What’s trending now?
Mass customisation; the ability to produce custom made items and services in mass. The recent advances in 3D printing, the process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file, makes it more affordable and cost effective. While custom design has been around for a while, NIKE launched their now infamous NIKEid in the late 90’s, the new technologies coupled with the internet’s ability to custom your online experience makes the future where everything in our lives can be built and streamed in the way we want it a very real possibility.
Why it’s important?
The already crumbling mass market could receive it’s death blow from things like affordable 3D printing, and web algorithms predicting what you want.
The ability to affordably mass produce individualised products and services will revolutionise the way we sell and the way we produce.
What’s the butterfly effect?
We can do little, large. The home cottage industry that makes one offs is the industry of the future. It just happens that now the millions of house wives can make one offs to millions of people utilising the new or soon to be technologies.
The home of the future could very well have a 3D printer that recycles for instance plastic containers to print them into your new unique iPhone case, www.objet.com is already producing desktop size 3D printers.
We would need to get our minds out of the average mode, and into the individual mode. Finding more ingenious and cost effective ways of allowing customers to design or to co-design our products will be the key to success.
Using 3D printing companies like Shapeways can produce custom designed objects, never to be repeated again. Ever.
Burberry launched a trenchcoat that can be custom designed online and ordered, a first for a luxury brand to offer mass customisation.
Never get that perfect Jean fit? Order on www.indicustom.com for jeans made to your body specs.
With the advent of the internet and algorithms recording your every online move, websites such as YouTube and Facebook are automagically customising your web experience, not to mention google that uses up to 52 variables in defining your search experience, getting you the things that you would like.
www.Stumbleupon.com allows you to with the tick of a few boxes to get a customised web experience that will take you to the sites that you will love continually updating on your preferences.
Internet Radio star Pandora uses the simple thumbs up or down ratings to customise streaming audio for their listeners.
While Netflix offers millions of streaming movies and programs, where in the past it was 3 channels for millions of people, we now have reached almost a one to one ratio, a complete customised media experience.
In other fields too, mass customisation is popping up, you can even create your own custom cocktail of supplements and multivitamins online at Isotonix.
The global hot spots
Online, thus everywhere.
Interesting though that in an article on Mashable.com it was stated that manufacturing will return to the US and the EU, since mass customisation needs highly skilled labour and local manufacturing. Germany especially being a leader in mass customisation.
By: Pierre Du Plessis
Pierre is a communicator, a dreamer and a troublemaker. He loves how we are all connected in more astounding ways and more than we ever thought. He is completely obsessed with life in contemporary culture and he wallows in new ideas and marvels at how they can restore and re – create our world.
Image credit: The world wide web