Niche Idea – Gadget Assistance

Today’s product news – yes that’s right it’s another gadget launch…no make that two, no three no..eight…twelve…Are you as confused as us? Do you see the differences between all the gadgets that seem to get launched every day rapidly disappearing?

I read today that Gadget Co had launched a travel assistant which
gives driving directions – sound familiar? But this device also stores
music, pictures and data and connects to a PC. It also includes a language
dictionary and will speak to you in the appropriate language when you want to
find the john while on vacation in Spanish, German, Italian etc.

So its another device – so what?

Well the big issue here is that lovely new word CONVERGENCE.
When you have cell phones that are cameras and navigators that are hard discs
and game players that play music you start to see a lot of blurring between
devices and platforms. Alongside device blurring we’re also seeing a lot of
SAMENESS from manufacturers with hundreds of devices with
almost identical features and prices being launched by all the big brand names.

Just look on Amazon under digital cameras or MP3 players and you’ll see what
we mean. And then you’ve got the SHORT TERM sell by date
problem – as in even before you buy the latest gadget it’s been replaced by
a new model on its way down the distribution chain. Take Apple – in the last couple of years they’ve replaced the original 40gb ipod with a whole flock of new product
launches – the iphone, photo ipod, the U2 special, the harry potter special, the ipod
nano, ipod shuffle and the ipod video and so on in a choice of sizes and
colors of course. They’ve even done charity versions such as the Red special.

New product is great but not when it comes out so often your expensive
purchase becomes redundant more quickly than last months magazine.

Niche Market Idea – Gadget Help

Both consumers and manufacturers are rapidly approaching junction city –
do we keep buying the latest only to find it’s out of date or hold out
until some form of sanity returns to the product development departments of Gadget
corp etc?

As consumers we probably need to adapt to a ‘buyer beware’ stance. If we
really want to buy another gadget we need to be comfortable with what comes with
that decision.

As product developers, this highly fluid market presents us with significant
opportunities to be the customers friend.


Given the combined and conflicting issues of sameness (too many to choose from), convergence (product
features too similar) and short sell by date (big risk of getting it wrong),
there is a clear position in the market to offer advice and buyers guides
helping customers choose between devices on factors NOT just linked to price.

Ideas include:

  • guide or an on screen review of product features by a user
  • ratings site where
    each product is scored on different criteria and you don’t even have to
    rate all the products – just pick your favourites.

  • There’s also the market for what we’ll call ‘The Unexplained’. This covers
    all the features on all those gadgets out there that buyers never know how to
    use and would jump at the chance of buying a simple step by step guide or video

    For example, how many people you know how to:

    • Back up their ipod music collection
    • Use their ipod as a hard disk
    • Transfer data from their cell phone to PC and back
    • Set favourite routes on their GPS device
    • Get the thing repaired if it gets damaged

    These are just a few ideas. Ask around those you know who have a famous
    gadget and you’ll soon have a whole list of burning, must answer questions to
    turn into a product that no manufacturer will bother with – they’re too busy
    inventing the next gadget.

We’ll be covering the Niche sector of Gadgets and Technology in much more detail in an upcoming DNA

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