[FoRK] Disruptive innovation

Aaron Burt aaron at bavariati.org
Thu Dec 29 10:21:00 PST 2011

Nice to see your byline.  Contrary intellectual stimulation FTW.

On Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 10:21:46AM -0600, Jeff Bone wrote:
> Years ago I said "put cameras in cell phones and Big Shit happens."  Or
> something like that.
> Amazon Flow,  Walgreen's iPhone "scan to refill" app, and similar
> product-recognizing cloud services --- where "the cloud" has millions of
> eyes all over the place and can recognize and recall millions of
> products, and eventually people, locations, situations, etc. --- are
> game-changers.

And yet:
- Google Goggles and Nokia Point & Find have been out for >18 months and
  the world hasn't ended yet.  Admittedly, both products might be too
  generalized for most folks, while Flow might have more appeal since it
  offers a clear "point phone at thingy, see on Amazon" use-case.
- In a study, 79% of college students couldn't figure out how to scan a QR
  code, and 75% were not likely to scan one in the future:
  (I know QR != UPC, but QRs are the Big Thing in AR marketing...)

Cameras + sensors + GPS + Internet = big potential
App frameworks + cloud = low barrier to innovation
However: Crowded app markets + neophobia = high barrier to adoption

An app has to be pretty dang useful for most folks to go to the trouble of
finding, installing and learning to use it.  I bet most folks perceive it
as risky, too.

I suspect uptake of even simple AR techniques will be slower than one would
hope, and will happen in baby-steps until the current crop of iTweens*
start handling serious money.

Meantime, baby-steps.  There's money in simple-to-explain "little" apps.
The best of these will be not so little, or simple. (e.g. scan-to-refill)


*Sorry, couldn't resist coining that.

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