Hardware Renaissance

Scott Francis
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Great read in the New York Times about the hardware renaissance in Silicon Valley.  I suppose it is particularly interesting to point out the shift in Silicon Valley, which has been more focused on bits that atoms lately, but the shift is happening all over.

It is an expansion of a trend that began a few years ago with the Flip videophone, a sleeper hit, and has recently accelerated with Nest, the smart thermostat; Lytro, a camera that refocuses a photo after it is taken; and the Pebble smartwatch, a wristwatch that can interact with a smartphone.

It isn’t the first time that someone noticed the renaissance in hardware – or more generally, bringing new products to market, but this was a refreshing spin on the same topic, as the author took time to point out that clever integration of software and hardware seemed to be thematic in the renaissance.  The article emphasizes the cost side of the equation:

THE collapsing cost of hardware can be seen in its revival of a hobbyist ethos in the so-called Maker subculture. That ethos is thriving on the easy availability of low-cost computers and sensors.

But equally important is the money raising side of the equation – crowdfunding sites like kickstarter being the key to this transformation, by identifying demand before production starts instead of after.

Its a great time for innovation, I can’t wait to see what’s coming next.