Asus – Open Product Innovation

Innovation is as broad a topic as it can get, I will nibble at it from a corner and focus on Open Product Innovation today.

I came across this interesting concept website from Asus – wepc. Asus is a PC vendor and has opened up a customer channel for innovation and product thinking through this website. Some of the concepts are highly interesting ranging from a laptop with an integrated projector to a pedant PC (like the sixth sense presentation at TED) to a multi-screen collapsible version.

If Asus is doing this right, they are not just looking at the product concepts, they are looking at validation of trends – for example, if you scroll through the dream PC designs and the votes they have received – some trends become clear, like people seem to be pitching for a hybrid between the phone and the PC which seems to be the next convergence point after consumer-communication and communication-computation that happened earlier with the music phones and Skype on laptop.

There is a definite trend towards enhanced interaction experiences with their phone-cum-laptop-cum-multimedia player devices – which could translate into touch screens, artificial intelligence, personalized look and feel etc…and much more as Asus reads through the trends and benefits.

Now, one might wonder, Asus has this in open, other PC vendors must also be mining this data – why did they chose to be the ones on whose cost the competition benefits? Will a wepc ardent user buy an Asus model vs. Dell/HP/Acer/Lenovo, given the same feature and better pricing?
Maybe, in the laptop world, people don’t really buy unique designs from a given vendor, the more vendors make things, the more a given “similar” kind of design sells because now there is a comparison reference point (Apple being an exception which I don’t want to use to prove a rule)

Food for thought and comments….

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