Wired makes the following points about the “Good Enough Revolution”.
Eventually all markets reach a point where products more gain more “value” by having core features and making those features extremely easy to use, convenient and cheap instead of adding more features.
* In 2001, 181 million disposable cameras versus 7 million digital cameras
* Flip Ultra video camera costs $150 versus $8000 for midrange digital video cameras. (Flip Ultra has 17% of the video camera market). Flip has VGA quality versus hi-def competition.
* MP3 versus higher quality sound formats
* Skype and Voice over IP versus higher quality phone services
* Predator UAV versus expensive jets. (100-1000 times cheaper and offering constant presense over targets and potential targets)
* Two doctors working out of a microclinic could meet 80 percent of a typical patient’s needs. With a hi-def video conferencing add-on, members could even link to a nearby hospital for a quick consult with a specialist. The per-member cost at a microclinic is roughly half that of a full Kaiser hospital
Beyond cheap: the Path to Abundant
Cheaper can also offer more. If we bring the cost of most medical tests down down to pennies per test and make them easy to do. People would be able to self-test frequently, or even have constant monitoring from implants or wearable monitors and have results constantly tracked.
Full automation of medical testing and biomarker tracking would drop the cost of medicine by 100 times from microclinics and enable prevention and cures at the earliest stages of disease development.
Cheap, plentiful and good enough evolves into abundance.
* Two doctors in a Miniclinic at half the cost of hospitals for 80%
* Nurse practictioner with a more automated miniclinic at one fifth the cost of a hospital
* Automated Medical kiosks at one tenth the cost of a hospital
* At home medical testing and monitoring systems 100 times cheaper than a hospital
* Implantable and wearable devices: everyone has their blood, sweat, urine always monitored for any cancer cells, and test and has genetic testing for less than a dollar. Cheap body and brain scans. Prevention of most diseases.
For video cameras, it is where you have many always on video cameras, that are using ambient or scavenged energy (body heat, solar power etc…). Where their is automatic wireless synchronization (Whitefi [devices using the old analog TV spectrum] or other wireless system). Where the devices are so cheap you do not care if they get wrecked. Where the update and sync is frequent and automatic so there is very little data lost under any circumstances. You are no longer taking the action of automatically capturing the moment, you are choosing to pause/stop recording and are retrieving the information as needed.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.