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Posted by Randy Heffner on July 27, 2012
Here's a flash of the blindingly obvious: More and more products are going digital. You know this, but what I'm interested in is how they are going digital and to what degree. I see three major aspects: (1) the product itself becomes digital; (2) a physical product adds digital technology; and/or (3) processes and context around a physical product become digitally infused. Let me offer a sort of continuum of examples, and then I want to ask a question:
The examples above center on consumer products, but they're just the top-of-mind ones I happened to think of. Other speculative examples might include cars negotiating with petrol stations on fuel price (an old Scott McNealy favorite), downloading apps to your digital thermostat, WiFi control of a high-end sound system, or maybe there's something crazy cool you could do by mashing power tools with the digital world. I'm hoping you get the idea.
So here's my question: What are some great examples, especially "push the envelope" examples, of innovative and surprising ways that products are going digital -- both in the product itself and in the buying and usage context around a product?
Please post a comment and let me know what you're thinking about or seeing out there that you think is really great. . .
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