impaired?
As networks have invaded the “physical” world, designers and engineers are seeing the growing values that come from communications within and between sensors and machines. Electronic, mechanical and other related subsystems that used to have unique interfaces and components are now becoming standardized. Efficient support of products and equipment is only the first benefit of this trend.
The convergence of collaborative systems and machine communications will enable entirely new modes of services delivery and customer interactions. This implies a total paradigm shift. The depth of this shift has begun to suggest itself, but it is by no means accomplished.
The implications are enormous. No product development organization will be able to ignore these forces, nor will their suppliers. Product and service design will increasingly be influenced by the use of common components and subsystems. Vertically defined, stand-alone product and application markets will become part of a larger “horizontal” set of standards for hardware, software and communications.
As it becomes easier and easier to design and develop smart systems, competitive differentiation will shift away from unique, vertically focused product features. The new focus will be on how the product is actually used -- how it fosters interactions between and among users in a networked context. All of these trends lead us to the simple question...