In today’s trendwatching podcast, we look at a couple of intriguing developments in tech hardware: more DIY, and tools built on top of other tools. Nora Young talks about Styku, a virtual fitting room that she found in Fast Company.
Interesting enough as a potential solution to online clothes shopping and customization, it interests Nora because it’s yet another example of tech built on top of the Kinect.
Could designing tools that include the power to have other tools built on top of them be as powerful in the hardware world as it is in the online platform world?
The Styku story caught my eye, because the idea takes the old notion of supply and demand and turns it on its head. You demand a tee shirt. You design it using their nifty software. You order it. Somebody in North America (yes you heard me North America) sews it and within 3 hours it’s in the mail and on its way to your door. Could this possibly be a way of getting manufacturing jobs back here? Wouldn’t that be fantastic?
Meanwhile, I dug up a story about David Mellis, and M,I.T. student who built his own fully functional, D-I-Y cell phone out of about $150 in parts. In one way this reminds me of guys (why is it always/usually guys?) horsing around with electronics trying to build time machines.
But on the other hand, are we about to see D-I-Y electronics really take off beyond the hobbyist fringe? Check out the cool phone at the MIT Media Lab.