There is so much discussion around social media and the impact of the Web on consumer spending or discussions of how many people are doing what on the Web…and let’s not forget the constant ringing of newspapers death bell.
So I was thinking about how the Web has influenced the broader economy and where this impact has lead to technology improvements as a whole…here’s what I’ve come up with and feel free to add to it;
1. Digital Cameras: In the mid-late 90’s digital cameras were expensive, and uploading an image to eBay or a website was not easy. The Web lead to better digital cameras, seamless uploading of images and “tagging”. Even video cameras were spurred to the same heights of development.
2. Electronic Health: The Web contributed greatly to the development of eHealth solutions such as remote telehealth using video camera technology.
3. Personal Safety: Companies like Life Alert and others are leveraging the Web to enable better in-home security for customers….which leads to improved webcams.
4. Music Devices: The advent of P2P technologies and then the iPod radically changed the way we share and listen to music (I won’t go deeper into the obvious.) Essentially CD players are fading. But a whole new industry with an attendant ecosystem has been born. Earbuds improved as well as speakers to connect to these devices.
Now all gaming devices (Wii
) all connect to the Web for online gaming. An industry had a sudden lift and an ecosystem was born with peripheral devices like the iPod being made.
6. Mobile Phones:
The uptake of email use in the business world lead to the Blackberry
…and with mobile data rates improving we saw the advent of Smart Phones
…and peripherals for those devices, spurning yet another ecosystem.
7. GPS Devices: Expect to see GPS devices integrate WiFi in the next 2-3 years as geocaching continues to grow. But satellites and the concept of the Web enabled this sector to grow.
8. The Netbook: The scaled down laptop. They’re starting to sell and will also spin off a whole ecosystem of peripheral products.
9. RFID: The Web provides a backbone for data communications and so RFID tags and technology took off since the Web could be used to track everything from products shipped through to luggage.
10. Monitors: Because of so much time spent in front of a screen, now we have a whole new advancement in monitors with flat screen TV’s and computer monitors.
11. Printers: Now we could print so much…that ugh, we cut down more trees than ever and now you can buy photo printers, colour high-resolution printers…even for home they are affordable now.
The Web is about information, anything audio, text, video and images…and as a result we’ve seen new devices that enhance our viewing or listening enter the market. Whole product ecosystems have evolved, and no doubt they will continue to evolve…some wonder about the Web still as in “does it really matter? Is it really important anyway?” as they hit the shuffle button on their iPod…
So, what else?