Customization

One of the potentially biggest forces that will likely be deceptively powerful, very soon, is Customization.  For all the talk about changes in the way things are manufactured, Customization seems to be a bit of sleeper, going relatively unnoticed.

As things like Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Desktop Fabrication, Drone Delivery and the like are all going to affect how we make things, Customization is a force that merits a lot of attention.

Here is a short video that explains how 3d printing alone will bring dramatic changes of Customization:

After all, we originally made everything one at a time. From our earliest days as makers, things were fashioned in a custom fashion. Then, people like Henry Ford came along and figured out that assembly lines putting together standardized product even down to a single color (black) made even large things like cars much more affordable and revolutionized the world as we know.

However, as the way we manufacture things changes, it turns out, we like things to be just the way we want them. In fact, uniqueness makes sense not just from a practical perspective, but for our feelings and ego. In some cases we humans want to blend in and go along, but we like to have some things just so. And, now it will be not only possible, but practical.

And, it is not just manufacturing that will be customized. Other things to will be delivered just for us. Some will be trivial like your own design on your cell phone or case. Other things, like our news feeds and even broadcast virtual personalities, very impactful to what we think and think we know. A few aspects like education and personal development may well change the very nature of who we are.

Not to mention it would be nice to have things like clothes, shoes, etc. actually fit.  Something like this maybe:

Another Step In Amazon Clothing Takeover: A Patent for Apparel On-Demand | Digital Trends Amazon’s recent patent approval for an on-demand apparel factory could be an indication of the company’s next step.

And, like our fingerprints are absolutely unique, so are our metabolisms, experiences and desires. So why not medicines tuned just for you. Supplements perhaps:

Using supplements? Order a personalized pill | MIT News Multiply Labs, a startup co-founded by MIT alumni Fred Parietti and Tiffany Kuo, used seed funding from the MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund to create a 3-D printing process that makes personalized dietary supplements.

Having automation and on demand will change things a lot. Add to that with the force of our needs, desires, and whims and customization will drive the very direction many of these related technologies go.